Beyond Your Research Degree

Episode 2 - Dr. David Musgrove, Publisher at Immediate Media Co

February 27, 2020

Welcome to the Beyond Your Research Degree podcast from the University of Exeter Doctoral College! The podcast about non-academic careers and all the opportunities available to you... beyond your research degree! In this episode Kelly Preece, Researcher Development Manager talks to Dr. David Musgrove, Publisher at Immediate Media Co.


Music from ’Cheery Monday’ by Kevin MacLeod ( License: CC BY (


Podcast transcript


00:00:10,000 --> 00:00:15,000
Hello and welcome to the Beyond Your Research Degree podcast by the University of Exeter doctoral college

00:00:15,000 --> 00:00:22,000
I'm Kelly Preece, researcher development manager in the doctoral college at the University of Exeter.

00:00:22,000 --> 00:00:25,000
And I'll be your host today. Hello.

00:00:25,000 --> 00:00:32,000
Hi. Hi. OK. So my name is Dave Musgrove and I studied here at Exeter.

00:00:32,000 --> 00:00:41,000
I did my B.A. here in archaeology and I went on to do a PhD in the archaeology department.

00:00:41,000 --> 00:00:49,000
There was a year in between times when I went out and worked for a few companies doing various temping jobs.

00:00:49,000 --> 00:00:57,000
But I came back. I was very, very grateful to be asked back and be given a funded opportunity to do a PhD

00:00:57,000 --> 00:01:06,000
All about the mediaeval landscape archaeology of the Peet Moors of the Somerset Levels a title I remember well from doing it.

00:01:06,000 --> 00:01:13,000
And I did my PhD in three years and then I left and did not carry on into academia.

00:01:13,000 --> 00:01:27,000
So the my career since then has been I've been essentially working in the media, specifically in magazine publishing,

00:01:27,000 --> 00:01:36,000
but also latterly in online publishing because of the realities of the print magazine publishing world.

00:01:36,000 --> 00:01:42,000
And the fact that online is is clearly an important place in which publishing happens.

00:01:42,000 --> 00:01:47,000
So how did I get into that role?

00:01:47,000 --> 00:01:58,000
Well. So whilst I was doing my PhD It became fairly clear to me that I probably wasn't going to become an academic.

00:01:58,000 --> 00:02:06,000
So I think it was really in the second year of my PhD, actually, that I thought I ought to be thinking about what else I could be doing.

00:02:06,000 --> 00:02:12,000
So I chatted to my supervisor and said that I was thinking I was quite interested in publishing.

00:02:12,000 --> 00:02:21,000
I've been doing some work for her, editing some of her manuscripts and doing some page, lay out some of her books.

00:02:21,000 --> 00:02:28,000
So I'd been developing some skills. There getting a bit of cash and that had sparked a bit of interest to me.

00:02:28,000 --> 00:02:37,000
So she suggested I go along to the University Press here at Exeter and see if they had any volunteering work experience opportunities,

00:02:37,000 --> 00:02:44,000
which I duly did. And and I enjoyed that and must have be reasonably proficient because they offered me some part time work.

00:02:44,000 --> 00:02:50,000
They're just doing general admin and a little bit of light editing.

00:02:50,000 --> 00:02:56,000
So I did that for the latter part of my PhD

00:02:56,000 --> 00:03:01,000
And I met somebody there who had some contacts in the magazine publishing world.

00:03:01,000 --> 00:03:09,000
So when I finished my Ph.D., she very kindly put me in touch with some people at a company called Future Publishing,

00:03:09,000 --> 00:03:17,000
which is based in Bath, which produces lots of, still going, produces, lots of computer magazines and other things.

00:03:17,000 --> 00:03:27,000
And I had also, whilst I was in my PhD, I had taken an interest in the Internet, which at the time I was doing my PhD.

00:03:27,000 --> 00:03:34,000
That was a few years ago the Internet was only really starting off and I learnt how

00:03:34,000 --> 00:03:42,000
to do HTML coding and I was able to get a job on a magazine about the Internet.

00:03:42,000 --> 00:03:52,000
Well, I applied for it. And with the contacts that I had been given by this person at the University press, I had a little bit of a step in.

00:03:52,000 --> 00:04:01,000
And so I got a job while working for as a very base layer level on this magazine for a couple of years.

00:04:01,000 --> 00:04:14,000
I was very lucky to get on a training programme there for magazine journalism, and that got me into into the world of of magazines.

