As you may have guessed from the name, I am Katie.
Originally from Yorkshire, in England, however I have spent the last ten years living in Scotland, Cumbria, Denmark and Australia. Most recently, moving to the Cotswolds to work for The National Trust in the Visitor Experience team at Hidcote Manor Gardens.
Having moved to Scotland for University, I fell in love with how storytelling can be used to engage people with the soul of a place.
While studying my English & History MA at the University of Dundee I began working in marketing, public relations and events. Using my creative writing and passion for stories to engage over 21,000 students and thousands of prospective students in the work of the Students Union, campus life and the unique culture of the city of Dundee. I continued my love of storytelling with a Theatre Studies MLitt at the University of Glasgow and working freelance in audience development for culture organisations.
Alongside my freelance and theatre work, I have also worked in the Higher Education sector in engagement, marketing and student recruitment.
In 2018 I moved to Denmark to develop my marketing and storytelling skills in the area of tourism and the visitor economy officially – taking a Tourism & Consumer Studies MA at Aalborg University Copenhagen. During my time in Copenhagen, I began working as a cruise tour guide for cruise tourists visiting the city, as well as assisting in research being carried out by the University in the spending and geo-habits of Copenhagen’s cruise tourists. During my Tourism and Consumer Studies MA I have carried out research projects on place branding and stakeholder engagement in Billund, Denmark (2018); the sustainability and tourism development of Outlander tourism in urband-rural Scotland (2019); purposeful visitor experience and creating a for-purpose-business visitor experience map of Brisbane (2019); and will be carrying out a thesis project in 2020 on using a design thinking approach to sustainable visitor experiences.
In 2019, as part of my Masters, I took an internship with The Tourism CoLab in Queensland Australia, to get hands on experience in the current issues facing small and medium businesses in tourism and the visitor economy, as well as challenges facing DMOs and Governments. I have continued my association with The Tourism CoLab providing support as an Associate for the organisation.
Not content to stay out of the arts and culture world, while in Brisbane I volunteered as a Volunteer Team Leader for Australia’s biggest arts festival – The Brisbane Festival – over its three week 2019 run from 4th to 28th September. I have also provided support, advice and guidance to cultural organisations and small businesses in the arts throughout the last ten years across Europe.
In March 2020, just 10 days before the UK went into a national lockdown and a worldwide pandemic was called due to COVID-19, I joined the National Trust at Hidcote Manor within the Visitor Experience Team. As one of only eight members of staff not to be furloughed throughout the first five months of the year, I took on not only learning how the organisation worked and how I played in to it in a newly created role, but also picking up jobs and responsibilities from across the property. A challenge I had been unknowingly preparing for throughout my working life. It was time to put my skills of agile working, design thinking, and adaptability to the test. In just 10months of working for the Trust I have come through three lockdowns, a period of closure, a restructure and a change to my job role…and 2021 has only just begun. I may be 10months behind where I wanted to be in this role, but I have learnt and experienced a lot.
I have a passion for learning and have been teaching myself French, Danish and Swedish through Duolingo – with a 1135 day streak for French! I regularly take part in online courses, webinars and conferences, developing my learning as much as I can about history, culture, human behaviour and continuing my personal and professional development. Which is helped by the fact that I can most often be found pursuing a book, podcast or interesting article.
My 2021 goal? To do more of what I love, to read more about what I don’t know and to visit more places.