Enlightened perspectives - alumni webinar with Louise Emerson
Have you always pigeon-holed yourself as either ‘creative’ or ‘logical’? Our next alumni webinar aims to dispel that myth, explaining how we can put our minds to any sort of career and how so many skills we acquire cross both boundaries.
We’ve all been there, struggling for a career path or new life goal. Whether deciding on what to study at university or feeling stuck in a rut job-wise, we can feel hamstrung by our supposed personality traits, interests or skills. It’s not possible to do a ‘creative’ job with an analytical mind or vice versa.
Louise Emerson (Electronic Engineering, 1984) has proved that it’s possible to turn your hand from one career to another which is entirely divergent. Having studied electronic engineering and initially undertaking roles in which followed a more logical/analytical path, she then followed her passion for the arts later in life
“There are challenges in changing direction or sector; I think you often have more to prove when you come in from a different sector and in the past it was more unusual for someone to change careers. People may be wary of you or fascinated by you.”
She became director of an arts centre and the Contemporary Irish Art Gallery where she established the first Belfast Literary Festival.
“The arts centre had gone through some financially difficult times and needed someone had an understanding of arts practice to put together a rescue plan. The Arts candidates did not have the business acumen, which was what they needed at that point.”
As the Head of Business and Commercial Strategy at the Natural History Museum, Louise was an integral part of the museum’s rebrand, developed a number of international touring exhibitions and led the development of a number of new income streams. In 2014 Louise was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Cheltenham Festivals, a position she held until recently.
“It’s clear that jobs and the skills we need will change, so adaptability is important. This gives much more opportunity to develop your skills and expertise how you wish to, rather than having them dictated by an employer in a changing working world. This will give people more opportunity to be adaptable as circumstances change.”
So if you are unsure of your next career move or want to change career what would Louise’s advice be?
“Think about your personality and what you do or don’t enjoy, this can tell you a lot about the environment you would like to work in. Keep abreast of opportunities in areas that interest you and keep up to date with what is new developments in sectors that are of interest.
“There are a huge number of skills required to be successful in work which you don’t learn or are tested on at school or university; critical thinking, collaborative working, communication and creativity are all skills that are important today and will be even more important in the future. This is something I’ll be explaining in more detail during my upcoming webinar.”
Join Louise for her upcoming webinar
Exclusive for Nottingham alumni, join Louise for a live webinar on 5 September at 12pm GMT.