Spotlight on Careers

Alumni share their career journeys with us and give advice about working in their industry.  We would love to see this page grow and more industries be represented so if you would like to be featured please contact the Alumni office. 

Bryn Llewelyn OM '91 - AGRICULTURE - Farmer/Managing Director

What is your profession and current position? 

Farmer (Owner + MD) in Kenya

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work? 

It taught me the importance of people and managing all relationships.

What is your biggest professional achievement? 

The journey of Regenerative Farming.

What has been your most challenging professional moment? 

Adjusting to what Mother Nature throws at us.

What inspires and motivates you at work? 

Continually striving for perfection.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession? 

Only worry about what you can control, and then do something about it.

Rich Tyers OM '07 - ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN - Architect

What is your profession and current position?  

I am an Architect and Director of Rich Tyers Studios.

On my drawing board at the moment is an ultra-low energy 'Passivhaus' home, several home extensions/refurbs, a pharmaceutical laboratory and a sustainable refurbishment of a community hall.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
Of the many things I learnt at Monkton, self-motivation has got to be top of the list; an inner drive to take action - to be creative and achieve.

What is your biggest professional achievement?
Passing my Part III (the final qualification required to register as an architect). There are few moments in any career when you are able to take stock of what you have achieved. When I opened my letter from the ARB (Architect’s Registration Board) confirming my admission to the register, I couldn’t help but reflect on the 14yr old me who had that original ambition, how impossible it seemed at the time and how happy I was to have finally achieved it.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
Passing my Part III. You do your final qualification in full time work. By the time you get round to doing the Part III, it is likely that you will already be doing the work of an architect as the Part III requires you to demonstrate your experience in order to pass. At the time, I had a huge housing development on site, several projects on the drawing board and was working evenings and weekends on the Part III. Keeping self-motivated was very important at that time of my career!

What inspires and motivates you at work?
Climate change is one of the defining challenges of the 21st century. What we need is radically innovative thinking that is applied to all aspects of our society to overcome the climate change challenge. Through my practice, I can demonstrate repeatedly how to design sustainable buildings that meet budgetary and time constraints. I am proud to be part of the solution, not the problem.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?It takes many years to learn how to design buildings and, sometimes, even longer to complete projects. Architect's don't produce their best work until late into their careers. Norman Foster was 66 when he designed the Gherkin! So my advice is to enjoy the journey.

Marcus Hember OM '91 - ARMED FORCES - Royal Navy

What is your profession and current position?  
I have served 26 years in the Royal Navy, mostly at sea and often on operations.  I am a Captain, Royal Navy, and at present work in the Maritime Operations Centre where I run the team that plans Royal Navy operations around the world.  This includes the ships, submarines, aircraft, Royal Marine Commandos, and other capabilities that make up the Naval Service. In Autumn 2022 I will assume Command of HMS ALBION, an amphibious ship ("Landing Platform Dock") based in Plymouth and return again to sea on operations - probably for the last time!

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
Monkton imbued me with a work ethic and perhaps also a sense of duty and that has helped me overcome some of the challenges of Service life.  The CCF(RN) section at Monkton was my first exposure to the Royal Navy and set me on the path to my current career.

What is your biggest professional achievement?
My greatest professional achievement has been the opportunity to Command sailors and ships on operations; I've commanded four ships, and reflecting back on the experience, the opportunity to lead and help our people fulfil their potential gives me greatest satisfaction. I've watched junior sailors and officers progress through their career, and occasionally been able to mentor and assist them to achieve on their own account - perhaps passing a professional exam, or assume their own first Command.

Away from the sea, I worked in the MoD Crisis Management team at the start of the COVID pandemic; helping to setup the team that enabled the MOD to overcome the challenges presented by the pandemic and make a contribution to the wider government response was hugely satisfying and a great example of the breadth and variety that a Royal Navy career can offer.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
The obvious challenges (and greatest rewards) are often on operations; an example might be the many obstacles inherent in working alongside several partner nations to enforce the UN arms embargo of Libya. Less high profile, but probably of more importance are the challenges that often come with leading people; whether that be overcoming the difficulties of long separation from home and family, helping people deal with professional hurdles or setbacks, or when having to oversee the implementation of Service discipline. The less glamorous elements of Service life - perhaps overseeing a ship emerging from refit and regenerating to return to operations, or long periods at sea testing equipment - often place the greatest demands on people to maintain motivation and energy levels. 

