Alexandra Hearth (BA 2014): Succeeding in the digital world

Bristol alumna, Alexandra Hearth (BA 2014) is a young powerhouse bursting with ambition, discipline and creativity. She is an extremely successful digital marketing specialist, having worked with top brands including Uber, British Airways and Audi. Alongside her current role at Nike, she manages her own online magazine called Cleaopatras which explores navigating success as a woman, and runs a podcast series called Hot Girls featuring MOBO award winning guests and music industry elite. To top it all off, this year, Alexandra has signed her first record deal as a music producer.

We interviewed her to learn more about her career journey, the secrets to her success and communicating in the digital world.

What did you study at the University and what was your favourite thing about your course?

I studied for a joint honors in English, Theatre, Film and Television (bit of a mouthful!). My favourite thing was probably the flexibility and variety in what I could study. I got to be selective about my modules, meaning I was learning what I really wanted to learn about, while also having my eyes open to different forms of artistic expression and literature. I also benefited a lot from the brilliant clubs and societies available.

Can you tell us a bit about your career journey in digital advertising and how you got to where you are now?

I started by doing work experience at an advertising agency in Bristol in the summer while I was studying. I then got some work experience at M&C Saatchi in London, also before graduating. Then, in 2014, the summer after I graduated, I began an internship at an agency in Soho. I worked there for two months before moving onto a larger agency, Grey, for a month and then moved to Sydney with my friends. Once in Sydney, I applied for roles there and got an entry level role at Leo Burnett working on Samsung. That was a real crash course in advertising! Very intense. I moved back to the UK after a year and joined BBH where I worked on campaigns for Uber, Lynx and British Airways. I did that for about four to five years before moving client side and joining the marketing team at Nike.

Why did you build the online magazine Cleopatras and what message do you want to deliver to your audience?

I started it because I wanted to better understand success and achievement. I felt there were lessons I needed to learn to really get what I wanted out of life and felt these lessons weren’t being presented to me as a woman. I was gravitating to spaces targeted at men to get advice of substance and I hated that. How will we ever see equality if women aren’t given the same guidance? I started Cleopatras to plug that gap, and also to show a broader image of fulfilment in women.

You launched a podcast called ‘Hot Girls’ with MOBO, featuring award winning guests and music industry elite. Can you tell us about one of your best moments on air?

I had so much fun doing Hot Girls and learnt a lot! I laughed in every conversation. My interview with Jasmine Dotiwala (MTV, Channel 4, BBC) was fascinating for her insight into how culture changed through the collaborative efforts of brands, entertainment and journalism. And also speaking to Shinghai (formerly of The Noisettes); this was nearly a four hour conversation that we had to edit down. Her song ‘Never Forget You’ was one of my favourite songs growing up, and to hear how that period of her life was – being brought in and out of studios and constantly being typecast – was very interesting and moving for me.

Who would be your dream person to host on air?

Oh a great diva. Janet Jackson perhaps because she has a beautiful soul. Or Sade, though she’s very private. Or Missy Elliot – what a woman.

You are a Jacqueline of all trades, what helps you to accomplish so much?

Love, and a feeling of privilege. I feel very lucky to really love so many things. They’re ‘productive’ but they’re also super fun for me! Discipline is also a huge part. I expect a lot from myself and hold myself to a high standard when it comes to the amount of time I’m investing in projects. I don’t make excuses for myself. If there’s something I’ve fallen short on, I hold myself responsible and try and learn from everything.

Where in Bristol did you make your happiest memories?

Probably my houses actually – one was in Redland and one on St. Paul’s Road. I made some incredible friends at Bristol, all with really diverse interests and careers and we’ve supported each other through life since. They’re special friendships full of support and encouragement.

If you are thinking of beginning a career in the Creative & Digital sector, join our Bristol Connects Live event: Creative roles within Digital Industries, and hear from Alexandra as well as two other creative professionals.

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