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Interview with Karin Askham, Dean of Media at LCC.

This interview was conducted with Karin Askham, Dean of Media at LCC, by COPYourself LCC Community Developer, Filip Bigos, part of the DIAL/HEA Changing the Learning Landscape project.

Below is a transcript of the interview, which you can also download as an PDF attachment and download the video here.

'When I graduated there was no online presence, emails had just been, kind of, invented and Photoshop 2.1 was just coming into existence, so actually any sort of online presence never, there was not an online presence, you wrote letters and walked around Soho, or where ever you were going to deliver to post production houses delivering these letters personally.

Its very important, a professional online presence is hugely, hugely important. The reason for that is if you are a journalist you should have a blog, you should have a position on something, if you are a photographer you need to have a website that works, and showing you new work, your commercial work, and your fine art work. So every student, depending on what occupation they are going into, needs their own presence and needs a curated, managed presence online.

It a very different industry from when I graduated 20 years ago, which was all by going to parties and word of mouth. It still is a lot of that, but people always go back to ‘who are you?’, type in your name, and see what google can find about that person, so we have a responsibly, as a university, to ensure that students understand that and ensure the information and the curation of that information is up to the level that you want as a graduate.

 As we go through validations on courses, for example BA Journalism went through a validation, we have a practitioner of residence called Charlene White, who’s an ITV anchor and she was talking about how when she interviews people, she expects them to have their blog from day one, from year one. So these are the kind of things that we need to ensure are in the curriculum, that are not blot on, but they just happen, they are part of what a student does, and supports the student in understanding social media network can do for them about that, and so yes, I think that’s how we can support students.

I think we have an opportunity to lead industry, to define where industry finds its talent. So in the US they have Behance, which is a website where all designers can throw all their stuff onto and you can find a whole load of talent in that kind of area. But I think University of the Arts, London is such a huge talent pool, that it could drive its own talent based website where people could search for it, they know that they are going to get someone of a particular level, in a particular field, and it might be the first sort of one-stop-shop for a lot of employers.

We’re in a new digital revolution and we still need to think about, where we want to be as a university in ten years time. What I use as a university websites, anything that gets published with my research that’s what goes online. Really I probably should be better like other people in the University are about tweeting, about having one narrative that goes through all of my social media network. The only thing I use is Lindedin, that’s the kind of social, or the media network that I have.

Anyone can find anything out about you. So your online presence from when you are, whatever age, I have a daughter who is now 12 and she posts on instagram and one has to be very careful what one is posting, because actually when your 24 and your looking for a job all that can be made available, so you have to be very careful managing your profile from the day you are born to any point in your career.'

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