Arts Emergency

Hazel Marie Barkworth

Cultural Insight Researcher / Semiotician / Brand Consultant

I studied English Literature and Language at univeristy and enjoyed it immensely – from hours in dusty libraries studying writers in depth to swanning around in big dresses to act in plays. It was personally and academically fantastic.

I graduated from university with no clear idea what I wanted to do. I entered the world of marketing, chiefly because they were the ones with jobs to offer! My first few jobs were interesting, but not quite right for me – then I arrived at What If, an innovation company, and stayed there for over 6 years. In those years I got a basic training in all elements of marketing, and get to invent lots of fascinating products (and chose the exact colour for Vaseline Rosy Lips, oh yes.). A few years ago I moved to Added Value – where I work as a cultural specialist. It is more academic and challnging than my previous jobs – we analyse all elements of culture (from Madonna to Michelangelo) to help brands be more interesting. I’m particularly interested in future trends work.

My job is stimulating, but there is always scope for more – so I’ve just begun a part time Masters in Creative Wrriting back at Oxford. It’s hard work, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it, and getting to explore new sides of being creative.

I’ve chosen to volunteer for Arts Emergency because I was incredibly lucky to have great support when I made my choices. My teachers (at my local comp) were inspirational and went far above the call of duty to help me secure my university place and to pursue the things I love. I would hate for someone else to miss out because they didn’t have that support, and I’d love to share my knowledge and experience with them.