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Industry insights

Group Chat: Katie Smith, Global Digital Marketing and Communications Director for Soho House

08 December 2020

Planning for post-university life has never been more challenging. To offer inspiration and advice to students looking to go into the marketing and communications industry after graduation, we hosted the first of Group Chat sessions with Katie Smith, Global Digital Marketing and Communications Director for Soho House Group.

Having stepped up to the position at the very beginning of the pandemic, Katie talked about about her day-to-day life overseeing member communications across the world. She also offered her advice to those looking for employment in these less than favourable conditions, reflecting on her own experience of leaving the University of Sheffield with an English Literature degree in the middle of the 2008 recession, and gave her top tips for making the most of any role. See below for the recording of and must-read notes from the session.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • WATCH THE FULL CHAT: follow this link and enter the password u0nXD1z+
  • The pandemic has highlighted the importance of seamless communications. Katie oversees content across web, apps, email and social media, ensuring each Soho House member receives locally relevant content that is still presented consistently across the globe. She turned to colleagues in international positions in Asia to learn from their experiences and make her communications as sensitive as possible.
  • Don’t be afraid if your first graduate job isn’t exactly what you pictured in terms of brand or industry. The principles of marketing and communications are transferable across various roles and industries.
  • Focus on finding the skills in whatever comes your way and absorb any new information you can learn from each role. Katie personally went from working in communications for the NHS to publishing at Hearst to fashion brands including Paul Smith before joining Soho House. She said it is key to make sure people within your workplace and network know what you’re interested in and would love to pursue in the future.
  • Moving between several positions early in Katie’s career worked to her benefit as it helped her see how every role contributes to a company’s larger success.
  • You can never get too much information. Stay on top of what the top brands in your industry are doing, see how they communicate their key messages on social media, and subscribe to industry bulletins such as those released by The Drum and Campaign.
  • Apply for anything and everything within your desired industry and build up your interview experience. These skills will be indispensable.

Soho House offers a 16-week mentoring programme, Open House, which aims to help those from lower socio-economic areas grow their connections, confidence and experience. It also offers discounted membership to those under the age of 27.