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David Mitchell (BA Linguistics 1976)


After graduation, I immediately joined the Civil Service as an Executive Officer in the Directorate of Supply Computer Services in the Ministry of Defence in Bicester. After gaining training and experience in Systems Analysis and Programming, I left in 1979 to join CBS Records Manufacturing in Aylesbury as a Systems Analyst. This was an exciting opportunity to utilise both my linguistic and IT sklls, involving frequent and extensive pan-European and North American travel. I progressed my career through project management, systems and departmental management, culminating in becoming Director of Distribution Systems in 2000. During this time, CBS Records was bought by Sony to form Sony Music and I became a member of the European Regional Office for IT, based in Aylesbury. A merger with BMG to create Sony BMG resulted in my department being transferred to the management of Sony DADC, headquartered in Austria. In 2008 and due to an office re-location from Aylesbury to Enfield, I left the company amicably. They nevertheless offered me a consultancy arrangement and I created my own company (Caverlog Consultancy Ltd) of which I am Managing Director (owner) still to date, based in Caversfield. I have been an Associate of the Institute for Translation and Interpreting since 2010 and recently added videography services to my business portfolio.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

It had an excellent reputation for language studies and was almost unique at that time for offering a single degree course in Linguistic Science.

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

I thoroughly enjoyed the campus environment, social life and soccer teams, for which I received Club & University Colours on more than one occasion.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

Satisfy the academic requirements of your studies but ensure you actively participate in the social/sporting events to achieve a sound life balance. You will never again have such a golden opportunity!

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

After 30 exciting and rewarding years associated with the music industry, I continue to benefit from the personal and professional network I have formed over that period. Additionally, I am embarking on a new venture in the provision of videography services, encouraged by positive feed-back from projects for family and friends in recent times.

What would be your top tips for students interested in working in this sector?

Carpe diem! Opportunities in the corporate aspects of the music industry still exist but seem to be inevitably fewer as the industry copes with the digital world. Otherwise, ensure you have a solid grounding in a business environment before embarking in a career in management consultancy.

How has the University of Reading and the Careers Centre helped in your chosen career path?

My degree certainly helped me grasp the opportunities I've had.

What are your top tips for students graduating this year? What should they be doing to secure the job they want?

Fully research the opportunities available in their chosen area. Demonstrate confidence, willingness and flexibility in addition to the academic qualifications in order to impress a future employer.

What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?

It provided me with a fantastic mix of enjoyable academic endeavours alongside social, sporting and international (year abroad) opportunities I would never have benefited from otherwise. It was a fantastic basis for my subsequent professional career path. So many excellent warm memories but if forced to choose then probably winning the cup with the second eleven football team!

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