Kate Atkinson is a former QUT student who, in a very short time, has managed to accomplish massive achievements and is now working for one of biggest streetwear brands in the world – Culture Kings. I recently sat down with Kate, who is also my internship supervisor, to speak about her journey so far and how she has gotten to where she is today.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got to where you are now.
I’m currently PR & Communications Manager at Culture Kings. I started at Culture Kings in January this year in the role of Media Coordinator, primarily working as a copy writer, and eventually showed my potential and abilities in order to be given further opportunity. Prior to this, I was working as a freelance writer for music and fashion publications. Most of this work I acquired during university through internships.
2. Did you face any challenges to get to where you are now?
I guess the biggest challenge I faced was making a move from full-time hospitality work into the creative industries and actually landing a full-time job in that industry. I knew I had a good portfolio but it just came down to the competition. I knew that if I got an interview I would come out with a job because of my confidence and communication, I just needed to land that interview. So it took a lot of applying for everything, always, until something showed up.
3. Did you do a lot of work experience/internships through university?
I did. I ran my own business as a music teacher while also working for my parents in hospitality during my studies, and underwent two internships. At one of my internships, I stayed on as a contributor which led to a freelancing position. At the other internship, I found it little less interesting at the time but ultimately taught me many valuable lessons which reflected on my resume as having a varied writing background. I found this to be really beneficial. Although having a degree is really important but experience is equally important once you graduate.
4. Do you have any advice for up and coming students trying to get into the creative industries?
I honestly think the more experience you get while at uni, the better. This way, once you graduate you have something to show on your resume and the potential of landing a job is that much easier. It takes a lot of prioritising, organisation and focus to balance study, unpaid work and paid work to get by, but it’s only for a really short period of your life so that you can set yourself up for the long term. Trying different kinds of work is important as well. I initially set out to be a broadcast music journalist. Along the way, I found I wasn’t bad at writing and had an interest in fashion so I found myself in print music and fashion journalism. Now, I’m in PR. These roles share skill sets and often cross over. I haven’t abandoned my initial career goals and plans, but I never say no to opportunity.
By Chelsea Sutherland