What inspires and motivates you at work?
I'm lucky to have a career which benefits from a very direct and tangible link to our collective safety, security, and prosperity, in a dangerous and changeable world.  What the Royal Navy does is profoundly important to protect our values, freedoms, and way of life, under threat, as ever, and perhaps more so than in recent years.  More directly, I'm inspired by the brilliant people in the Royal Navy, who come from every walk of life and for whom progress is limited only by ability and application; the RN is a very genuine meritocracy.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
A Naval career is not for everyone - but it offers more than many would think. It is important to remember that any military service, and certainly service in the Royal Navy, is a vocation, not a job; it will demand much of you, but offer a tremendous amount in return.  You won't get rich, but the experiences and opportunities on offer more than make up for it.

Robert Milnes OM '85 BUSINESS / SCIENCE - CEO

What is your profession and current position?

I'm a CEO of a digital health startup, and non-executive director of two other life science businesses.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?

I studied Biology, Physics and Chemistry at A-Level at Monkton but I felt more drawn to working in industry, so studied Business at University, and eventually combined those two things in a career in life sciences.

What is your biggest professional achievement?

Achieving my first business sale.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?

Raising money for a startup having never done it before.

What inspires and motivates you at work?

The life sciences industry is constantly evolving, and the pace of change is even faster in the startup world. Every day is different, and that variety is what motivates me.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?

There's no substitute for experience, so take on as many challenges as you can.

 

Chris Askew OBE OM '84 - CHARITY WORKER - Chief Executive

What is your profession and current position? 

I’ve worked in a variety of charities over the last 23 years (so, charity worker) and am currently Chief Executive of the charity, Diabetes UK.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?

Monkton’s culture built around values and pastoral care has certainly been an influence in my decisions about where and how I have wanted to work. I arrived at my career via time spent in the armed forces and in commerce previously and I think Monkton also left me with a sense of wide opportunity and the chance to explore, in the years after I left, where I might best use my talents and find the most job fulfilment. 

What is your biggest professional achievement?

Steering the charity Diabetes UK through the last 2 years. People living with diabetes have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic; stepping up the charity’s work to provide all the advice, support and campaigning which that has meant, whilst also ensuring the charity remained well-funded and well-resourced, has undoubtedly been the biggest challenge and achievement of my career to date.  

What has been your most challenging professional moment?

I was involved in taking a large charity I led into a merger with another charity, to form what is now Breast Cancer Now. Whilst this was undoubtedly the right thing to do, the process of merging two charities, both with strong track records of achievement and with distinct cultures, into a merger was a true professional challenge.

What inspires and motivates you at work?

I am lucky to be able to say that not a day passes in my work when I am not motivated by the opportunity to bring about positive change in people’s lives. That's not to say there aren’t difficult days at work, or times when the job can leave you despondent or exhausted, but at its heart, the purpose of charity is to work with donors and supporters to bring about a better world, in whatever area of cause, and that is a constant motivating force for me and for my colleagues at work. It follows from this, that what inspires me, is the chance to work with and support brilliant colleagues and volunteers, to use their talents, skills and time to effect change.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?

My one piece of advice to anyone considering working in the not for profit sector, is to get closer to the work and ethos of the sector in whatever way you can, whether as a volunteer, or Trustee, or fundraiser, to learn more about its culture and structure. From there, there are some good qualification options if you are looking for professional development - or equally look for job opportunities to get hands on experience. I started out as a Fundraiser, which gave me a great grounding in understanding how to communicate the purpose and impact of our work, with good opportunities for professional advancement.
 

Mark Herbert OM '03 - COACHING & LEADERSHIP - Consultant

What is your profession and current position? 
Coach and Leadership Consultant. I started my own business (leader-full.co.uk) two years ago after a season working as a School Teacher and more latterly, a Church Pastor. The business is built around my book - I'm [NOT] a leader - and is aimed at helping release leadership potential in people. This involves one-to-one coaching, group facilitation and running training workshops. 

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
I cannot recall one single 'silver bullet'. The biggest help Monkton gave me was developing my communication skills (vital for work and all relationships) and helping to begin forging character (which we fall back on when life and work gets tough). 

What is your biggest professional achievement?
Starting a business and authoring my first book in the pandemic. I love building relationships and doing this through screens was not easy. Building a business when access to clients was also limited really tested my resolve. 

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
Rather than a single moment, probably staying consistent and delivering quality every day. Effective time management has been crucial in this, as well as taking time to slow down, reflect and refuel the energy tank!

