Q&A: Lucy Musselwhite. Our New Content Editor
So you’ve been with Speakers Corner for nearly a month now; how are you finding it?
Aside from the recurring heart pains from all the cake I’ve consumed here, I’m really enjoying it. I love writing, I love meeting interesting people...so composing biographies of inspiring individuals is a pretty great match!
The team are clearly passionate about what they do, which makes for buzzy office atmosphere - it's great to work with people who care about what they do, are a pleasure to be around, and are really good at baking to boot—but I’m genuinely quite concerned about my sugar intake.
It's also a new industry for you with a lot of speakers, there’s a lot of information to absorb, yes?
I’m the kind of person who has to be constantly learning, so this is the perfect environment for me in that respect—I’ve definitely encountered a lot of new information! I’m discovering more about areas that I didn’t realize I even had an interest in until now – such as futurology, cyber security, or geopolitics. And I particularly enjoy writing about the achievements of inspiring sports figures and how their skills relate to business (the need for teamwork, focus, etc.)
I think absorbing all these new facts and anecdotes is having a positive influence on my social life—I’m becoming a very good dinner party conversationalist.
A dinner party, Krøyer style
What were you doing before?
In the past, I’ve worked in social media and community management for a couple of tech start-ups (in-between travelling Australia and studying for my Masters). I took a lot away from that fast-paced culture. Start-ups provide a fantastic learning experience as you gain a lot of responsibility very quickly and you realise how important the people in your team are. Actually, that’s another thing I appreciate about Speakers Corner: although it’s a market leader, while my former companies were a lot less established, it has a similar vibe of shared team responsibility in everything that we do.
That was very different from your degree in Archaeology & Anthropology and your Psychology Masters; so how did the marketing aspect develop?
I guess I stumbled into marketing a little bit. Social media is a smart way for young people to break into industries—it’s perhaps one of the few edges a 20-something whippersnapper will have over more experienced individuals in a very competitive world. Plus, I love creating copy, watching YouTube, and tweeting pictures of cats so it drew on those skills. As an important part of marketing these days, the whole social media thing led to a broader role in the sector, particularly the copywriting and editorial aspects.
Yes, we’ve introduced your cats already to our Twitter followers. What are their names again?
Sam and Isis [seen here on our Twitter feed]
Cats Isis & Sam, last seen in the Kent area
What was your dissertation on?
I was investigating the psychology of millennials in the work-place, specifically women in UK office environments. I’m very interested in the socialisation of different generations and genders, and how millennial women and men will experience the workplace in the next 10/15 years – is the glass ceiling effect still a thing, how can we encourage collaborative practices to utilise everyone’s abilities etc.
An academic 'edge' then, that’s great! What's your most inspirational/favourite film or book?
I recently watched the film Tracks which documents Australian writer Robyn Davidson’s solo desert journey (on a camel) from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. I found it so inspirational, and there’s a cute dog in it. Great book too.
I also have a weakness for a good ‘let’s change the world’ documentary, particularly ones about how humans use and impact their environment--Blackfish, Food Inc., etc.
Although I’m normally a non-fiction person, I’m obsessed with Elena Ferrante’s novels at the moment – I started the series after I eavesdropped on a girl talking about it on a bus, and now I’m forcing everyone I know to read them.
Tea or coffee?
Coffee. Total addict. Although now that my caffeine order is over 10 words long, I need to re-evaluate some things about my life – you don’t win friends by asking baristas for ‘double-shot gingerbread soya cappuccino with extra foam and chocolate sprinkles’. Nobody likes those kind of people.
How about DSGSCEFCS or a Foamy Double Gingerbread Soya Cap Choc Sprinkle?
That’s really good [laughs]
Get the feeling Lucy would be at home at Marylou's
If there was a Speakers Corner motion picture, who would play you?
Possibly Rowan Atkinson if we could get him, because I think he’d ‘get me’, you know? Or if we’re sticking to the same gender, maybe Rachel Weisz circa The Mummy (a key source of inspiration behind my first degree) but she’d have to dye her hair blonde and I think she’d cost a lot. I guess it depends on our budget?
Have you been to see any speakers yet; any standouts for you so far?
I thought Miles Hilton-Barber was amazing when I met him– he has so many beautiful philosophies on how we should be treating life.
I’ve also seen James Caan, Bianca Miller, Henry Blofield, James Lyne… definitely one of the perks of the job is getting to meet all these interesting people from all kinds of backgrounds. There’s genuinely never a dull day in the office.
Lucy Musselwhite, or should we say Rowan Atkinson
Do you have goals over the next few months?
Perhaps Miles-inspired, I want to set myself a new sports-related goal for next year to keep me on my toes – maybe a marathon, or even a cycling race as I can’t ride a bike all that well to be honest so it would definitely be a challenge! (I have issues with moving on two wheels or less.)
Work-wise, I'm just excited to keep meeting and writing about our speakers, to make sure everything they encompass - from their content to their delivery of it - is properly communicated in their biographies.
Thank you, Lucy. It's been great getting to know you a bit more and wish you all the best going forward here at SC Towers.
No, thank you.
Additional pictures courtesy of Wikipedia & Lucy herself for the shots of Sam & Isis.