I am a recent graduate from Queen Mary University of London, looking to start my professional career in Journalism. With a first-class degree in English and Drama, and a diploma in Art and Design, I have always been very creative and apply my artistic flare to everything I do. I am passionate about writing, which led me to create a travel blog alongside my university studies whilst also carrying out the role of Art Editor for my university magazine, Cub Magazine. I have a strong understanding of website design and promotion, utilisation SEO strategies and social media to advertise my blog, reach a wider readership and increase traffic. I am highly organised, which enabled me to work in the fast-paced news rooms of The Wiltshire Times and Gazette & Herald. I am very motivated and a self-starter by nature, having entered the hospitality industry at the age of 14 when I set up a small cake business in collaboration with a local cafe, and have supported myself since. An ardent writer, art enthusiast and culture critic, I am very excited to begin my journalistic career.
-With eight years of work in the Hospitality industry - covering positions as waitress, head-waistress, barista, supervisor - this is my most recent job as bar staff. -Communicated effectively with staff and customers; I am always friendly and approachable and handle any potentially sensitive situation with tact and diplomacy. -Performed leadership role as supervisor at Ground Cafe, and head-waitress at The Bridge Tea Rooms; delegated roles to other staff members and conducted the team effectively. -Stepped in as chef's assistant and baker at The Bridge Tea Rooms. -Managed a floor of 18 tables whilst working at Carluccios in Oxford Street, performing tasks efficiently under time pressure. -Maintained attentiveness and excellent service whilst experiencing high customer demand. -Experience handling tills, card reachers, coffee machines, kitchen appliances and cocktail shakers.
-Worked in the office assisting where needed. -Made phone calls to fashion retailers to organise orders. -Organised incoming clothes for photo shoots and packaged outgoing clothes for returns. -Corresponded to emails and updated the diary with regards to various editors' events.
Examples can be found in my portfolio: www.mariakastnerportfolio.wordpress.com -Filled in for absence of freelancers: worked in an extremely fast-paced environment. I was given the amazing opportunity to write my own articles that were published online and in print with by-lines in the following week. -Interviewed locals to discover news stories at local events, visits to schools and the police station, and spoke with the presenters of Heart Wiltshire Radio. -Pitched ideas to the newsroom after travelling around the area, e.g. discovered an interesting story about disability access in the area by approaching people in the street. -Fact-checked multiple press releases to write advertisements and articles and searched archives to update the paper's history section. -Corresponded to emails to locals and PRs.
-Examples can be found in my portfolio: https://mariakastnerportfolio.wordpress.com -Developed knowledge of London's rapidly changing art scene; visited and reviewed 1 - 2 exhibitions each month. -Worked with the CUB team to find new and exciting ways for the magazine to reach its readership. -Met with freelancers to edit their work to meet the criteria and suit the style of the magazine. -Proof-read and fact-checked co-editors submissions.
-Volunteered for a month in Eduamoa Primary School; planned and taught Math, English and Drama lessons. -Demonstrated adaptability to the different system of schooling in Ghana whilst remaining flexible with the irregularity of class schedules. -Communicated effectively with students and teachers despite a language barrier and conducted lively and engaging classes.
-Shadowed Ruth Hetherington, producer of France 24, one of France's largest news channels. -Learnt how raw footage and information from Reuters, correspondents and PR was put together into a news story. -Helped organise interviews for live broadcast.
-My undergraduate dissertation, which achieved a first, was titled 'Mind the Gap: Humour, "the Female Body" and the Expression of Individuality'. I carried out interviews; extensive research into the history of women and comedy, disability in performance and feminism; and visited numerous stand-up and Live Art performances. -Produced high quality work to strict deadlines, whilst managing multiple projects at once, especially when taking an extra module in the first semester of the third year. -Utilised keen eye for detail and grammatical accuracy and developed excellent written and aural communication skills. -Practiced confidence in performing and public speaking. -Developed excellent presentation skills, utilising Microsoft Powerpoint to do so. -Perfected fast reading pace, achieved an average of four books a week in my final year. -Adept at understanding complex texts and deducing clarity and meaning from convoluted sentences.
-Developed passion and critical understanding of contemporary art and its history. -Learnt screen-printing, film photography and development, life drawing, painting, calligraphy, weaving, pottery and wood, glass and metal work. -Specialised in 3D (body adornment/jewellery), taking influence from Alexander McQueen, Dai Rees, Naomi Filmer and Eric Halley to create structures that adorned the body in ways that expressed the idea of physical trauma and muteness.
4 A levels: German: A English: B Drama: B Biology: B 1 AS level: Chemistry: B