00:04:14,000 --> 00:04:21,000
I worked on various other computer and Internet magazines at Future Publishing for a few years and then

00:04:21,000 --> 00:04:28,000
heard about a History magazine launching at a rival company in Bristol called Origin Publishing.

00:04:28,000 --> 00:04:36,000
So I applied for a job there. Got it. And obviously played off my doctoral skills to get that.

00:04:36,000 --> 00:04:44,000
And I've been with that company ever since. It's been through various guises and was bought by the BBC.

00:04:44,000 --> 00:04:53,000
And I ended up working on BBC History magazine, which is a very popular History magazine, the most popular History magazine in the UK.

00:04:53,000 --> 00:04:56,000
And I've essentially been working on that for the last few years,

00:04:56,000 --> 00:05:05,000
as in various roles as the editor for about a decade and then subsequently as the publisher and content director.

00:05:05,000 --> 00:05:10,000
So I'm now in a managerial capacity, but still within a media company.

00:05:10,000 --> 00:05:15,000
So that's the story. Fantastic thank you so

00:05:15,000 --> 00:05:24,000
You say things that spring to mind and about the importance of some of that.

00:05:24,000 --> 00:05:33,000
Experiences you picked up alongside the PhD. So you talked about having had a year gap before and doing various like temping jobs.

00:05:33,000 --> 00:05:40,000
Were any of those things related to your subject area or to publishing or were they kind of just General? Nope

00:05:40,000 --> 00:05:46,000
They were a variety of jobs, working in a postroom, working.

00:05:46,000 --> 00:05:56,000
I ended up working for a market research company, and I think we'd probably be described as a graduate level job, as a market research executive.

00:05:56,000 --> 00:06:01,000
Which to be honest I didn't particularly enjoy.

00:06:01,000 --> 00:06:07,000
And that was what led me to think, well, maybe I'll have another crack at academia for a bit.

00:06:07,000 --> 00:06:13,000
I think all those all those positions, you know, you can pull out some skills from them,

00:06:13,000 --> 00:06:18,000
some experience which is helpful in getting the first real job that you want to do.

00:06:18,000 --> 00:06:30,000
And definitely, I think for anyone who's looking to enter the job market, you know, you know, in a professional capacity,

00:06:30,000 --> 00:06:39,000
you need to draw on any any possible skills you can think of from from Part-Time work or temporary work that you've done and just,

00:06:39,000 --> 00:06:44,000
you know, make sure that you can you can flag up one thing that you learnt from that.

00:06:44,000 --> 00:06:50,000
So when I worked in a postroom for instance sure, I would have said that it helped me develop my people skills because I was dealing

00:06:50,000 --> 00:06:56,000
with a lot of a lot of um trubulent individuals who wanted their post

00:06:56,000 --> 00:07:00,000
I don't remember exactly what I said. But, you know, there were you can always find something.

00:07:00,000 --> 00:07:09,000
Some even from the most uninspiring sort of job. You can always find something that she can allude to in an interview or in a CV.

00:07:09,000 --> 00:07:16,000
So when you were applying for those that the first role and at the at Future publishing in Bath

00:07:16,000 --> 00:07:24,000
you talked about kind of drawing in quite a wide range of interests. And obviously you're relying quite heavily on your writing and editing skills.

00:07:24,000 --> 00:07:36,000
And what else did you draw on in applying and by doing the role in particular in regards to having done a PhD, having done a research degree?

00:07:36,000 --> 00:07:44,000
Well, I think one of the one of the things that I particularly draw on for that first role was the was the fact that it wasn't specifically related to

00:07:44,000 --> 00:07:52,000
my PhD but that I done during my studies, which was learning to code websites,

00:07:52,000 --> 00:07:59,000
which only had the opportunity to do because I had some time in my you know, in my in my research calendar.

00:07:59,000 --> 00:08:02,000
And there were some facilities here to enable me to do that.

00:08:02,000 --> 00:08:15,000
So I was clearly able to draw on that, to give me this sort of specialism that they were interested in for that particular magazine.

00:08:15,000 --> 00:08:20,000
In general, I'm sure I would have said, and I would have meant it,

00:08:20,000 --> 00:08:34,000
that my my doctoral studies had given me an overarching sense of responsibility in the

00:08:34,000 --> 00:08:40,000
understanding of the importance of personal responsibility in all aspects of work.

00:08:40,000 --> 00:08:46,000
And I would have played quite heavily on the fact that I've shown that I have the

00:08:46,000 --> 00:08:52,000
ability to do a project and carry it through to completion on my own volition.

