Career pathways: New Media Officer

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I’m Hanal Patel, I’m New Media Officer here at the National Portrait gallery. I started working as a new media assistant, and recently got promoted to officer level. My main role is to maintain the gallery’s website, update, also make sure that all public facing equipment is fully functional, that also includes digital portraits around the gallery, multimedia equipment that we have on during exhibitions. Also, I maintain equipment we have at regional partners, three main galleries we have around the country, and also download and keep track of web stats, and report these figures to all staff at a monthly basis.┬
Q. What skills do you need?
You basically need to have good knowledge on web platforms. I’ve had to study web languages such as HTML, and the main challenge is exhibition time and we have to develop a microsite around a specific exhibition. Technical knowledge is needed, HTML coding, ASP coding, which sounds odd and hard but it’s not once you’ve studied it, once you’ve picked up on all the basics it’s pretty easy.┬
Q. What did you study?
I studied multimedia technology and digital broadcasting at university, which covers a wide area of multimedia. One of those focuses is web, which I definitely wanted to pursue. Working here was my first media job.┬
Q. What did you get out of it?
It’s public-facing, which is always good. I’ve definitely taken an interest in galleries ┬ásince I’ve started working here. Friends work in office jobs all day, that’s it, they just sit in an office, they don’t leave. With my job I’m able to visit the gallery as well as regional partners attend conferences relating to new media, learn new technology, social media, we have a Facebook, a Twitter page I engage in.
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