From music publicist to newspaper editor to non-profit administrator, Winsome Cornish has worn many hats and has managed to successfully transition and excel into each space. What are her secrets to success? Cornish shared a few gems, along with a glimpse of what she has coming up next in our latest installment of Parlour MAVEN.
Londoners, catch Winsome on March 8 as she joins another dynamic line-up of speakers at the next I’mPOSSIBLE Conversation, taking place as part of the Women of the World festival during International Women’s Day at Southbank Centre.
Parlour: You’ve had a varied work life while many struggle to transition, any advice on changing careers and finding success?
There has been an organic connection in the positions I have held, none were particularly planned, and I have tended to transition through extending my roles. For example, as an enthusiastic record company press secretary, I volunteered to write music reviews for the newsletter, which the publicity department circulated to the media and also undertook other press office duties. Dedication to the job and the fact that, along with my boss, I was usually one of the last to leave the office, led to me becoming a press officer, my first major promotion.
I joined Voice newspaper due to my PR and media liaison skills, where I took an overall interest in the presentation, direction and content of the paper, which eventually led to me becoming editor. My record company role was the catalyst to artist management, and my community advocacy and campaigning was relevant background for my role at Operation Black Vote. In between I edited several other publications and ran multi-ethnic Spectrum Radio.
I endeavour to put any product or company I am involved with ‘on the map’ and any attributed success has come out of my commitment to the job at hand. My current role in foster care is a continuation of my interest in our community and young people. I have also been lucky that I was head-hunted for the majority of those positions.
It has become very difficult to switch careers. Even if you have the skills without the relevant qualifications there is limited opportunity for change. It is prudent to plan at least five years ahead, and although it can be very expensive, arm yourself with the necessary skills and qualifications. Most importantly to find success my advice, be very interested in your current position and always give double what you feel is the maximum requirement.
What are some of your career highlights?
Meeting greats like Muhammad Ali and Nelson Mandela and working in conjunction with civil rights leaders like the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton. These encounters have given me perspective on what makes these men stand out as leaders. And although some may disagree with the Queens Honours, I truly appreciate receiving the award, and working with Simon Woolley at Operation Black Vote was in itself an honour.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by everyday level headed people, those who take responsibility.