00:08:52,000 --> 00:09:00,000
And I think that's me. That's one of the really big things you can say from from from doctoral research is to say,

00:09:00,000 --> 00:09:05,000
you know, you clearly have the capacity for independent work.

00:09:05,000 --> 00:09:10,000
What you need to then do is to demonstrate that you also have the capacity and the flexibility

00:09:10,000 --> 00:09:16,000
to work in a team environment where you're not working solely to your own agenda.

00:09:16,000 --> 00:09:25,000
And that's probably one of the things I think maybe is a more difficult aspect for people coming from transitioning out of academia into the business

00:09:25,000 --> 00:09:31,000
world or or even into into the public sector is to demonstrate that you have

00:09:31,000 --> 00:09:36,000
the facility to work in an office environment rather than just on your own.

00:09:36,000 --> 00:09:38,000
And there are numerous ways to do that.

00:09:38,000 --> 00:09:46,000
You can allude back to your employment experience if you've worked in a, you know, had a temporary job in an office or in a pub or both, which I did.

00:09:46,000 --> 00:09:51,000
Then you can demonstrate that. But I think that's quite important.

00:09:51,000 --> 00:09:57,000
I think that's a start is a potential stumbling block for people who who see you may be actually on to see.

00:09:57,000 --> 00:10:01,000
They think, well, that's great. Can they can they work in an office?

00:10:01,000 --> 00:10:08,000
Yeah. And I do think and we know from research that's quite prevalent perception of but from employers,

00:10:08,000 --> 00:10:16,000
of people coming from academia or having done the PhD, it's the idea that that quite solitary and detail oriented,

00:10:16,000 --> 00:10:24,000
very focussed on themselves and their own work and perhaps lack those kind of team working and interpersonal skills and increasingly with the kind of.

00:10:24,000 --> 00:10:33,000
Environments that we have in the university and from shared office space to some of the leadership roles are available to our students.

00:10:33,000 --> 00:10:40,000
Like being a PGR representative or various different things. Actually, there's, you know, even just organising a conference with a group of people.

00:10:40,000 --> 00:10:44,000
There's some real opportunities to pick up on and draw in those skills.

00:10:44,000 --> 00:10:54,000
Yeah, I'd say that's super important. I don't think for one moment think that doctoral candidates or PhD students are lonesome.

00:10:54,000 --> 00:11:01,000
Weirdos No, I wasn't. Maybe I was, you know, but I think that is that soon.

00:11:01,000 --> 00:11:07,000
I think you're right. That is a perception from employers that that's something that some perhaps goes with the territory.

00:11:07,000 --> 00:11:14,000
And I think there are, as you say, there are lots of ways that you can demonstrate that you're not that you have team working skills.

00:11:14,000 --> 00:11:17,000
You just need to make sure that you've thought about that and you've got some answers,

00:11:17,000 --> 00:11:22,000
but not down pat that that's that's going to alleviate that concern.

00:11:22,000 --> 00:11:30,000
Do you think they for somebody that's been through that process for also thinking, you know, where you are now as an employer and as a manager?

00:11:30,000 --> 00:11:34,000
Are there other areas that you would see that you think a particular kind of stumbling

00:11:34,000 --> 00:11:39,000
blocks are people who are looking to move from doing PhD to beyond academia?

00:11:39,000 --> 00:11:50,000
I suppose there's always the sense that is, it is the person who's kind of who's coming to you.

00:11:50,000 --> 00:11:56,000
Are they actually interested in the role you're doing or are they simply because they haven't been able to get an academic job?

00:11:56,000 --> 00:12:05,000
And I think that is quite a thing that would be a concern for some employers to think, well, you know this person.

00:12:05,000 --> 00:12:09,000
They've gone down. They've gone this far down a route of research.

00:12:09,000 --> 00:12:16,000
Why aren't they weren't they carry on? Weren't they doing what one assumes they wanted to do?

00:12:16,000 --> 00:12:20,000
So I think that's key. Again, is easy to counter that.

00:12:20,000 --> 00:12:25,000
You just need to think about it. You just need to be clear about what you're doing and you need to express.

00:12:25,000 --> 00:12:27,000
Well, this is this goes for any job.

00:12:27,000 --> 00:12:32,000
You need to have a very good reason why you want the job and you need to be keen and enthusiastic and have a good answer.

00:12:32,000 --> 00:12:39,000
I mean, if you're in in an interview situation and you're not asked why you want the job, then that's a bit odd.

00:12:39,000 --> 00:12:44,000
I've never been in an interview, not been asked. So you have to expect it and you have to have a good answer.

00:12:44,000 --> 00:12:50,000
And and you have to be able to demonstrate that you really want that job.

