Life

Rejected by law school, this woman now has a top job in tech

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Moya Lothian-McLean
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Kate Beaumont_Direct of Innovation Samsung UK

Work/Life is Stylist’s regular column about the professional routines of successful women. Here, Kate Beaumont – director of innovation at Samsung UK – talks us through her one-day diary, from morning latte to lights out. 

Kate Beaumont is director of innovation, technology and services strategy at Samsung UK. She lives in Fulham, southwest London, with her partner Adrian.

MY ALARM GOES OFF…

At 6.30am. I’m up and out the door in 35 minutes. The first thing I do when I get out of bed is stretch on the floor. I need to limber up for the day. For breakfast, I have a protein shake. Our industry really isn’t suited and booted any more, so I’ll usually wear jeans. I scan WhatsApp quickly, but I don’t look at my emails until I get into the office. My commute is 45 minutes by car and I use it to listen to a podcast like The Guilty Feminist.

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I’M RESPONSIBLE FOR…

Overseeing and implementing the structure required to transform business performance, improve profitability and drive meaningful innovation at Samsung UK.

I GOT MY JOB…

By not getting into law school. I ended up working in the insurance industry for 10 years. After that, I started working for magazines where I was selling advertising and then I worked at a marketing company. My boss left to go to a telecoms company while I was there and offered me a position, too. That started my career in tech. I moved to Samsung in 2015 and into my current role last year. I’ve ended up where I am through being curious and the fact that I like to learn.

Kate is never far from the latest Samsung tech.
Kate is never far from the latest Samsung tech.

MY TYPICAL DAY…

Begins at my desk at 7.30am. I get in that early because it gives me a start on the day before everyone else is in and I like that time to filter through emails uninterrupted. At the moment, a good chunk of my time is spent working on launching 5G into the UK market.

Without sounding evangelical, 5G is going to change the way we live our lives over the next two to three years. Everything is going to connect a lot faster. If you’re downloading videos, for example, you’ll get a whole boxset in 60 seconds. And it will be key for things like automated cars and remote surgery. We’re working on educating our staff, so they can communicate this to the consumer.

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MY MOST MEMORABLE WORK MOMENT…

Was when we first launched the Galaxy S7. A lot of work had gone into it, so it was a really proud moment.

THE WORST PART OF MY JOB…

Is the amount of information I have to digest. We’re a very data-heavy company. For example, I need to understand everything that’s going on in sales because it informs the conversations I’m having with our partners.

THE BEST PART OF MY JOB…

Is working with really talented people who care about innovation, not just for the sake of it, but innovation that’s going to have meaning. When there’s a sense that you’re in it together, it makes the challenges more palatable.

She's currently working on the launch of 5G (for even speedier Instagram updates).

AFTER WORK…

I focus on recharging my batteries, because days are hectic. I’ll watch Netflix or scroll through Instagram, which isn’t too bad because I only follow inspirational photography accounts, so it’s all wildlife and landscapes. I’m extremely controlled with my social media. My husband cooks and I do the crappy admin. For dinner, he’ll make something like grilled chicken with vegetables. Then, I’ll read. Right now it’s The Blackhouse by Peter May. I try to do lights-out at 10.30pm, but if it’s a good book…

My Plan B: Investigative Journalist

I’ve always had a huge curiosity and I love solving problems. Everybody else wanted to be a ballerina or an air hostess when I was growing up and I remember thinking, ‘What?’ I’d play at being a journalist; I had a fake ID I’d flash to ‘interviewees’ and a notebook.

Discover Samsung KX here.

Photography: Holly McGlynn

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Moya Lothian-McLean

Moya Lothian-McLean is a freelance writer with an excessive amount of opinions. She tweets @moya_lm.

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