After Heriot’s Blog

Next on the blog we have Carly Mills.

Please get in touch if you wish to share your story ‘after Heriot’s’.

Carly Mills, Class of 2012

What is your current role?

My current role is Pricing and Revenue Analyst at the Ambassador Theatre Group. I work in the revenue management team and my main responsibilities involve creating strategic pricing plans, working with theatre directors and with some of the UK’s most prolific producer partners (including Cameron Mackintosh, Sonia Friedman Productions, Walt Disney Theatrical and Bill Kenwright Ltd) for a wide range of UK regional touring shows. I also carry out in-depth sales data analysis to identify opportunities to maximise ticket revenue and increase admits. Some of the shows I am currently working on include Wicked, the new Stock Aitken Waterman Musical I Should Be So Lucky and the first UK tour of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. I also look after sales for exciting one-night events with artists such as Hollywood Vampires, Michael McIntyre and Tom Hanks.

What was your journey to get there?

Having started piano lessons at age 4, I knew I wanted to work in the performing arts from a very young age. So, after leaving Heriot’s in 2012 I studied music at the University of Aberdeen, where I achieved a first-class Bachelor of Music degree with honours. I then decided to complete a combined Masters in Music and Management at the University of Leeds, which enabled me to continue piano studies to an extremely high level, but also introduced me to a multitude of alternative career possibilities within the arts.

As well as my passion for music, I also developed a love for Theatre through various trips to London’s West End with my family and with Heriot’s, and from my experience working many summers at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. So once I graduated I moved to London and had ticketing roles at Opera Holland Park, then Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment before finding my current role at ATG.

The job description really intrigued me – I was surprised to discover that such a strategic, commercially focussed and data driven role existed within the arts world! I nervously submitted my application, not certain of how suitable my skills would be given my more creative background, but was delighted when I heard that I had been successful! Every day I am presented with exciting new challenges, opportunities to learn and grow my expertise in the field of revenue management, and have so many incredible experiences that allow me fully immerse myself in the world of performing arts.

What are your achievements?

My biggest personal achievement was winning consecutive music competitions in Aberdeen and Leeds which gave me the opportunity to perform Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto in various concerts accompanied by live orchestras.

I am also very proud of my resilience and loyalty to my industry, particularly during such a difficult time when theatres were forced to close and live entertainment paused for months throughout the pandemic. As tempting as it perhaps seemed to switch direction at that point, I am so glad that I put in the hard work to continue being able to follow my passion.

What are your favourite memories of Heriot’s?

My favourite Heriot’s memories very much revolve around the music department. Highlights include the school’s 350th Anniversary Concert at the Usher Hall where I played cello in the rendition of Highland Cathedral with Mr Brownlee conducting first orchestra, combined choirs and Caledon. Also singing in St Giles Cathedral with Mrs Buttars and the Chamber Choir, and representing Castle in many House Music Competitions every year from P4 through to S6!

Any top tips for current pupils when planning their future?

Work hard, take time to find what makes you happy and believe in yourself. I would also encourage pupils to keep options open, research and explore all avenues in whatever profession or industry you are interested in, as you may be surprised by just how many diverse opportunities there are!