Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Life Post-Uni–How I got my job!

I was recently asked on Twitter if I could do a post about my life after uni and how I got my job etc and so I thought, why not!

I know how difficult it can be after university, having spent pretty much your whole life studying and then not knowing what to do and even if you want to carry on in the career you studied for at university, so this post is going to be a little about what I did and my tips for getting a job you want!

My Story


269996_10150727877190545_2997454_n 248296_10150629336985545_4329590_n ^ My plaque in Tate Modern

< At my graduation!

I graduated from university in 2011 with a Photography degree.  Uni holds some of the best memories of my life and I had an incredible time, studying something that I had real passion for and loved doing.  Doing an arty subject such as photography might be seen by some as a lazy subject but it was tough, as any subjects are!  As well as dissertations, classes and essay work we studied a lot of conceptual photography & art, had to develop concepts and ideas for projects, hold exhibitions for our work (3 a year) as well as give presentations about our work. 

Half way through my degree I started my blog.  I’ve always had a big passion in makeup (I worked as a colour coach (makeup artist) at The Body Shop for 5 years whilst studying) and I wanted to start writing about my favourite products and sharing my thoughts on the matter.  I’m not an incredibly social person so it wasn’t a problem juggling social and work/blogging life, I just got on with it and enjoyed it.  I also landed a job as a photography intern at Tate Modern.  I was one of their official photographers for their events and workshops for 2 years and even got to exhibit one of my photographs in the Tate. 

Again – this meant that I didn’t have time to party but I was allowed to photograph in the Tate after hours – I didn’t care! 

(If you google image search my name then a couple of my photography shots come up – even one of a nude male model at a lifedrawing class I photographed for the Tate)!

After University:
A few examples of my wedding photography!

After university I moved back home with my parents in Essex (a tough thing for any wild creature to do after 3 years of freedom) and started the dreaded job hunt.  I still wanted to work in photography and landed a freelance photography job for a very popular classical music company, documenting their projects over a period of around 5 months. 

I also started photographing weddings for a little bit of income and I LOVED it.  I have photographed three in total (I don’t really have time anymore).  It’s hard work – shooting for 8 hours solidly (only breaking when the guests are eating) but it filled me with complete joy being a part of someone's special day.  (I’m going to pop some of my wedding photographs up on so stay tuned for that)!

I also started applying for internships and small jobs, mainly art based.  I landed a job as a freelance Styling, Hair and Makeup researcher for a fantastic online brand where I spent my days researching my favourite photographers and makeup artists for an online database.  Around 6 more freelancers were hired at the same time and we worked together, however I was called back a few weeks later to do more (by myself) as they loved how hardworking I was. (Not boasting at all, but if you are passionate and hardworking enough then it does pay off).

Around the same time, I also saw an online application for a blogger to have a meeting with a new start up beauty company.  I went along to the meeting and put in my honest thoughts and opinions about what a beauty website should be like (from a bloggers perspective) and they too called me back to do a weeks more work with them.  (This site has now launched and is called - a lot of the website is based on my ideas and input so check it out!)

How I got my full-time job:
My first full-time job

After months of doing freelance jobs like those above, I saw a friend (gh0stparties, you babe) tweet about an internship she knew that was going.  I tweeted her, got the details and applied.  I went in for the interview and got the internship with Gleam.  I interned for 5 months and was then made into a full time employee with a brand spanking new job title in January.  I have been working at Gleam ever since and ADORE IT.  The opportunities it has given me are fantastic and I learn more and more every day (I’m even getting the hang of how to work out percentages, despite being horrendous at maths).  I also get to spend my days with great people and help to manage YouTubers who I have been fans of for a long time, so I count myself very lucky!

Motivational Speech:
I know how difficult it can be to job hunt and how at times it’s depressing, and your self-confidence then drops too because of it, but my best advice is to keep busy.  Take every little opportunity that is thrown at you and do it;  say yes!  There have been lots of other things I haven’t mentioned in this post – like the fact that I also taught drama to children ages 8-12 for a year (the year that I was jobless after uni) and also act for the same theatre company whenever a job comes up (I love acting and went to a stage school growing up).  These extra  little bits and bobs on my CV have shown that I am reliable, enthusiastic, committed and passionate about the creative industry.

