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.

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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.

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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

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