What inspires and motivates you at work?
Seeing lives transformed, especially amongst people who don't fit the typical stereotype and don't see themselves as natural leaders. Leadership is about influence, not position. Helping people see this and commit to being authentic and leading in their 'unique style' is wonderful to see. I particularly love working with younger leaders. Monkton was a key catalyst for this - I have never forgotten the impact certain teachers had on me and much of my desire to be a good mentor to others today was founded on the example I received during my schooling. 

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
Can I have two?! Firstly, don't worry about it. Life comes in seasons and starting a career ought not to be seen as a life-sentence. I have changed three times and am only in my late 30's. Each change has brought new opportunities and built on what went on before. 

Secondly, focus more on your character development than your raw competencies. It is character that you fall back on under pressure and character that ends up shaping your attitudes and the way you relate to other people. 

 

Charlie H OM '16 CIVIL AVIATION & METROPOLITAN POLICE – Crisis Management Officer and Special Sergeant

What is your profession and current position? 
I currently work within the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), within the Consumers and Markets Group as a Crisis Management Officer, however I will shortly be moving to the Aviation Security strand.

I’m also currently acting as a Special Sergeant in the Metropolitan Police alongside my career within the CAA.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
Resilience is one of the most key lessons I have learnt from school. The ability to crack on and get the job done when the circumstances may not be the best. Boarding was especially useful for developing this personality trait as boarders must muddle through school whilst being away from home.

What is your biggest professional achievement?
In the CAA I must say that being part of Operation Matterhorn (The aftermath of the collapse of Thomas Cook) was particularly enjoyable. It was a massive operation, costing upwards of £500M and I was in the centre of it. I was deployed to Peterborough for 11 weeks, living out a hotel room.

In the Police, I think planning an operation; deploying and supervising 30 Special Constables in the heart of London’s Soho area was one of my more enjoyable achievements.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
During Operation Matterhorn, there were occasions where I was the sole member of staff who was the subject matter expert that was on duty on site. The CAA had pulled staff from all round the organisation and the majority had no idea what the role was of me and my team; these colleagues had been briefly trained in our area of expertise however I was often approached for advice and often for quick decisions that could massively disrupt British citizens overseas.

The Police presents another realm of challenges from dealing with complex and occasionally distressing crime to dealing with office politics!

What inspires and motivates you at work?
I enjoy working for the CAA as it is a regulatory body, and the role we serve makes a tangible difference. The CAA is also an enjoyable and ecliptic organisation where people of all backgrounds and specialities work together to make the skies, and everyone on the ground, safer.

The Police has given me the confidence and interpersonal skills to deal with almost any situation I am thrown into, and I like to remain volunteering with the Police to maintain those skills and experience policing in London. No two shifts are the same!

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
To the pupils at school, I’d say if you want to stand out, do something in your own time either on your Gap Year or at University. Whether this is volunteering with the Special Constabulary, St Johns Ambulance or with the HM Reserve Forces, you have set yourself apart from those who don’t make this extra societal contribution. Serving as a Police Officer in the Special Constabulary, straight after school, showed that I was a responsible person at 19, making arrests and following legal procedures, setting me apart from most people that age. This massively helped me to join a regulatory body like the CAA. You also pick up professional or physical skills that are useful in the working world.

Volunteering not only helps your CV, it can also offer you a unique perspective into society.

I’m also a massive advocate for Apprenticeships, I’d strongly suggest seeing what apprenticeships are available either in your desired professional area or just browsing to see what appeals to you.

Keisuke Suzuki OM '13 E-Commerce marketing - Manager

What is your profession and current position? 

I am an E-commerce marketing professional and I am currently the Japan country manager for the Myprotein brand, selling all sorts of sport nutrition products and sportswear to Japan from Manchester.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
Work, like many other aspects of life, is all about communication. I feel that Monkton was a really big part of building up my communication skills and the confidence to use it. The skills I have now like Photoshop and Microsoft office are all thanks to the classes I had at Monkton!

What is your biggest professional achievement?
There are many things I am proud to have achieved personally but what I see as the 'biggest' achievement is probably the growth of the people in my team. When the effort and the work of my team are recognised, I am immensely proud.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
Being a manager has probably been the biggest challenge of my career.
Being able to carry out tasks by yourself is very different to running a team.
People are vastly different, not only in the culture and environment they have grown up with, but the way they think and what they value, as a result of this.
So getting a group of people to perform well, and to enjoy it, has been immensely challenging.

