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Future student online experiences

Future student online experiences

Sharing the work of the Prospective Student Web Content Team

Content Designer vacancies – let’s improve the prospective student experience together

We’re recruiting 3 content designers to join us in improving the prospective student experience at the University of Edinburgh. Applications close Tuesday 14 September 2021.

Key details of the position

  • Grade 6 – £28,756 – £33,309
  • 40 days annual leave, excellent pension and other benefits
  • Open-ended contract
  • Application deadline: Tuesday 14 September at 5pm

Who we are and what we do

Our team was set up 2 years ago to overhaul how we approach provision of online services to prospective students.

This is a massive job in an organisation serving around 40,000 students, where much responsibility has been traditionally devolved to our 22 schools, 3 colleges and numerous support units. So enhancing experiences for students is also about enhancing experiences for the staff who support them.

We’re a multidisciplinary team and place great emphasis on collaboration and co-design. We’re currently recruiting for a few roles, so once everyone is in post, our team will look like this:

  • a content team focused on continuous improvement projects (the 3 content designers in this vacancy, managed by me)
  • a content team focused on service management work (led by my colleague Cameron)
  • a user experience team coordinating our discovery and appraisal work
  • a software developer (my colleague Aaron) who helps us interact with some complex, business-critical University systems and extend the functionality of the University’s corporate content management system
  • the head of our team (Neil) who leads us in our work carrying out human-centred approaches to improve the prospective student experience

Read more about the team, our priorities and processes – Neil’s December 2019 blog post introducing our work

About this blog and our team profiles

Are you the right fit for us?

You can read the full job description on our job vacancies website, but there are some key points that really matter to us:

  • You need to be open to learning about our users. We don’t necessarily expect you to be experienced in human-centred design, but you need to care about whether the content you design really works. Be ready to get involved in user research and analytics to really understand student needs and show how you’ve changed online behaviours.
  • You need to be committed to the discipline of content design. Again, you don’t need to know everything, but you do need to be ready to challenge and be challenged. Joining a dedicated team of content specialists will bring new opportunities and require editorial discipline. This is less about content creation and more about content curation.
  • You need to have a collaborative mindset. We work as a multidisciplinary team, but you also need to be ready to collaborate, support and lead colleagues across the University. We have many, many subject matter experts in a wide range of fields – both academic and administrative – and they need to be brought along with our approach and philosophy. We need you to give colleagues confidence in our expertise and support them in the adoption of new content management processes.

Meet Lauren, your manager

As mentioned previously, I will be line managing these posts. So if you’re interested in applying, I wanted to share a bit more about myself and what it will be like to work with me.

My history at Edinburgh

I’ve been working at the University of Edinburgh for the entirety of my professional career. Prior to working, I did my undergrad at Edinburgh. I’ve had a decade long history with this institution. 10 years on, I still love it.

I started with an entry level editorial assistant job in the Uni’s central web team and gradually worked my way up to being a content designer for the Prospective Student Web Content team. I’ve recently been promoted to Senior Content Designer, and this will be my first post where I am formally line managing people.

How I’ve been influenced by managers and mentors in my career

The management aspect of my new role is the thing I’m most excited about. My career has been shaped by the awesome managers and mentors I’ve had, and I can’t wait to return the favour to our new content designers.

The person who has shaped my career most is Neil, the head of our team. He has been my line manager for most of my working life.

I’ve learned some incredibly valuable lessons from him on what great management looks like, and I wanted to share them with you, so you know what I’m aiming to be like.

As your line manger, I commit to:

  • guiding you in your professional development. Neil was the person early on in my career who told me what content books or blog posts to read, so I could learn more about my discipline. He encouraged me to apply to speak at my first conference. I’m here to champion your learning and development. I can’t wait to both share what I’ve learned with you in my career, and to learn from you as well.
  • being your cheerleader. Neil has always been my #1 fan in my career. He’s the type of person who will attend a talk I’m giving out of work hours, so he can brag on LinkedIn about the cool stuff I’m talking about. I’m ready to brag about you and the great things you’ll get up to while we work together.
  • caring about your wellbeing. This above all else is the most important thing I want to bring to being a manager. Knowing Neil for as long as I have, he’s seen me go through some rough times and has always been there for me. We don’t just bring our professional selves to work. We’re shaped by our lives outside of work, and sometimes the outside life isn’t great. I want you to know that as your manager, I’m going to be there for you. Whether it’s a professional or personal related matter, I’m here to listen and make sure you get the support you need when you need it.

Building confidence in my career

Probably the best way to find out about the lessons that have shaped my career and what my management style will be is to hear me talk about it!

Here’s a video (less than 10 minutes) of a talk I gave at ContentEd, a conference for content professional in higher ed. I speak about the lessons learned in my career that have helped me build confidence.

Transcript of my building confidence talk

Learn more and apply

I would encourage you to learn more about the team and our work through this blog. If you’ve got any questions about the vacancy, I’m happy to field them through email.

Lauren Tormey’s contact details

Content designer vacancy details and application process

2 replies to “Content Designer vacancies – let’s improve the prospective student experience together”

  1. Gemma Cassidy says:

    Hi Lauren, I just wanted to say that this has been an excellent insight into the Content Designer role. I stumbled upon the advertisement for this position last week on Linkedin and after reading your blog post it really piqued my interest so I have decided to apply. Hopefully I will get a chance to discuss the role further with you during the application process.

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