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Ruth Allen

Ruth AllenWhat is your job title?

I’m the Head of Communications.

What are your main responsibilities?

I support and advise on all of the communications activity within Marine Scotland – our website, our intranet site, exhibitions and events, newsletters, posters, brochures, leaflets and social media, as well as working with other colleagues in other organisations who also have an interest in marine and fisheries.

What skills do you need to be able to do your job?

Being able to juggle lots of different things at once, having to come up with unusual and new answers to problems and being able to work with lots of different people who have lots of different ideas!

What qualifications do you need to do your job?

I don’t have any formal communications qualifications, but have been working in communications in the Government for more than ten years. To join the Civil Service initially, I needed an undergraduate degree, although they didn’t mind what the degree was in.

What are the highlights of your job?

Working with lots of other very talented, funny, enthusiastic and smart people.

And any low points?

Sometimes you know that a decision you make might not be the right one, but it’s the best one you can make at the time.

What advice would you give to someone interested in your line of work?

Go for it! Try and get experience in the area you want to work in, even if you don’t immediately have the right qualifications – or think you have the right qualifications – to do it. Just stick with it and don’t be afraid of new things.

What interested you about your line of work?

I really like marine and fisheries. I’m a scuba diver and my dad was a fishermen, so the subject area had always interested me. In terms of the communications side of it, people would say it’s because I like to talk a lot!

How long have you worked with Marine Scotland?

Three and a half years.

How did you get started with Marine Scotland?

I was already working in the Scottish Government when Marine Scotland was formed. (Marine Scotland was created in April 2009 when two former Government Agencies – the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA) and the Fisheries Research Services (FRS) – were merged in to the part of the main Scottish Government that dealt with marine and fisheries policy). The job I was recruited to do was a new one and involved merging the two Agency websites in to the Scottish Government website, so that there was only one Marine Scotland website.

What would be your advice to your younger self when making subject, study and career choices?

Not to worry if you don’t think you’ve done the right subjects or you change your mind. There’s always an opportunity to change what you’re doing and learn new skills. I think it’s more important to enjoy what you do because it’s true – if you enjoy what you do, it doesn’t feel like work.