Group Financial Controller
Nick H is the Group Financial Controller for The Paper Company. He did his accountancy qualifications while he was working full time. That was hard work – his whole life was basically studying. But it was worth it to get that piece of paper which said he was a qualified accountant.
Deidre B is an Accounts Assistant at NVT Group. When she was younger she didn’t feel she needed a career, but she changed her mind. She had to go to night school and do an HNC as a condition of getting this job, so now she’s got some professional qualifications.
Pamela wanted to be a doctor when she was at school but eventually did a Human Sciences degree which she loved. After a spell working for Sainsburys she went into Accountancy after she moved to Dublin.
Lisa didn’t plan to become a Human Resources Manager, but she has worked her way up and she loves it. Having lost her Dad in 2003 and having seen her mum face serious illness, Lisa believes that life is for living and that every opportunity should be grabbed. She makes the most of opportunities at work and in her social life. Skydivivng in Australia is just one of the challenges she has risen to!
Gail D organises musical events at the Sage Gateshead. “The best thing is definitely seeing, you know, a completely full hall with an audience who are absolutely loving a gig and then seeing the artists really, really enjoying that as well.” She started organising gigs and tours while she was still at university. “You’ve got to remember when you go to uni to get as much experience, life experience as well as studying experience, as you can.”
Parveen A is an Administrator at Cambridge Regional College. She has a degree in sociology and law. In the future she would like to take up a career in law, but that’s on hold at the moment because she’s keen to start a family. “At the moment an admin job is good for me and I’m making the most of that.”
Food & Beverage Manager
Douglas knows that coming out to his parents when he was 18 and leaving accountancy to pursue his interest in Hospitality and Catering have been hugely significant points in his life. Inspired by his mum and his partner, his ethos in life, ‘live hard, work hard’ and his ability to take leaps of faith to pursue his passions, have seen him forge a very successful career.
Being the youngest of 15 children, Steve found that he was always quite shy. He wanted to be either a footballer or a chef “‘cos I came from a large family, and I was never allowed in the kitchen, so I was always curious how food was delivered on a plate.
Jane G is General Manager at the Holiday Inn and Hotel in Guildford. When she was on the graduate training programme at Rank Hotels she enjoyed working in all the different departments, learning to understand how hotels are run. “I cleaned bedrooms, I cooked in the kitchen, worked at reception, checked guests in, checked guests out.”
Charles E is Marketing Manager for The Paper Company, he studied operations management at university. “I based by thesis on The Real Paper Company. I came along, did some interviews, wrote the thesis and then sent them a copy and the rest is sort of history. Nine years later I’m still here.”
Senior UX Designer
Mustafa dealt with dyslexia at school by talking and drawing. His interest in art led him to the prestigious London College of Printing where he obtained a degree in graphic design. He experienced set backs early in his career which gave him the opportunity to set up his own agency. From here he was able to grow both in confidence and his abilities.
Digital Community Manager
Laura was very focussed on science from an early age and went on to study biochemistry at Leeds university. Although she loves science in practice she also loves communicating science to other people. In her present role she is a Community Manager for Digital Science, bringing science to a wider audience as well as developing discussion and debate.
Louise M is a Sales Manager for Aggregate Industries. She goes out on the road selling Bradstone products to clients. “The Building materials certainly is a very male-dominated industry, as is the majority of the construction industry. It certainly provides some good opportunities for women, purely because it gives us an opportunity to show what we can do.”
Rob P is Sales Director of Certus Sales. “I was your lovable rogue, I was very naughty and never nasty.” Rob feels he has got his success but “it wasn’t like a duck to water. It took a lot of time and energy. You know, you’re always improving, getting better, always have to work harder, work smarter, be more creative.”
Sales Executive Amanda B left school at sixteen, did an NVQ in Business and started work as a receptionist. When she was made redundant from that company she found a career within a catering business and “started at the bottom”, working her way up from Sales Administrator to Sales Executive with Baxter Storey.
Lisa E is currently a Deputy Department Manager at John Lewis. She wasn’t enjoying her degree in law, so she looked around for other options. John Lewis appealed because of its graduate training scheme. “They train you on the job. You also start on a good salary and you’re fast tracked throughout the company.”
Sahar K buys knitware for the Evans brand. As a girl she would pretend to sit on a plane and go on a business trip. She also liked fashion programmes on TV, and wondered who the people were who were watching the catwalks. A career advisor told her that people actually do travel round the world buying clothes for shops – “As a girl, it was just the most fascinating thing ever.”
Head of Merchandising
Jeanette B is Head of Merchandising at an office supplies wholesaler, Spicers. She didn’t go to university because she chose to stay at home with her mum, who needed help. So she took a job as a merchandising assistant. “The guy that I reported into, who was a bit of a tough cookie, helped me learn a huge amount in a very short space of time.
“It’s all about going on and not giving up because when you code you actually solve a problem.” Andreea moved to the UK for work and now encourages young people to give coding a go, “If you’re interested in coding or not you will never know unless you try.”
Desiree N is an Engineer working as a Technical Capabilities Specialist for Vodafone. She came from Nigeria to do her A levels. She found a good work placement, “Spending a year in industry made me even more motivated to have a good degree and that made me focus to study hard”.
Tariq S is the Technical Director for Redstone. He says, “I work in the area of Redstone that looks after schools, and schools’ IT. We design all of the ICT that’s going into brand new schools or refurbished schools”.