What inspires and motivates you at work?
I feel most motivated when I feel that my skills are being challenged and that I am growing as a result of it. I am inspired by how the collaborative efforts of everyone in the team can create wonderful products and services that affect people's lives.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
Be curious. Try to soak in all of the various information available to you, and keep up with new trends. Be inquisitive. Think for yourself how things work, research if your theory was right, and enjoy. If you are going to do something, you might as well have fun, and to have fun, the key is to do it to the best of your ability.

Tom Sanderson OM '85 - ECONOMY - Economist

What is your profession and current position?  
Economist, Foreign Office, civil service - working on international development.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
A strong sense of right and wrong; working hard; team sports helped me understand the importance of teams and working well together.

What is your biggest professional achievement?
Supporting over 70,000 entrepreneurs in Africa when I worked at the Five Talents Microfinance charity. 

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
When one of our local staff in Africa was murdered and I had to go out and meet the family and support the team. 

What inspires and motivates you at work?
Helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and working with other experts to make this happen. 

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?  
It takes time - so be patient. I worked for 10 years before I really got to where I wanted to be. 

Stephen Carruthers OM '73 - EDUCATION - Lecturer

Profession and current position 

I am currently an academic, lecturing at the Technological University of Dublin in a brand new campus on the site of a former psychiatric hospital in Grangegorman.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?

Monkton helped me get to the academic standard necessary to be awarded an exhibition to Trinity College Cambridge which was a very helpful calling card in getting my first job as a  lawyer in Paris.  I also learnt to be self-sufficient which has been a big advantage in adapting to new ways of working.

What is your biggest professional achievement?

Being awarded a PhD from the University of Ulster at the age of 50!

What has been your most challenging professional moment?

Working with lawyers from  Enron Corporation – see the book and documentary ’The smartest Guys in the Room’ for an idea of how ruthless they could be.

What inspires and motivates you at work?

Passing on my knowledge of the law to a new generation of lawyers and publishing my ideas.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?

Learn a foreign language!

Sam Holderness OM '99 - EDUCATION - Dukes Education

What is your profession and current position? 
Since 2008 I have held Directorships in the field of private education. Currently I am Business Integration Director for Dukes Education, a family of schools, nurseries, and educators.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
Although British by nationality, I came to Monkton for 6th form having been born and raised in Singapore. With hindsight there was a lot of culture shock, more so than I realised as an overconfident 16 year old. Coming from the tropics I’d spent my time in shorts at a 2000 student IB school, not CCF, rugby or coming within 20 feet of a tweed blazer. Monkton’s boarding community, particularly Mr and Mrs Dewes, whom I shall be forever grateful to, provided a caring environment to assimilate and grow into.  

What is your biggest professional achievement?
When leading a previous organisation, we received the highest inspection result ever achieved in the industry. It was reported that at the time, of the nearly 600 organisations holding accredited status, ours was the first to ever be awarded a perfect report. Delightfully, being the first can never be taken away. This was a team effort, and while I led the team, it was just reward for each member of the organisation’s commitment to excellence.  

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
Two immediately come to mind.

  1. Prior to working in private education, for several years I was a Therapeutic Social Worker based in residential units for young people in care with extremely challenging behaviour. These young people had among the toughest starts to life one could imagine. To this day, this role is simultaneously the best and worst I have had.
  2. The emergence of COVID 19. Like everyone running a business at the time, the unexpected pandemic moved faster than we could sensibly react to and caused huge fallout, almost entirely out of anyone’s hands. As months went on, we were able to implement strategy to adjust to the new normal, but that period was unlike anything I’d experienced previously.

What inspires and motivates you at work?
I’ve always asked the question “what’s the point”. With work, I wanted the point to be more than a salary – there are several industries that pay better than education. Working with young people is indescribably rewarding, results are immediate because your clients are young people who tell you exactly what you need to hear, whether you agree or not! Helping future generations create foundations for successful lives and best serve their communities as adults is an amazing answer to “what’s the point”.  

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
Life isn’t always linear, while it is important to have a clear destination/goal in mind, detours can often be the most fun. You will see opportunities that may be different to your plan, the skills and experience employers are looking for are far more diverse than you realise, keep motivated and be authentically you.

John Jolliffe OM '86 - EDUCATION - Executive Headteacher

What is your profession and current position?  
Primary Teacher, currently Executive Headteacher of six schools in Devon.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
Monkton gave me confidence to develop leadership skills and learn the importance of being resilient when things go wrong.

