Meet The Professionals – Jennifer Hahn

This month we’re featuring one of our very own! When she was at university, Jen was one of CEN8’s social media strategists! Read about what she’s been up to since graduating!

  1.  What’s your job title?

Commercial editor

  1.  How would you describe your job?

I oversee the creation and publication of commercial (i.e. sponsored) content for The Times and Sunday Times across print, digital and video  

  1.  What is a typical day for you?

This varies widely depending on what stage in a project I am in, but on any given day I could be writing, researching or commissioning articles, doing interviews, brainstorming ideas and writing them up, attending client or agency meetings, overseeing a photo or video shoot, researching and contacting talent, overseeing client amends with the subeditors and briefing in designers and picture editors.

  1. What skills/qualifications do you need to do your job?

Organisational skills, ability to work both independently and as part of a team, oral and written communication skills, ability to tell stories as well as an understanding of editorial principles, what makes a good story and the editorial voice and audience of your publication

  1. What experience do you need?

– Experience in editing and writing, as well as commissioning content across different platforms including print, digital, video and social (this will differ depending on the publication, for more specialised roles this could also be limited to a single platform).

– Experience of the commercial content market and how to produce content for commercial brands, clients and agencies is also helpful.

  1. What kind of person do you need to be to do your job?

A generalist and multi-tasker – You need to be able to juggle multiple projects at varying stages in the production process and across various different thematic fields

Curious – You will need to do background research for your various campaigns, which will involve wearing a lot of different hats, so a desire to learn is really helpful

Problem-solver and quick-thinker – You will need to consolidate a lot of (often disparate) interests and opinions and work under pressure to tight deadlines

Team player – You will work with everyone from salespeople to designers, project managers, sub- and picture editors

Lateral thinker – You will need to come up with creative answers to briefs, campaign ideas and article angles

  1. Who is your creative inspiration and why?

Recently, I’ve been following everything Otegha Uwagba does. At only 27, she has written a Sunday Times bestseller and founded Women Who, a community for creative working women. Even though she has found her niche in empowering women in the workplace, she has also managed to expand this across various different fields – beyond being a writer and an entrepreneur she also works as a brand consultant, hosts her own podcast and speaks at events – and that’s something I really aspire to.  

  1. What advice would you give a student looking to get work in your field?

Have a portfolio of work to show for yourself which will demonstrate your writing skills. This could consist of everything from articles you wrote for a uni module to a piece you got published in [smiths] or even a blog post. As long as it demonstrates journalistic skill, it’s not about quantity but quality.

If you are in the media or journalism course, approach one of your tutors. Chances are there will be at least one who currently works, has worked or knows someone who works in the industry and would be able to give you a tip or a contact.

Don’t neglect your essays. Essentially they’re just long form articles, which makes them a great opportunity to practice your ability to organise your thoughts and ideas into a logical structure and communicate them clearly.

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