This month's star is Dawn Nell

Every month we will introduce you to a colleague. This month's star is Dawn Nell. She joined Academic Software in January 2022 and is now Content Development Manager.

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 (coming soon!) 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. The research part of this work involved a lot of travel, and wanting to cut back on that, I trained 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 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, it seemed like a perfect fit for me."

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 in Bruges where I live, and most weekends I’ll be doing something with the great group of women I’ve come to know there."

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