Academic Software’s mission is to have a transformative impact on education by breaking down barriers to the use of digital tools in schools, colleges and universities, and many of the Academic Software team bring experience of having working in education themselves. We spoke with Dawn, who was a university researcher and tutor before joining Academic Software.
What exactly do you do at Signpost?
Dawn: "I develop content for Academic Software – both from a marketing perspective to help us communicate with our clients, and for our community of users on the Academic Software platform. I ensure that our content has real value – that we talk about our solutions to convey the transformative impact they can have to students, teachers, and education staff. And for the community of users, I help develop content to highlight the amazing potential of the software and digital tools they have at their fingertips via the platform."
What does your day look like?
Dawn: "Every word of content for Academic Software – in brochures, in videos, on social media, on the platform community – involves a huge team effort, so my days are all about collaboration with my colleagues, both in Marketing and with the Sales teams around Europe, with the platform team, and with external agencies and creatives.
One of my contributions to this collaborative effort is writing, and I find the early hours work best for this. So my day starts at 5.30 with scheduled writing. Then I take a pause from work to take my kids to school before meetings. A ‘typical’ day could involve getting a news release out, meetings to develop a video, arranging the translation and production of a brochure in Finnish, planning a media campaign, working with colleagues on content for a newsletter. Every day I look for angles to help us build content that brings value to our platform users, customers, partners, and our own team at Academic Software."
How did you end up working at Signpost?
Dawn: "My role here is a productive synergy of two strands of my past career experience – university research on business growth; and publishing. In the UK, I ran two research projects for universities on brand identity and the way businesses grow internationally. During this time, I was also a university tutor and supervised master’s students writing their dissertations on branding. I saw first-hand how software offered exciting ways of working and doing research, but equally I saw the frustrations of students struggling with sometimes overly complex institutional IT.
The research part of my work for universities involved a lot of travel, and wanting to cut back on that, I decided to train at the Publishing Training Centre in London, and set up a business handling editing and production of university textbooks, working with leading international publishers. This was rewarding work and I learnt a huge amount about publishing, but in the end I missed the creativity of the world of branding and international business.
When I saw that Academic Software was looking for someone to handle content development and publishing, and that Academic Software was in the process of growing internationally with this vision for supporting education, it seemed like an exciting prospect."
What are your interests besides work?
Dawn: "Since moving to Flanders from the UK, I have embraced local culture by learning Dutch very slowly and owning an ancient bakfiets. So I’ve developed unexpected skills in repairing a bakfiets which breaks down with amazing regularity, and also avoiding the Duolingo owl. Two years ago I started a book club where I live, and most weekends I’ll be doing something with the great group of women I’ve come to know there."