I’m sorry about how long this post is – but I hope it has been interesting and helped (inspired?) a few of you out there?  Do let me know if you have any questions and I will try and answer them to the best of my ability!




  1. Love this, really makes me motivated to go and try get what I want. :) xx

  2. This is great honey! I just wrote a post about how I turned my internship into a job too here if you want a read:

    Granted my job is in Finance! Jim is the sweetest though, you are so lucky to get to work with such amazing people! You have the coolest job ever :) xxxx

  3. This is so inspiring! i'm in the post-uni job search stage so I need a kick up the bum to get motivated. Thanks for your insight
    Emma x

  4. Brilliant post, Katie! Really good to see how you've achieved so much x

  5. This is very inspirational indeed :)) Congrats =)) I totally agree that when you are passionate and hard working taking every little* opportunity, makes the difference - because you can always make little things big and important.

  6. Really enjoyed reading this! I've definitely lost confidence since graduating from Uni in 2011, and still searching for my dream job working in the media field. This has given me some motivation just to get out there and do something about it, thank you!

    Kate xo

  7. Wow, such a motivational thing to read on a Wednesday evening. Internships do seem the way forward though, and gets your priceless contacts. And congrats on the job btw!

    Belle x
    Mascara & Maltesers

  8. Fantastic post, Katie :) I think we have very similar attitudes towards work-life - I pride myself for my passion and ambition and although I may not always land the roles I want, slowly but surely my talents are being noticed and appreciated and have landed myself two internships this summer (look out for a PR related email possibly ;) ...) and I know it's because I took all the little opportunities along the way. I can't wait for your YouTube channel to hit the higher figures - I know that's the way you'll go :) xxx

  9. This is such a inspirational and motivating blog post.

    I have been fighting for a job 2 and half years after graduating, and finally landed one 4weeks ago. I start on Monday, and of course am extremely nervous. Many comments I got from family and friends was not to give up, keep going until you get what you want. Glad to see you've got a great position, and thoroughly enjoy what you do.

    Serenity of Beauty


  10. Katie, this is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this <3

  11. Thanks for sharing this, very interesting to see your professional journey :)

  12. This is so inspiring, I'm currently in the middle of doing a degree I hate & I'm desperately trying to turn it around to focus on things I love! You've really motivated me to keep going & not give up... just yet! (:

    L x

  13. I loved reading this, so interesting to see the steps that you had to take to get where you are! x

    Maddy from UNSTITCHEDD 

  14. This is great, it gives me hope for graduating next year!

    Congratulations on everything you've achieved.

    Jade Rebecca x

  15. I really enjoyed this post! Motivational and honest.

    Annie |

  16. Great post, it was fun to read! You've done great for being so young.

  17. Enjoyed reading this post! Congrats on what you achieved from working hard and sticking doing what you love! Inspirational. x

  18. I love this, today I felt really unmotivated but after reading this it has made me feel better. Thank you hunni. I also studied photography and only just graduated and it is a hard subject but very rewarding :)
    Thank you for this post!

    Abi x

  19. wow looks like all your hard work paid off :) I've been thinking a lot about life after university and things that will help me get a job! As you said I think I just need to say YES more and experience more instead of staying in my safe bubble! Just hope I can stick to this mind set when uni start again

    Katie xx | Katies World

  20. I'm just about to graduate and I'm not quite sure what I will do after that, so thank you for this post, it was very inspirational :)

  21. This is a really great post & it is really interesting reading about how you got to your job now. Congratulations.

  22. Thankyou for sharing your experiences. It was very motivational reading this blog post and I hope I will also one day find a job I love.

  23. I really loved this post. How amazing that you had photography displayed in the Tate Modern!! Wow! Your job now seems so interesting - good luck in your career :)

    Beth // Sans Souci

  24. it's awesome that you found something you love! it'd be really interesting if you posted something on my blog about your experience

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