I am an experienced writer and communications professional capable of producing consistently high quality, compelling content across a range of media platforms.
Key attributes: highly adaptable writing style; ability to learn markets quickly; brand awareness; attention to detail; proficient researcher; personal resilience.
Technical skills: Content Management Systems (Contensis, Terminal Four, WordPress, MODx); HTML; Google Analytics; forum administrator software; social networking.
PhD: English Literature
October 2016 onward, Lancaster University, Lancaster
- AHRC-funded PhD student.
- Working thesis title: ‘Citizen robots: a critical investigation of American science-fiction published during the Vietnam War (1955-75)‘.
MA: English Literature
Sept 2012 to Sept 2014, Brunel University, Uxbridge
- Awarded a Distinction at Masters level.
- Received an A+ for my dissertation project ‘The Compliance Function: Participation and Transgression in Flowers for Algernon and Robinson Crusoe‘. One marker commented that this project was the ‘best dissertation I have marked on an MA program at Brunel’.
BA (Hons): English with Creative Writing
Sept 2007 to July 2010, Brunel University, Uxbridge
- Awarded First Class Honours Degree, achieving straight A-grades in final year.
- Won the ‘Gompertz Prize for English’.
- Co-founder of the Brunel Writers’ Society and treasurer of the Brunel Rock Society.
- Candidate in the university executive elections for Media Officer 2008/09.
- Received excellence awards at the Brunel Student Volunteering Awards in both 2009 and 2010.
Sept 2004 to July 2006, Thanet College, Broadstairs
- A-Levels in Maths (A) and Physics (A)
- AS-Levels in English (A) and Film Studies (A)
Sept 2002 to July 2004, Dane Court Grammar School, Broadstairs
- A-Levels in History (A), Government and Politics (B), Business and Economics (B) and General Studies (A)
- AS-Level in Sociology (A)
- 11 GCSEs A–C (7 A*, 2 A, 2 B)
Assistant Dean: Graduate College, Lancaster University
September 2017 onward
- Assistant Dean in Lancaster University’s Graduate College.
Student Communications: Lancaster University
November 2016 to Present
- I am currently working with the Student Communications team at Lancaster University to produce a targeted weekly newsletter for students. My previous experience has allowed me to assist in other areas of work including internal communications, and editing a ‘good practice guide’ for the AUA.
- I have also recently undertaken work to re-vamp the Graduate College’s website, using the University CMS, Terminal Four.
- As a result of my work, I was recently voted a regional winner in the Student Employee of the Year awards in the ‘above and beyond’ category.
IT Communications Officer: Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU)
February 2016 to September 2016 (full-time)
June 2017 to Present (freelance)
- Communications Officer for the IT department at CCCU. In this role I completely overhauled the IT department’s communications, from its online presence to its print marketing materials and digital displays. I am particularly proud of my work on the department’s internal staff-facing website where I used my GA skills to improve user journeys, while also creating a series of web forms to assist the service desk with internal support requests. This work led to a significant increase in engagement, with pageviews and average time on page up >25%. IT student-facing web-pages for the month of September 2016 were up 400% year-on-year.
- Key skills: content auditing; report writing; communications plans; Google Analytics; copywriting; stakeholder engagement; blogging.
- Update June 2017: I have recently resumed work for the IT department on a freelance basis while I continue my studies at Lancaster.
Faculty Web Editor: Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU)
March 2014 to February 2016
- Web Editor for the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences. A multi-faceted role, I was initially taken on to oversee the launch of a full set of new web pages ready for the launch of the new Faculty website in August 2014. This project was delivered on time, and exactly to specification, ahead of any other Faculty within the University, and with two months’ less time than any other Web Editor to complete the task. I subsequently completed a comprehensive review project, working to further enhance Faculty pages, and maintain the Faculty as the benchmark for web content within the University.
- In addition to the above, I was also involved in many elements of digital marketing, sharing my expertise in areas such as social media, blogging, PPC and SEO, with the aim of raising the University’s overall digital profile. I also took on responsibility for the UK Institute for Migration Research (UK-IMR) website.
- Key skills: digital marketing; stakeholder engagement; project management; information architecture; copywriting; social media; blogs; Contensis CMS; WordPress CMS; Google Analytics; Adobe Photoshop; Adobe Premiere Pro; YouTube; Microsoft OneNote.
Senior Writer / Journalist: EK Communications Ltd (EKC)
August 2011 to March 2014
- Senior Writer / Journalist for a PR and marketing agency that specialises in the dental sector. Tasks included ghostwriting feature articles for the national trade press, interviewing clients, completing call-sheets, attending trade shows and events, and supervising / managing the work of junior writers and freelancers. I also worked with one of our clients to ghost-write a book.
- Key skills: management; detailed market knowledge; verbal and written communication; writing to deadlines; interviewing; reporting; copywriting.
Content Writer: ChangYou.com (EU)
Oct 2010 to May 2011
- Content Writer for free-to-play MMO publisher ChangYou.com. Work included writing news posts, compiling newsletters, blogging, proof-reading, dealing with content requests, creating a staff style guide, and working to re-write and enhance website content. My role also quickly expanded to include significant work in PR, Marketing, QA, Community Management, and Localisation.
- Key skills: detailed and comprehensive product knowledge; WordPress CMS; project management; organisation; inter-departmental communication; writing for specific audiences; community awareness; copy-writing.
Personal Website: www.mjryder.net
November 2008 to Present
- I started this website way back in November 2008 as a way of enhancing my ‘digital footprint’, while also teaching myself valuable skills. Over the years this website has been through several different iterations, originally starting out as a custom-built site on MODx CMS, and more recently, moving on to WordPress.
- Key skills: MODx CMS; WordPress CMS; working knowledge of HTML/XHTML (all self-taught); copy-writing; blogging; web editing; and social networking skills including Facebook and Twitter.
Columnist and Sub-Editor: Brunel University LeNurb Magazine
December 2007 to June 2010
- Most published writer in the magazine for three years running.
- Entered into the Guardian Student Media Awards 2009 in the ‘Columnist of the Year’ category, and 2010 in the ‘Writer of the Year’ category.
- Work included liaising with writers and union officials, and organising features.
Other Work Experience
Online Gaming / Community Management:
- Official Game Admin: Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun.
- Forum Administrator: www.strike-team.net.
- Forum Administrator / Community Manager: www.cncevo.info.
- Forum Administrator: www.gamerwarzone.com.
- Global Moderator: www.cncwarzone.com
For more information please see my gaming C.V.
- Volunteer Admin Assistant: St Mark’s Church, Ramsgate.
- Volunteer: Pilgrims Hospice ‘Old Bank Book Shop’, Margate.
- Sales Assistant (Book Department): WHSmiths Ramsgate.
Microsoft Office 2013
Microsoft Office 2016
- Video games (Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, DS) — RPG, MMORPG, FPS, RTS, Racing, Puzzle.
- Sports — MotoGP, football, rugby union, badminton.
- Other hobbies — hiking, reading, war-gaming, visiting museums, writing.