00:12:50,000 --> 00:12:55,000
And perhaps it builds on what you did in your in your doctoral studies.

00:12:55,000 --> 00:13:01,000
Perhaps it's perhaps it's some in some way linked to or if it's completely ensconsed then that's fine.

00:13:01,000 --> 00:13:06,000
But you just need to demonstrate that you are fully committed to that.

00:13:06,000 --> 00:13:13,000
And the reason why you are no longer carrying on academia is whatever it is.

00:13:13,000 --> 00:13:19,000
And just make sure you've got that nailed down, say, just picking up on it.

00:13:19,000 --> 00:13:26,000
What was it like for you to do those three really intensive years on that one project

00:13:26,000 --> 00:13:33,000
and then to leave that project for also research and for a certain amount of time,

00:13:33,000 --> 00:13:38,000
history and archaeology behind me on something completely different? Did you find that difficult?

00:13:38,000 --> 00:13:42,000
Did you find it quite exciting?

00:13:42,000 --> 00:13:56,000
So I was I was very pleased to put away my books about mediaeval Peet Moors and my struggles with the paleo graphy of mediaeval Latin.

00:13:56,000 --> 00:14:00,000
Glastonbury Abbey rolls briefly.

00:14:00,000 --> 00:14:12,000
I was pleased. And then I was yeah, I was I was pretty gutted that I hadn't hadn't carried on with it.

00:14:12,000 --> 00:14:20,000
But with the wave, a realisation of a practical realised realisation that I wasn't gonna be a great academic.

00:14:20,000 --> 00:14:24,000
I think I sort of clocked that that, you know, in seminars.

00:14:24,000 --> 00:14:30,000
I wasn't the person coming up with the, you know, the really insightful grasp of the topics and stuff.

00:14:30,000 --> 00:14:37,000
So I was aware that I was never gonna become a great professor.

00:14:37,000 --> 00:14:44,000
But, yeah, I was it was I was sad that I wasn't or wasn't involved in that environment anymore.

00:14:44,000 --> 00:14:48,000
But on the flip side, it was a really, really interesting role.

00:14:48,000 --> 00:14:51,000
I was really fascinated in what I was doing. I was learning a lot of skills.

00:14:51,000 --> 00:15:01,000
I was under a completely different sort of pressure. I mean, I've been under a long, grinding pressure to get to the end of the of the PhD

00:15:01,000 --> 00:15:05,000
And then I was immediately shipped and it was pretty much immediate I didn't take a break.

00:15:05,000 --> 00:15:16,000
And I was skint pretty pretty much straight into into this job, which which was brilliant because I needed work and money and a new new focus.

00:15:16,000 --> 00:15:20,000
I think if I hadn't had that, then that might have been worse.

00:15:20,000 --> 00:15:24,000
If I'd just been sat around thinking, oh God, I've done this. PhD

00:15:24,000 --> 00:15:39,000
Now, I've got nothing. I was I was quite a long way behind my peers in terms of salary and position, which was a bit difficult.

00:15:39,000 --> 00:15:43,000
But some, you know, things tend to equalise out.

00:15:43,000 --> 00:15:48,000
So I wouldn't I wouldn't worry about that too much. But it was yeah.

00:15:48,000 --> 00:15:53,000
In terms of deadlines, it was like so I'd come from this long, long deadline into having a deadline every day,

00:15:53,000 --> 00:16:04,000
week, month, and it was unique sort of pressure really exciting. Working with a bunch of people who were really nice and who were all one of the great

00:16:04,000 --> 00:16:07,000
things was they were just all really interested in the fact that I done a PhF and,

00:16:07,000 --> 00:16:12,000
you know, I was politely mocked for being a doctor in the house.

00:16:12,000 --> 00:16:16,000
And I think you'd kind of you do have to accept laughs or traded on that over the years.

00:16:16,000 --> 00:16:22,000
You know, that the doctors here I. Now how I'm using.

00:16:22,000 --> 00:16:29,000
So but, you know, it was it was it was actually a really interesting experience.

00:16:29,000 --> 00:16:38,000
And, yeah, it was fun. So you mentioned about kind of entering in and being behind your peers in terms of salary, but that equalising out over time.

00:16:38,000 --> 00:16:45,000
Is that because you found that you progressed quicker even though you went in at a lower level?

00:16:45,000 --> 00:16:51,000
I mean, I don't actually know. I feel quite comfortable in one day and.

00:16:51,000 --> 00:16:58,000
Yeah, and and what I'm learning now, and that's that's fine, because I think I did progressed pretty quickly.

