Creative and media alumnae gather for third SHSK Society Professional Networking Event
Our panel of speakers sharing their experiences.
The amazing etc. venues County Hall on London’s South Bank was the setting for our third SHSK Society Professional Networking Event. These events recognise the value that networking amongst like-minded women from the St Helen and St Katharine community can have in encouraging one other and building useful relationships.
Aimed at those working in the creative and media sectors, the event welcomed over fifty St Helen and St Katharine alumnae who were able to exchange ideas with a distinguished panel of industry experts. We were extremely fortunate to have four speakers from the St Helen’s community to share their career experiences and knowledge of the industry.
Political journalist Alice Thomson, who is Associate Editor and columnist at The Times newspaper, gave a fascinating insight into her typical work day as a journalist as well as witty anecdotes from interviews she has conducted over the course of her career.
Sacha Newall, 1989 leaver and fashion industry expert, spoke about the challenges of balancing work and family and of her experiences of chauvinism in the workplace. She stressed the importance of creative people retaining a good head for business.
Camilla Reid, co-founder and Editorial Director of independent children's publisher Nosy Crow, told the audience about the enjoyment which comes from working with many other women in publishing. She admitted that in work, ‘things go wrong’ describing the time when hundreds of her books had to be pulped due to a tiny spelling error! Discussing the different ways we measure success, she highlighted enjoyment of work as an important measure for her. Camilla also stressed the importance of business acumen, saying education has a part to play in teaching the skills needed for running a business.
Martina Margetts (1969 leaver), Senior Tutor and former Editor of Crafts Magazine joked that her first ambition whilst at St Helen’s was to be a nun because ‘at school we thought that’s what everyone did!’ She advised ‘Your friends are a vital first network - use them’ and that ‘you’re learning all the time and need to be stimulated. Make yourself the ‘go to person’ but recognise that you’ll need to be flexible, at every level’.
St Helen’s Headmistress Rebecca Dougall compered a question and answer session after the talks, with invaluable advice being given to the assembled audience. All four speakers highlighted the need for tenacity, know-how, passion, intuition, creativity and the importance of using your network. ‘We (women) need to be better at selling ourselves’ Camilla said. ‘We should make our presence felt even before we get to a job interview’
Networking, socialising and re-connecting carried on until late into the evening, with the promise of future interactions amongst alumnae and with the School.
We are extremely grateful to St Helen’s alumna and etc. Venues Business Development Manager Katie Stocks for allowing us to use the venue.