Pete Samson: My first step will be to ask questions, and I feel this should be the first step for anyone undertaking this role. Even if I were to have experience in the Guardian, for example, this would not give me any greater insight into the other media bodies. The Guardian is not the same as GUST, and Subcity is not the same as GUM. Each body is distinct in its identity and methods, and so it’ll be essential to make use of the information and experience that is available. My experience to date is limited to qmunicate magazine, but I have a critical eye and there may be a benefit in coming to this role from an outside perspective. It allows me to assess the student media bodies equally and without any kind of prejudgement.
Guardian: You have a background in design, do you think that this gives you an edge over the other candidates and do you think this is a key skill for VP-Comms?
Pete Samson: I have a background in design but I also have a background in language, and in communication in general. This should give me an edge because I am comfortable in using different media to convey ideas, and able to choose the right way to say something. Experience in design is not a prerequisite for the role but it does make a far better candidate. Most design work can be freelanced out, and I have nothing against using freelancers, but sometimes it is not the best option. If a fast turnaround is needed then it’s a benefit to have someone in-house who can complete the project; it’s quicker and often more effective as the work is being carried out by someone with direct understanding of the task.
A candidate with a background in a lot of the relevant areas of the job but in a field with such a strong front runner the odds are against him.