00:16:58,000 --> 00:17:03,000
I think I was pretty I was keen. I was enthusiastic and I wanted to get on with stuff.

00:17:03,000 --> 00:17:10,000
And there was probably people who didn't quite have that sense of urgency.

00:17:10,000 --> 00:17:17,000
And so that was so that was actually I was released what was good. And I pushed myself forward, you know, and I pushed for promotions.

00:17:17,000 --> 00:17:24,000
I insisted on promotions. I said, I'm doing this on, I'm really good and you need to give me a promotion.

00:17:24,000 --> 00:17:28,000
And yeah. And I got something.

00:17:28,000 --> 00:17:40,000
And then I guess when I blundered back into a role that was closer to my research studies, though actually still some distance.

00:17:40,000 --> 00:17:46,000
Yeah. And then I was able to play back off that.

00:17:46,000 --> 00:17:53,000
But now that academic background. Did that give me more of a platform for Payrise?

00:17:53,000 --> 00:17:58,000
I, I don't know. But I think it is certainly helped me in my career.

00:17:58,000 --> 00:18:08,000
And I've I've I've I've used the fact that I've done the research to to make a lot of contacts and to push myself forward.

00:18:08,000 --> 00:18:12,000
And so so I see I see practical benefits there.

00:18:12,000 --> 00:18:23,000
But I'm reasonably unique space in terms of of my career path going from academia and then finding something that's a little bit similar to it.

00:18:23,000 --> 00:18:29,000
But but actually still quite different. Yes. Say, you mentioned a couple of things partly.

00:18:29,000 --> 00:18:33,000
And I wanted to pick up on you mentioned about making contacts,

00:18:33,000 --> 00:18:42,000
and various different things that obviously that was really fundamental for you in getting that first that first role.

00:18:42,000 --> 00:18:47,000
What would you experience like of going through that interview process?

00:18:47,000 --> 00:18:55,000
And like throughout your career, how how fundamental have you found that kind of sense of contacts and networks to be in terms

00:18:55,000 --> 00:19:02,000
of moving forward or moving sideways or just essentially changing roles or changing path?

00:19:02,000 --> 00:19:10,000
I mean, you know, you would like the world to not be somewhere where you get by, by who you know.

00:19:10,000 --> 00:19:18,000
But reality is that is helpful to have people who can put in a good word if you say this person's good or work.

00:19:18,000 --> 00:19:22,000
And and that certainly helps. Yeah.

00:19:22,000 --> 00:19:27,000
I'm very grateful to that first colleague who I mean, they didn't didn't get me the job.

00:19:27,000 --> 00:19:32,000
They just they just, um, they just put me in touch with somebody and, um, put my name in the frame.

00:19:32,000 --> 00:19:41,000
And that was that was that was that was much appreciated. And also I just, you know, maybe I wouldn't have applied for that role if I hadn't been.

00:19:41,000 --> 00:19:47,000
So if it hadn't been mentioned to me, that  there was the role going at the interview.

00:19:47,000 --> 00:19:51,000
I mean, I think I think I've, in all interviews,

00:19:51,000 --> 00:19:57,000
always found the fact that I have PhD to be useful just in the sense that it does give you a conversation piece.

00:19:57,000 --> 00:20:04,000
And they say, you know, I see you've done a PhD and you say, yeah, I was on the mediaeval exploitations of Peet Moors in the Somerset levels.

00:20:04,000 --> 00:20:11,000
That sounds very boring, doesn't it? And and and and then but you can then say, well, I can say sorry.

00:20:11,000 --> 00:20:18,000
Mildly interesting about. Oh. But it just gives you it makes you sound Slightly more interesting than other people.

00:20:18,000 --> 00:20:24,000
And I think that is useful in a in an interview environment. You do need to sound interesting.

00:20:24,000 --> 00:20:32,000
And that gives you that gives you a little bit more ammunition. So if you have traded on that in every interview environment.

00:20:32,000 --> 00:20:38,000
I mean it. I don't recall doing much of interview practise when I was studying.

00:20:38,000 --> 00:20:50,000
So I think my kind of imagine my initial interview was a great success, but it was it was enough to get me the job.

00:20:50,000 --> 00:20:58,000
Maybe I should have done more interview practise. And I'm not sure I'm not sure how far that's the thing for positions these days to do.

00:20:58,000 --> 00:21:05,000
But I think that should be useful to make sure that you are doing a bit of that and have an idea about what might well might come your way.