What is your biggest professional achievement?
Leading a school community in the aftermath of a child at the school dying at the hand of his father. Managing all the emotions of children, staff, parents and the community was extremely challenging but bringing everyone through this time was a huge achievement both for me as a professional and as a school leader.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
Ofsted inspections are always challenging, whatever the grade that the school is working towards at the time. In one inspection at a school I was seconded to work with, achieving a grade of ‘satisfactory’ was very challenging but so too have been achieving ‘outstanding’ inspection outcomes at two other schools.

 

What inspires and motivates you at work?

Much of the work I do is unseen by parents and children so my motivation comes from wanting to empower staff to give children the best start in life, both academically and emotionally and making sure they are ready to embark on the next stage of their learning journey.

 

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?

Don’t listen to anyone who says teaching is easy, the reality is very tough, a bit like being on a stage for 6 hours a day without enough time to prepare each performance! Be prepared for high levels of accountability but also be confident that you are doing the best you can. If you can make it work, it is an incredibly rewarding job and making a long-term difference to children’s lives is a real privilege.

Peter Hood OM '62 - EDUCATION - Semi Retired

Profession and current position

Initially I qualified as a teacher and taught in Secondary schools (History & Geography), before moving into Outdoor Education and becoming the youngest Head at 25 of an LEA / independent centre.

After a spinal injury at work I had to take early retirement at 39.

Using my skills and experience I became the Director of Education for a Rural Community Development Charity and I then moved on to manage a £2.4 m Regeneration Project.

On completion I went to work for the National Trust as a Regional Learning and Interpretation Officer, before becoming Freelance in 2007 following redundancy.    

I am currently semi-retired, still Freelance and Chair of a charity

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
Gaining Leadership skills, discipline of managing time, insight into and respect for the needs of others.

What is your biggest professional achievement?
Setting up 2 Outdoor Residential Education Centres that were still operating in 2020 - one 5 yrs old, the other 45 yrs old

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
Managing a £2.4 million Regeneration Project in 1997-2000 initially single handed. Facing early retirement from my beloved Outdoor Education

What inspires and motivates you at work?
Serving others by using my skills rather than the pursuit of wealth/status  - maybe old fashioned but still valid.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
Demonstrate commitment to and preparedness to learn from others

Tanya Ross OM ’84 – ENGINEERING - Director

What is your profession and current position?  

Consulting engineer (construction industry); director

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?

Monkton gave me plenty of opportunities for teamwork, and designing a building is a hugely collaborative team effort, integrating the skills of architects, various engineering disciplines, cost professionals, umpteen specialists plus contractors, so my role as a design manager has very much been one of promoting teamwork to achieve the best end result.

What is your biggest professional achievement?

I’ve been lucky enough to have several: attending the Millennium celebrations at the Dome and seeing that hugely innovative structure succeed so well (whatever you might have thought about the exhibition it contained); being there when Steve Redgrave brought the Olympic torch into the stadium in London on opening night in 2012, and again seeing the stadium perform spectacularly well.   

What has been your most challenging professional moment?

Being informed that “the cables are the wrong length” whilst in the middle of erecting the Millennium Dome in 1997.  Still, we sat down with the team and worked out a solution: the Dome is actually 300mm lower than the original design as a result, but I don’t think anyone noticed…

What inspires and motivates you at work?

Every project results in a building that people will use; so I really feel I’m doing something worthwhile that leaves a tangible legacy.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?

Choose to do something that you’re really, genuinely interested in, because you’ll be doing it for forty years!

 

 

Giles Grant OM '81 - ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY - Executive Director/MD

What is your profession and current position? 
Executive Director/MD of the Institute of Engineering & Technology’s global commercial information solutions business unit.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
Taught me skills around resilience, determination, focus and faith.

What is your biggest professional achievement?
Business turnarounds & transformations in Reed Elsevier/Relx, BSI, Thomson Reuters, and Pearson. Plus building a career in a global and constantly changing information solutions/media market.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
Leading acquisitions of businesses in Africa and India for Thomson Reuters.

What inspires and motivates you at work?
Constantly learning across a rapidly changing global industry.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
Try to obtain a placement at one of the largest global information solution providers, such as Thomson Reuters, Reed Elsevier/Relx, Wiley, or Clarivate. 

 

Aman Bansal OM 2018 - ENTREPRENEUR - Business Owner

What is your profession and current position?

I am an entrepreneur in the hospitality industry and I run my own doughnutery called Tamu (tamudoughnutery.com). We specialize in luxury, handcrafted doughnuts.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?

