Kate tells us about her role as Head of Marketing and Brand Development. 

Tell us about your role at the University.

I’m the Head of Marketing and Brand Development.  My team covers School marketing, brand communications and market research. My role has broadened from a focus solely on student recruitment to all aspects of the University’s business that builds brand and reputation.

How do you usually start your day?

I usually start work at 7.30 am so I really only have time for breakfast before heading here. The benefit of this is I normally don’t take my children to school and thus miss the arguments about getting dressed and why they can’t have electronics on a school morning etc.

What brought you to the University of Aberdeen?

I am one of those people who crossed the city from Robert Gordon University. I moved to Aberdeen from Edinburgh in 2005 to be the Head of Marketing there. I loved RGU, but after ten years I wanted a new challenge. University of Aberdeen is a bigger, research intensive institution and operates in much more diverse markets, the challenge of building Aberdeen’s reputation was a more interesting proposition.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

I have always liked the diversity of working in marketing. I am interested in learning more about our markets and target audiences and I like the creativity involved. This is the fourth educational establishment I have worked in (I have worked in FE as well) and I like the people both students and staff. I also like the smell of a newly printed document, though as everything moves to digital, we have less and less of that!

What are your work priorities at the moment?

The launch of the 2040 strategy and the 525 celebrations have been the key project this year. Following the launch of the strategy, we will also be working on a brand refinement project. Our brand was last updated in 2016 and work is required to update the messaging framework and ensure it is aligned closely to Aberdeen 2040. 

We will also be working with other teams, in particular Communications to build out content around the strategic themes in the coming months.

How do you like to relax outside work?

With two boys aged 10 and 7, I’m not sure I do much relaxing! I spend quite a lot of my time ferrying them places. I run, play tennis very badly, read quite a lot and listen to podcasts.  

As a member of a book club, I read a lot of things I haven’t chosen, but I enjoy that. It broadens your horizons. Left to my own devices, I would probably just keep adding to my collection of books about space travel. I am sadly obsessed by the Apollo space programme and have a ridiculous number of books on this topic. It combines the historian in me and the space enthusiast. 

Podcast listening normally happens either whilst I am running or cooking. Space, history and politics tend to be my favourite topics. One of my favourites is “Gallus girls and wayward women”, which covers women in UK history, some forgotten and some infamous. Definitely worth a listen!