00:21:05,000 --> 00:21:09,000
Yeah, there's quite a lot of support that if any institution through my team,

00:21:09,000 --> 00:21:13,000
but also through the career service about things like preparing for interviews,

00:21:13,000 --> 00:21:21,000
particularly if you get how much experience, job interviews or you have any particular anxieties around them, what they might be like.

00:21:21,000 --> 00:21:26,000
And we actually have them. We have this piece of software called Interview Stream where you can set up your own questions

00:21:26,000 --> 00:21:31,000
and kind of record yourself and do practise and get feedback on all sorts of things.

00:21:31,000 --> 00:21:36,000
It is really interesting to be very disconcerting for me to watch myself, but it does help people.

00:21:36,000 --> 00:21:41,000
Would definitely, definitely think those sorts of things. Everyone should take advantage of those.

00:21:41,000 --> 00:21:46,000
Even if you you're brilliant interviewere then I still think you should have a go and just

00:21:46,000 --> 00:21:50,000
I would just point out that fact that you have something interesting to say.

00:21:50,000 --> 00:21:54,000
So do make sure you and it will make you feel more at ease if you could.

00:21:54,000 --> 00:22:01,000
You know, if you have half a minute to say something that you are a real expert, take pleasure on don't take an hour, obviously.

00:22:01,000 --> 00:22:02,000
But just say something that sounds interesting.

00:22:02,000 --> 00:22:10,000
And it is if you to make the whoever is interviewing you think, oh, that's somebody whom I might learn something from, who I might enjoy being,

00:22:10,000 --> 00:22:19,000
you know, who isn't a strange weirdo who who actually has something interesting say and I guess is something really stand out about that,

00:22:19,000 --> 00:22:25,000
because it's sort only it's a slightly more unusual thing to be to have people coming in

00:22:25,000 --> 00:22:32,000
who do have a PhD or who have that level of expertise in something very specific.

00:22:32,000 --> 00:22:38,000
You know, you talked about that role and going on a training programme.

00:22:38,000 --> 00:22:43,000
So can you tell me a bit about what that was on and how that came about?

00:22:43,000 --> 00:22:50,000
But also what I think what it was like to go back to learning that sense once you've started a professional job.

00:22:50,000 --> 00:23:00,000
I mean, that was it was brilliant. It was basically a run a year long training programme for trainee journalists, essentially.

00:23:00,000 --> 00:23:06,000
And every week there was a half a day out for a few,

00:23:06,000 --> 00:23:16,000
a group of ten of us to go and be taught stuff by professional journalists and editors, which was actually fantastic.

00:23:16,000 --> 00:23:19,000
And I embraced it and and and loved it.

00:23:19,000 --> 00:23:23,000
And it was it was very different because of that.

00:23:23,000 --> 00:23:26,000
We have direct learning. It wasn't you know, I wasn't researching.

00:23:26,000 --> 00:23:35,000
I was being told stuff and being given tasks and, you know, being being told to told what to do and then trying to get ahead.

00:23:35,000 --> 00:23:42,000
So I suppose. That you might you might think you're better than that.

00:23:42,000 --> 00:23:51,000
If you've got to go to PhD, why? Well, I've already done all this training. But, you know, humility is a good thing in general.

00:23:51,000 --> 00:23:56,000
And in life. And I was. No, I didn't think that I thought was fascinating.

00:23:56,000 --> 00:24:03,000
And I realised I really needed to understand things. And I really needed to learn how to do the job if I wanted to progress

00:24:03,000 --> 00:24:12,000
I was very grateful for it. And it was it was excellent, I think, you know, government's phrase of lifelong learning or whatever.

00:24:12,000 --> 00:24:17,000
But it's true. You need to you do need to constantly be trying to progress and learn things.

00:24:17,000 --> 00:24:21,000
And if you're not doing that something, you you'll get bored anyway.

00:24:21,000 --> 00:24:27,000
But but you do need to do that for your career progression, whatever.

00:24:27,000 --> 00:24:33,000
So you talked about doing some editing for your supervisor, you know, for a fact they were working.

00:24:33,000 --> 00:24:36,000
And so you and you worked for the university press.

00:24:36,000 --> 00:24:42,000
You obviously have some kind of experience with publishing, albeit quite different kind of publishing.

00:24:42,000 --> 00:24:52,000
And when you you're doing that training course, how different did you find the approach to things like writing and editing and perhaps researching an

00:24:52,000 --> 00:24:58,000
article or a story where you might have used those fundamental skills when you were doing your PhD?

00:24:58,000 --> 00:25:01,000
But how different did you find the use of them in that context?