Having completed Business Studies as a GCSE (in Kenya) I then studied A-Level subjects at Monkton and at both we were often involved in site-visits outside of school, providing a background of business from a young age. In addition to this, stepping outside of your own little bubble and getting exposure to the outside world, creates a new environment which forces one to adapt to multiple cultures and learn more about their ways.

What is your biggest professional achievement?

So far, being selected as one of ‘the top 20 more inspiring women of 2023’ in an article that was published in the New York Journal, after being approached by two agencies: ‘Sunshy Digital Media’ and ‘Thoughtful PR’ – https://thenycjournal.com/top-20-inspiring-women-to-look-out-for-in-2023/

What has been your most challenging professional moment?

Getting the recipe right! It took me one and a half years to perfect my homemade eggless doughnut (since 2020). Like they say - you are your best critic, so just when you think you’ve got it right, you always find that room to improve until that spot of satisfaction is hit.

What inspires you and motivates you at work?

The beautiful artwork and designing that goes into our bespoke products. Our clients challenge us to achieve various prototypes for their special occasions, therefore creativity will always vary across each project we work on. This shapes an exciting atmosphere in the workplace, knowing that you are producing something different each time. (Instagram: @tamudoughnutery)

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?

Don’t ever give up. Having graduated in London as a makeup artist before the pandemic (that was my ultimate career goal), you should always be ready for change and challenges, because you don’t know what the other side has waiting for you, no matter how much you sit down and plan!

Mark Alcock OM '74 - EXTRACTIVE & INFRASTRUCTURE - Director

What is your profession and current position?

My working life covered 2 Careers:

Extractive Industry:  I spent 8 years in underground mines in Botswana and Cornwall, followed by 2 years as a Mining Analyst at a Stockbroker.

Project Risk Management:  After an interlude working with BOC (now part of Linde) managing sales proposals of Cryogenic Plants, I landed "on my feet" when I joined a new Insurance Risk Consultancy. Put simply I found my “niche”! From this new beginning, I progressed into Project Risk Management on Mega Projects covering the Extractive, Rail, Defence, Power and Nuclear industries. 

My career highlight was as Head of Risk for the Central Section of HS2 responsible for the effective management of risk within the project team and main contractors, as well as defining the required level of Contingency and areas of concern in the project plan.

As I write I am retiring after 44 years in work having loved all of my career!

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?

Being away from parents taught me to be self-reliant, whilst team sports and the CCF showed me the value of hard work and working as a team.

What is your biggest professional achievement?

Introducing the Clear Expression method of describing Risks, Opportunities and Responses, to facilitate a clear understanding of the nature of the Risk by the identifier, but more importantly to allow those reading it, to achieve the same understanding. I later discovered that HS2 had adopted this discipline.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?

Making the decision to stay in Risk Management rather than return to the Extractive Industry

What inspires and motivates you at work?

Helping others to clearly understand the risks they face, changing attitudes to show that active Management of Risk affects the amount of Grief that will be experienced! Latterly passing on my skills and experience to the next generation.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?

There is a Truism that everything mankind needs is either Grown or Mined!

The Extractive industry produces what we need materially and more importantly, to transition to a Green economy. Unfortunately, it is very short of all job disciplines from Engineers (all sorts!) to environmentalists, community specialists, project managers and accountants amongst many others!

Risk is present in everything we do and is still a growing Profession. So an industry relevant degree is sufficient to enter the industry of your choice but “getting your feet dirty” is an important prerequisite.

Seb Hobbs OM '87 - HEALTHCARE - CEO

What is your profession and current position?

CEO at Bestway Healthcare, operating the UKs largest independent pharmacy chain, a fast-growing pharmaceutical wholesaler and embryonic MedTech business.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?

Monkton helped establish clear values and the importance of integrity; team sports and extra-curricular activities helped me understand the importance of teams and how emphasising individual skills leads to better outputs; and finally, to be confident

What is your biggest professional achievement?

Before joining the healthcare sector, I worked for the world’s largest diamond jewellery retailer, where after years in the UK I was asked to move to America. It was a privilege to learn a different culture and lead 35,000 people through a period of significant change.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?

Merging businesses has been more challenging than turning businesses around. Combining organisations each with their own unique heritage, culture and distinct values to create a more powerful single entity is a true professional challenge and takes longer than one would expect.

What inspires and motivates you at work?

