Last night I attended a Napier Connect event. Napier Connect is the networking group for female students studying computing, engineering and built environment subjects at Edinburgh Napier University. Its members get together regularly throughout the academic year to meet inspiring women from industry and potential employers – and to socialise. The events are organised by my colleague Student Project Officer Debbie Ratcliffe.
I’d been looking forward to this particular event for a while because I was involved in inviting the speakers for the evening. All seven women come from Edinburgh’s professional social media community. They did a fabulous job, each hosting a table where they spoke for around 5 minutes at a time to groups of students and staff about their work and their careers, in speed dating style.
It was a really fun evening, with a great mix of staff, students, and guests enjoying the experience of learning from one another in a sociable environment. The two key learning points that I took away from the evening are that you don’t necessarily need a highly technical background to get started in a career with social media, and many of the best career opportunities come through networking – both in person and online.
The evening’s speakers were Jennie Stamp, Beryl Preuschmann, Samantha Currie, Kelly Forbes, Darcie Tanner, Nadine Pierce and Wiebke Burnett (pictured above).
Jennie Stamp works at FreeAgent as the company’s Outreach Manager. She is involved in content creation, building relationships with partners and bloggers, and raising awareness of FreeAgent. Jennie herself is a former Edinburgh Napier student: she graduated with a BSc Information Systems from the School of Computing in 2011. Follow Jennie on Twitter at @jenniestamp.
Beryl Preuschmann works for spintopMEDIA. She is also the founder and Managing Director of TRIPorganiser.net, a personal travel concierge service. Beryl relocated to the UK from Germany in 2007, and has previously worked for the NHS, VisitScotland and SkyScanner. Follow Beryl on Twitter at @Miss_Beryl.
Samantha Currie works for Edinburgh-based company Optimise Limited, where she works on the blog Listening into Action, and runs the Twitter account @LiAJourney. Samantha started working in social media last year after 17 years as an IT trainer and eLearning author for a number of large companies including Computacenter and AstraZeneca. Follow Samantha on Twitter at @SamCurrie.
Kelly Forbes is Digital Engagement and Communications Manager at Museums Galleries Scotland. Her work includes social media training and helping museums and galleries to develop digital engagement strategies. Kelly also produces social media content for campaigns such as The Festival of Museums. Like Jennie Stamp, Kelly is a graduate of Edinburgh Napier University. Follow Kelly on Twitter at @Macfack.
Darcie Tanner is Head of Social Operations at Lost Boys, a global marketing and technology agency. She leads work related to new business, resources, client services, budgets, campaigns and projects. Darcie has recently written about her role on the Lost Boys web site in the post What the fk is social operations? Follow Darcie on Twitter at @darcie.
Nadine Pierce has recently been appointed as Marketing Manager for creative agency Tayburn. In addition she is the British Interactive Media Association’s representative in Scotland. This role involves running a number of events specifically for the digital community. Nadine also has interests in the food industry: she runs the popular Eating Edinburgh blog and chefr, and is a foodie writer for other publications. Follow Nadine on Twitter at @nadinepierce.
Wiebke Burnett recently worked alongside Andrew Burnett at andrewburnett.com with clients ranging from Channel 4 to the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra keen to encourage visitors to their web sites and increase their social media hit rates. Wiebke currently project manages new e-commerce stores for eBay UK Merchant Development. Follow Wiebke on Twitter at @wiieb.