Ellie Wyant has a BA (Hons) in Criticism, Communication and Curation. She started out as a Social Media Intern at LuxDeco, before bagging a job as a Digital Coordinator within the company. In recent months, she started working at The National Gallery in London as a Social Media Assistant.
You graduated in 2012 from Central St Martins University and seemed to have an interest in art and fashion. Tell us about your transition from being a student to getting a job in the arts sector?
Ellie: My BA course, Criticism, Communication and Curation, is a relatively new course to Central Saint Martins and is a mixture of practical subjects and theory-based modules; we were able to curate our own shows as well as hone our writing skills. I discovered the social media industry through internships I completed in my first and second years. I loved the idea of bringing a brand to life through the Internet. At the time I didn't think that 'social media' was a possible career choice, but through my years at university I was able to watch the growth of platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. This then led me to apply for further social media roles after graduating, and to starting my internship at LuxDeco.
You served a lengthy 2 year period as an intern. Could you tell us more about it? As internships are very competitive - what do you think made your application stand out?
Ellie: My role at LuxDeco was originally a 3 month placement, helping to develop their social media channels. LuxDeco is a start-up and when I joined it had only just started - I was their first intern. Because I was joining a small team, I was able to get real hands-on experience. This is something I would advise anyone to do, whether it’s an internship during your time at university or afterwards. I was kept on after the 3 month period ended and offered a full-time position as their Digital Coordinator, which I held for nearly three years. My role included the management of all social channels, as well as assisting with their marketing and PR, including blogger outreach.
I had no previous experience in the furniture industry per-se, but I think my passion for social media certainly helped with my application, as well as the different internships and experiences I had completed during my time at university. These internships were sometimes only a few weeks long but I always learnt something new from each of them.
You recently started working at the National Gallery - could you tell us about your main duties? What does a typical day involve?
Ellie: I'm quite new to the role so currently my main duties include management of our social channels and developing our monthly email communications to our members and email database.
I currently help to run our Facebook, Twitter and new Instagram channel. This includes planning content for the week but we also try to be as reactive as possible - each morning we check to see what is trending online and if we can incorporate this into our social strategy for the day.
What tips would you have for prospective graduates who are hoping for a similar career in the arts sector?
Ellie: I think internships are the best way to get serious experience within this sector. I found out very quickly that you can be as active on your personal channels as possible but it is a completely different scenario when becoming a community manager for a brand or company. Try to find placements in smaller companies as the hands-on experience will be invaluable for your career growth.
Ellie on Twitter: @elliewyant