Ute Brade

Ute Brade
Media Management, Media and Communication Management
Campus Hamburg

Occupation following studies: Project Manager Digital, Gruner + Jahr
Where do you work today and what is your position?
I work as Digital Project Manager at G+J e | MS, Gruner + Jahr's Marketing Unit in Hamburg. Under the direction of the Digital Solutions division I'm responsible for cross-over digital projects, marketing and strategic concepts. Before, I was a brand manager responsible for the marketing of external mobile sites like Shazam, VICE Media, Telefonica and Vodafone.

What does your role entail?
My duties include, first and foremost, the development of marketing concepts, the evaluation of new marketing approaches as well as the preparation of decision making processes and business cases, sales reports and analysis, including classification and recommendations for action to the management - dealing with numbers is therefore part of my day-to-day tasks. However,  there's also a creative side to the job. For instance I am responsible for the maintenance of the digital content on our website, the creation of a monthly b2b newsletter, as well as the organization of trade fairs such as the dmexco for instance.

Why did you take the position and what inspires you?
The job offers a great combination of things: on the one hand strategic projects where you need conceptual thinking and analytical procedures, and on the other side operational tasks where a pragmatic, hands-on mentality is important. I am thrilled that I work in a growth area, in a young team with exciting projects. There are constantly new trends and developments in digital media so it never gets boring. As my position is a staff function, I can organize my own projects and topics. Since I 've become an employee, I can share my projects and topics myself. In many areas I'm pretty much almost my own boss and have a lot of freedom, which is great. However, you have to be exceptionally organized and always have your eye on multiple topics so you don't get overwhelmed.

Did you imagine you'd be doing this kind of job before you began your studies?
No, :) I started studying at Macromedia University right after my Abitur. At that time, I was really keen to work in the media, especially in social media or in digital journalism, but I didn't have a clear idea of how to get there.

Did the teachers and projects at the university prepare you for the work you're doing today?
A decisive factor was the combination of specialist knowledge (a great basis that prepares you perfectly for commercial media jobs) and the vast amount of practical experience, such as internships and practical projects, case studies, etc..  In order to expand even further, I  added a master's degree on top.

At which company did you do your internship semester and how would you rate your experience there?
I was in the editorial office at taz nord, the regional edition of the daily newspaper. At that time I could have easily imagined myself working as a journalist and wanted to get to know the daily workings of a newsroom. My interest in journalism was also inspired by Roger Repplingers class in journalism, where  I wrote my first report about the gentrification of the Hamburg Schanzenviertel. The internship was great, I was quite in control of my tasks amd topics and was on the road a lot, plus I wrote some great articles. Afterward I worked as a freelancer for the taz, which was a great success.

How was your contact with your fellow students? Are you still in touch today?
I still have contact with a few fellow students, although my studies finished six years ago now.  These are partly professional contacts now (in the media business you often run into the same people.) Many contacts also stayed purely private.

When you think back to your studies, what really stands out?
During my time at taz, I enjoyed the exciting PR and journalism lectures, the good-purpose project at Edelman (where we designed a playbook on sustainability), our communication concept for the Elbphilharmonie (before it even opened). I also enjoyed many cool parties, good talks and a lot of valuable input and good tools for jobs in the media world.

What do you think about "change and transformation"?
The question may be general but I immediately think of digitalization and digital transformation - we are becoming more mobile and more networked, and faster. This drives all companies - but also in the private sector. I consume media quite differently than a few years ago. Without news Apps, Instagram, Blogs and Online-shopping (and  more and more mobile shopping!) nothing works anymore.

How important is it to be "open to change" to be successful today and in the future, digitally driven world of work?
Extremely important. A market that grows as dynamically as the digital industry, also requires a willingness to keep up with it, develop it further, and not to slow down new technologies and developments. This applies to entire companies and also to every employee who works in such a growth area. Flexibility, an openness to try new things, the ability to be able to sometimes fail and also a certain curiosity are all things that I consider essential.

Is there any advice you would like to share with our freshmen?
Don't make your mind up about things too quickly, be open to new things, and also take risks. Try out a lot of things (study, jobs, internships) to gain experience, try things out, and also realize when something is NOT fun.


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