It is important to have a clear purpose that everyone can be inspired by and believe in. At Bestway Healthcare our purpose is to improve the lives of the patients and customers in the communities we serve. This connects all 6,500 of us, whatever our role in the organisation. My personal motivation comes from making things better, in whatever guise that takes on a daily basis.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?

Love what you do, a career is a big part of your life and can be extremely fulfilling, so make sure it is something you enjoy.

Bitania Mulugeta OM '95 - INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY - Director of Product Adenza

What is your profession and current position? 

I work in Capital Markets / Software industry and my profession is Strategic Product Management
I am currently a Director and my title is Director of Product

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?

Clarendon / Monkton taught me one of my biggest life lessons to have confidence.

What is your biggest professional achievement?

Initiating and driving the creation and rollout of electronic blotters for trading
Building platform to train staff and clients alike
Achieving directorship in a predominately male denominated industry.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?

I’ve had a couple…one that marked me was having to let go of someone that I didn’t hire and thought did a good job and the other was being accused of losing a big sale that I wasn’t involved in. 

What inspires and motivates you at work?

Collaborating and being able to imagine, design, work through and execute projects that allow others to see the big picture, work more efficiently and have the potential to make a huge difference in their everyday lives.   

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?

My profession involves meeting requirements so as an advice, in order to get into my profession don’t be shy.  Be inquisitive, ask questions on who / how / what / where people need the requirements for. Get opinions even for the things you may think you know the answers to.  This will help you have better knowledge and thus when interviewing and asked to design something totally random be able to provide the best product solution.

Neil Richards OM '87 - INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY - Agile Consultant

What is your profession and current position?

My profession is in the technology space, primarily in software development.  My position is as an Agile Consultant, where I coach, facilitate, mentor and train individuals, teams, organizations, and systems in exploring the journey of utilizing agile frameworks to deliver to the market value early and often. 

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?

Monkton was a catalyst in my journey to the world of work.  It helped with the ability to be independent, to make decisions, know failure was a way to learn, how to interact with people of different backgrounds, to believe in myself.  Out of all of that I think the key for me was the confidence I had in myself was part of that Monkton experience, especially if you read my school reports!

What is your biggest professional achievement?

I have been lucky in my career in technology, with teams I have worked with and the companies that have been at the forefront of technology changes throughout the 1990’s and the 2000’s.    There are several highlights that I could pick on, but the biggest achievement also became the biggest challenge in my career.  We built a software product suite and company for the education content creation market based on industry standards and integrated it into Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online and Microsoft Azure.  Microsoft licensed our product and distributed it in 18 different languages to over 33 million users via their Education Product Team globally.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?

The most challenging moment of my career was dealing with closing of that business after the 2008 crash, looking down the barrel of the debt, and figuring out how to cover all that and do the right thing.    The perfect storm is the only way I could describe the situation, our government clients lost budget money and canceled renewals, the global financial crash had budgets slashed in our corporate clients, and Microsoft changed their Education Group strategy.  This combination was the beginning of the end of the company we built.  Subsequent decisions we made kept us fighting to survive the resulting impacts, which was a mistake and compounded that ultimate situation.  It was a very challenging time personally and professionally, but a great learning experience.

What inspires and motivates you at work?

For me, the key is that work must be fun, life is too short to not enjoy what you are doing.  Building teams, as well as guiding individuals and their organizations in their journey of an agile transformation and developing their success in what they do is what inspires and motivates me.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?

Be prepared to fail and learn from that failure daily.

Anthony Bush OM '56 - FARMING - Proprietor

What is your profession and current position? 

Currently I am an arable farmer with the diversification of a 100 acre zoo as part of it. It has 100 employees with our younger son, Larry, as CEO of it.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?

In my day 1951-56, prefects and house prefects were responsible for the discipline of the school, outside of lessons. Learning to run clubs and societies, and sports teams, and be different levels of prefect, especially with teaching from the Christian Union were excellent preparations for leadership; including self-discipline, then discipline of others. Becoming an NCO (corporal and sergeant) in the CCF (Combined Cadet Force) was a fast-track to becoming an officer in the Army for National Service, with the leadership challenges involved. GCSE’s were called O levels, of which we all did about 10 at 15 and 16 years old, then 3 A levels, which gave a good opportunity to pass into a good university. In our day Oxbridge and red-brick universities wanted multi-interest people as well as academically qualified to help make the colleges interesting environments.. So Monkton sports and clubs helped show that. I went to Worcester College, Oxford. My biggest benefit from Monkton was becoming a Christian there, and beginning a walk with Jesus which has lasted 70 years! I was at Monkton with 33 future vicars and many future missionaries and lay leaders of churches. That background of learning how to study the Bible and share it with others and lead other people to Christ has been more important than anything else. Integrity in business and love in marriage also follow.

