Alison Fullerton is Fundraising and Communications Manager at Wasps Studios. Wasps provides affordable studios for 750 visual artists and 28 arts organisations across Scotland.

Like lots of people I’ve done tons of jobs including working in a pie and bridie factory (I’m from Forfar) but the jobs below are the ones that stick in my mind.

1.    Sales Assistant, Jeffrey Rogers

Ladies over a certain age will remember Jeffrey Rogers, a kind of wannabe River Island that didn’t make it through the ’90s. This was my job through my student days….

2.    Australian Jobs
I spent a year in Australia after graduating and did everything from data testing at Citibank to working in a coffee shop to washing dishes in hostels, all in between drinking too much Tooheys New and cheap wine.

3.    Sales Person / Administrator, ‘Neverfail Spring Water’ 

But my favourite of all these jobs and one worth mentioning was a stint at ‘Neverfail Spring Water’ in Sydney. It was a new company and my job was to call businesses and get them to take free trials of Neverfail Spring Water Coolers. You wouldn’t think it would be difficult selling free water in the summer in Australia but I struggled badly. After a few days the boss spotted my lack of sales talent and gave me one of the best jobs there doing admin work. Sometimes it pays to be bad at something.

4.    Customer Advisor, Scottish Power

I then went from the Technicolor of Australia to a call centre in rainy Glasgow. It was a dark time. For anyone who’s worked in a call centre you’ll know what an utterly sole destroying job it can be. I won’t dwell.

5.    Admin Assistant, Wasps
I needed to get some more office experience fast when I saw the job for Admin Assistant advertised at Wasps way back in 1999. I knew nothing about visual art back then but managed to win over my interviewers at the time (one of them was Chief Exec. David Cook who is also still at Wasps today). I actually said in my C.V. that I had a “real zest for life”. Every now and again David will dig out my original application for a right good laugh. I’ve been incredibly lucky at Wasps and have been able to develop my role as the organisation has grown over the past decade.


We’ve asked professionals in creative industries what jobs they have had in the past to get their foot through the door (or at least pay the rent). For more in the “My First 5 Jobs” series look here.