00:25:01,000 --> 00:25:05,000
Or did you find you kind of needed to relearn how to do those things in a different way?

00:25:05,000 --> 00:25:19,000
Yeah, probably because, well, the stuff those doing for my supervisor was to her standards, to her to to her convention.

00:25:19,000 --> 00:25:26,000
So that was fine. I was just doing on what I was told and and it was very useful, interesting learning experience.

00:25:26,000 --> 00:25:30,000
And then everyone has different conventions and and brings.

00:25:30,000 --> 00:25:40,000
But I think specifically in terms of the question of research and and using your research skills, what you need to do is,

00:25:40,000 --> 00:25:45,000
you know, work environment is you need to be able to stop once you've done it, once you've found something found out.

00:25:45,000 --> 00:25:50,000
I once thought we'd done something that's that's that's enough in a day.

00:25:50,000 --> 00:25:57,000
It's never enough. You always the next rabbit hole to go down in the next journal article to look at the next

00:25:57,000 --> 00:26:03,000
think to have a look at And you're trying to basically understand everything as much as you can about whatever it is you're looking,

00:26:03,000 --> 00:26:10,000
whereas particularly in a journalistic environment, if you can't do that, you've got half a half day, half an hour to do something.

00:26:10,000 --> 00:26:14,000
You've just got to get to the bottom of it as quickly as you can and be happy

00:26:14,000 --> 00:26:18,000
with that and and develop a sense of pragmatism if you haven't got one already.

00:26:18,000 --> 00:26:23,000
Did you find that quite difficult and moving from the kind of longer scale project

00:26:23,000 --> 00:26:28,000
and longer scale questioning to something that is quite discrete and quite quick?

00:26:28,000 --> 00:26:34,000
Yeah, I understand, but I had no choice because you've got deadline and you've got to you've got to deliver.

00:26:34,000 --> 00:26:40,000
I mean, there's you kind of I was I was really worried about all the stuff I did for a little while

00:26:40,000 --> 00:26:47,000
I thought, well i was only given this an hour. Listen, I can't possibly this can't be right.

00:26:47,000 --> 00:26:53,000
But you just got to rolle with it and trust that you've done as best you can.

00:26:53,000 --> 00:26:59,000
So you talked about obviously going on to a history based magazine.

00:26:59,000 --> 00:27:06,000
So you're closer to the kind of background you had in your PhD and that you've moved on to a more managerial role now

00:27:06,000 --> 00:27:14,000
So thinking about yourself as, I guess as an employer.

00:27:14,000 --> 00:27:25,000
What if you had a PhD got you or someone that's just come into the PhD interviewing for a similar role, kind of perhaps where you started?

00:27:25,000 --> 00:27:30,000
You and your team, your organisation, what what are you looking for from them?

00:27:30,000 --> 00:27:34,000
So I suppose it's a bit different, in fact, of my background.

00:27:34,000 --> 00:27:40,000
I would be I'd probably look more favourably on someone who's gonna see them, perhaps someone who hasn't.

00:27:40,000 --> 00:27:45,000
And I think you do need to view.

00:27:45,000 --> 00:27:56,000
Is it. That's it. But I mean. I interviewed yesterday for for a role and the person I interviewed had all the skills.

00:27:56,000 --> 00:28:00,000
I mean, clearly, you need to demonstrate you've got the skills for the job.

00:28:00,000 --> 00:28:07,000
So that was fun. But she was also. Shouldn't she?

00:28:07,000 --> 00:28:20,000
She I think she had an MA She she was enthusiastic, keen and had.

00:28:20,000 --> 00:28:25,000
Enough of a sense of how to describe it.

00:28:25,000 --> 00:28:36,000
She wasn't afraid to stop and ask for a bit of time to answer questions, so she was confident enough in herself to say, I need to.

00:28:36,000 --> 00:28:44,000
I just need to address this properly. So I saw a good level of maturity in her.

00:28:44,000 --> 00:28:52,000
She's quite young. And I think as a as a precondition, you could you could you could trade on that quite well.

00:28:52,000 --> 00:28:58,000
You could trade on that sense of maturity and sense of of self-worth,

00:28:58,000 --> 00:29:05,000
self-knowledge without appearing to be some sort of braggart or something that you've you've done extended research.

00:29:05,000 --> 00:29:10,000
And I think that that is a pitfall you definitely don't want to come across as someone who's, you know better than anyone else.

00:29:10,000 --> 00:29:15,000
And that's clearly would be a bad. Yes. So that kind of elitist.

