Name: Anne Korn
Childhood Dream Job: Teacher
What is your current occupation?
Senior News Manager.
What was the path to your current job?
Saw the advert, applied, flew to London for interview, waited a week, got the job, moved to London within three weeks after that.
What is your educational background/history?
I studied acting in Germany first, then European Theatre Arts in the UK after that which was a practice-based drama course. Then I realised that I actually wasn’t cut out for the stage (or the competitive, mostly under-paid working environment that is reality for so many performers). Also, I preferred a more text-based approach. So I signed up for English and American studies (language, literature, culture) and Philosophy in Germany instead, also because it was much easier to pay for my studies and living expenses in Germany than it was in the UK. While I was studying, I worked as a Finance assistant which may seem a bit random but I had a fixed-term job with the same company between drama school in Germany and drama school in the UK and they happened to have an opening after I came back so I knew the company, they knew me and it was a great job to have while studying as it was quite secure, flexible and decently paid. They took me on full time after I graduated so I worked there for 7 years in total before moving to London. So, as education/work history goes, I am a drama school drop-out ex-Finance Assistant with an MA in English and American Studies and Philosophy and a UK Distance Learning Certificate in Theatre Studies (which I studied in addition to the degree in Germany to stay in touch with the English theatre scene). I also did a bit of arts admin and am currently studying towards a journalism diploma (also by distance learning).
What are the essential skills required for your job?
Communication skills, organisations skills, very good level of English and native-level German, some web-editing skills, understanding of the media, marketing, social media, networking and people skills.
What do you like about your job?
Finding out about the latest developments in science and research ahead of anyone else, our team.
Describe a typical day in the office (if there is such thing as a typical day, or if you work in an office!))
Working on our website (i.e. editing and approving press releases), looking after subscribers, finding new subscribers, keeping an eye on the social media and posting to them… there really isn’t a typical day as such as we work on a rota system so every day starts off differently. It also depends vastly on how many queries come in, what time of the month it is, what time of the year it is, whether or not there are major developments.
Was there one moment in your career that somehow felt decisive?
Getting this job. I knew when I walked out of the interview that this was the job I was prepared to make the move to London for. Thankfully, I got it. Otherwise, I might still be in Finance.
Who influenced your career path?
Various people but I don’t think that any of them really stand out. Obviously, you take into consideration friends and family but there isn’t one person (or a number of them) who I would say made such a massive impact that it had a lasting influence, although a couple of the people I studied with and who taught me at university I think helped me become more confident. I had a really good time working with some people along the way but I would say that as far as my career has gone so far – as with many other things in life – I tend to rely very much on myself. I listen to other people’s advice (some of my friends and family are great at advice) and take it into consideration but when push comes to shove I go with my instinct.
What is there left for you to learn (again, with regards to your career/job)?
Much more social media marketing skills, technical skills, data security skills. You can never practice writing enough either. Pitching would be a good skill to learn. I’d like to learn how to design websites or get at least a rudimentary understanding of HTML and SEO, even though that’s not a requirement in my current position.
Do you have any further ambitions? What are they?
Being a journalist and actually being paid for it. I do quite a lot of voluntary journalism on the side by now which I really enjoy. It would be great to eventually get paid for at least some of it.
Is there a piece of advice you could give someone who wants to follow your career path?
It’s hard work and it can be frustrating. Be aware of that. Don’t stick with something that you don’t quite enjoy for too long, don’t get bogged down. Keep moving until you enjoy what you do. If you stop enjoying it, move on. Don’t get stressed out too much over what people may think but make sensible decisions. Most importantly: keep adding to your skills. Be prepared to think outside the box.
What does the ideal job world look like?
“Ideal”, especially in the UK and London, would be if people actually got paid a decent amount of money for the work they do. Money has never been a major factor for me – enjoying what I am doing and believing in it is just as, if not more, important – but living abroad makes you realise that it is important to at least get paid enough to be able to live with a minimum amount of comfort. I am lucky to work for a company that values its staff, pays them a decent salary and looks after them very well. Especially in London that doesn’t seem to be what happens to most people though. Obviously, it would be great if each and every one of us could be in their dream job – if we even know what that is – but as things are, I guess it would be good if more people could be given a fair chance, if there were more worthwhile opportunities out there, if more companies made their employees feel appreciated. It would also be good to be doing something that actually makes you look forward to going to work on most days and that doesn’t bore you to death.
Thank you, Anne!