00:29:15,000 --> 00:29:24,000
Yeah. Don't do that. Don't do that. But definitely, you know, I'm looking for someone who has who has great enthusiasm.

00:29:24,000 --> 00:29:31,000
I want somebody who wants the job. I want somebody who had the same sense of urgency as I had when I was 23

00:29:31,000 --> 00:29:38,000
24. Looking for a job. I want somebody who's going to be banging on my door saying, I want a promotion.

00:29:38,000 --> 00:29:44,000
I want to be better. I want to do this training course. You want those people in your in your in your teams.

00:29:44,000 --> 00:29:51,000
You want people you don't want people to just sit around waiting for wait for the bell.

00:29:51,000 --> 00:30:00,000
So so enthusiasm is is there is the absolute thing I look for, you know, and and confidence.

00:30:00,000 --> 00:30:06,000
I think confidence is is is it is it is great. So in an interview and.

00:30:06,000 --> 00:30:10,000
So. So you make sure you go out and.

00:30:10,000 --> 00:30:18,000
We've got any students listening who are thinking about going into into magazine publishing or online publishing as you are now.

00:30:18,000 --> 00:30:24,000
What advice would you give them in terms of perhaps some of the things to.

00:30:24,000 --> 00:30:30,000
Do alongside their studies or that particular kind of volunteering experiences you think would

00:30:30,000 --> 00:30:37,000
be useful or their particular skill sets that you think they really need to focus on developing.

00:30:37,000 --> 00:30:42,000
So if you're at Exeter, I would expect you to be writing for expose

00:30:42,000 --> 00:30:54,000
I would expect you to be contributing to that to that magazine in some format.

00:30:54,000 --> 00:30:59,000
You should have a blog. You should be you should be blogging. You should be on social media.

00:30:59,000 --> 00:31:08,000
I should be able to find you on Twitter and Facebook and not think that you're completely wild individual.

00:31:08,000 --> 00:31:17,000
But then I should I should be able to see that you are looking to promote yourself in those in those environments.

00:31:17,000 --> 00:31:28,000
You probably we're doing a podcast. I mean, those are all the things that a modern journalist needs to be doing.

00:31:28,000 --> 00:31:34,000
So I would I would advise you to be developing in all those areas.

00:31:34,000 --> 00:31:39,000
On top of that, there are numerous opportunities to do a bit of work experience or internship or,

00:31:39,000 --> 00:31:43,000
you know, apply for competitions, writing competitions, that sort of thing.

00:31:43,000 --> 00:31:48,000
You know, I think the person I interviewed yesterday had won a poetry competition

00:31:48,000 --> 00:31:52,000
So those sorts of things, I think they are they just make you think, but they are bothered

00:31:52,000 --> 00:31:57,000
They are interested that they are enthusiastic. They do care about this and they have a passion for it.

00:31:57,000 --> 00:32:04,000
And that's those would all be things that I would I would definitely try and do.

00:32:04,000 --> 00:32:12,000
So, yes, you need to show that you that you are actually interested in writing and editing if you are trying to get into a media career.

00:32:12,000 --> 00:32:19,000
And that sense of enthusiasm and passion has come across really strongly in all of the answers you've given,

00:32:19,000 --> 00:32:30,000
actually, that one of the fundamental things is about. Being interested and having that sense of motivation to move forward and find out more.

00:32:30,000 --> 00:32:39,000
And I certainly think from my experience working with our PhD students on our research degree students, that's something they have in droves,

00:32:39,000 --> 00:32:47,000
you know, because you need that to be able to pursue a project that is that specialised for that sustained period of time.

00:32:47,000 --> 00:32:52,000
That's real passion and care for something. And.

00:32:52,000 --> 00:32:57,000
And so there's something really wonderful that may have to maximise on on on those personal qualities.

00:32:57,000 --> 00:33:05,000
Yeah, totally. So you can you can trade on. You can trade on it on that as an as a as a as a marker of your enthusiasm and your passion.

00:33:05,000 --> 00:33:10,000
And you can you can really gauge talent. And I would definitely recommend that would be a good thing to do.

00:33:10,000 --> 00:33:17,000
I mean, I think that's what all employers really need and want is that sense of that's somebody who's who is has got a

00:33:17,000 --> 00:33:23,000
level of excitement and commitment that's that's going to make them actually want to do the job and do it well.

00:33:23,000 --> 00:33:29,000
Fantastic. Thanks very much. Pleasure. And that's it for this episode.

00:33:29,000 --> 00:33:44,223
Join us next time when we'll be talking to another researcher about their career beyond their research degree.



Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App