What is your biggest professional achievement?

Age 22 I took on a tenancy of a dairy farm, grew it including building our own buildings over 35 years. Early in that time I prayed earnestly for the right wife, and found her, without whom most of what followed would not have happened. We had 4 children, now all married and 14 grandchildren, I was a spare time youth leader, lay reader and started 5 charities including Send a Cow, which Monkton boys and staff helped with in its early days of 1988-95. We then sold the cows, bought the farm and felt called to start Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, aged 60.

Building the zoo from nothing to what it is now, with 120 species of animals up to Elephants, and multi-award winning, including for sustainability and accessibility, is probably the biggest professional achievement. It could not have happened without constant prayer and everything that preceded it.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?

Having false allegations made about us resulting in demonstrations at our gate for 2 years, trying to close us; attempts by atheists to close us for being overtly Christian, as well as vegans and animal rights people who assumed we were a bad zoo but would not come inside and see it all!

What inspires and motivates you at work?

Praying daily for God’s presence, and assurance that he is with us. Wonderful encouragement from the vast majority of our visitors and our staff, whose lives have been changed and enriched by what has happened here. The “can-do” attitude encouraged from Monkton, daring to appoint young leaders.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?

Pray and check you are in the will of God. Find a need and try and meet it. “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”.

Matthew Masters OM '91 - FINANCE - Head of Quoted Equity for Caledonia Investments

What is your profession and current position? 

I currently run the listed equity investment portfolio for Caledonia Investments, which is a listed Investment Trust with assets of £2.5Bn. We recently announced that in July 2022 I will take over as the CEO of Caledonia Investments.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?

Independence & team work! One of the benefits of boarding is that you can no longer rely on your parents to sort everything out for you and so you get used to taking responsibility for yourself.  I think this helps develop independence.  Equally whether it was working on the set for a school play, team sports or even living within your house community you develop interpersonal and team working skills.

What is your biggest professional achievement?

So far this would be developing a team of investors who deliver exceptionally good results for our shareholders and have rewarding careers. I am at a stage in my career where my personal achievements are becoming less well defined. Organisational success is more reliant on a talented group working effectively as a team than any one individual.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?

I failed to secure a particular job at a company I really wanted to work at.  I had mentally built my future on the back of securing this role and when I failed to get it I thought that was it!  I thought that particular judgement on me was representative of everyone in the Industry and so I was just not good enough.  With the benefit of hindsight and whilst I am sure I would have liked working for that company not securing a job there turns out to have been the best thing for me.  There is a saying – as one door closes another opens – and whilst this is really tough to digest in the moment it is so true.

What inspires and motivates you at work?

My colleagues.  I think few people are purely motivated by money.  We are motivated by our colleagues who are often our friends and feel like our family. 

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?

Becoming an investor is on one hand very easy and on the other very hard!  All you need to start is a library card (there are loads of books to read) and a computer (to surf the internet and invest your own money).  If you find the energy and interest to do this then you know you are on the right path and you have started investing.  The personal journey you will inevitably go along will be invaluable to you and your chances of getting on the career ladder.  Getting a job in an investment company is tough.  Successful candidates have good academics, demonstrate commitment to the industry and are good communicators.  There are plenty of jobs though and someone has to get them.

Tony McDougal OM '84 - JOURNALISM & PUBLIC RELATIONS - Communications & Engagement Manager

What is your profession and current position? 

Journalism and Public Relations. After years working on daily newspapers and weekly trade press, including a stint as Political Editor of Farmers Guardian, I worked in communications in the Civil Service at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for 14 years, serving in a range of roles including Chief Press Officer and Head of Strategic Communications. I then moved back to Dorset to look after my ageing parents and set up my own PR and journalism business. My current main work is a communications and engagement manager for the Dorset Care Record, which brings together electronically health and social care records across acute, community, physical and mental health settings.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?  

Monkton instilled in me a sense of discipline, helping me meet deadlines, as well as encouraging me to have a strong and moral work ethic, very important in both journalism and public relations.

What is your biggest professional achievement?

Probably running the climate change communications for the G8 and EU Presidency under Tony Blair in 2005

What has been your most challenging professional moment?

Almost certainly the debacle around and ultimate failure of selling off the public forests during the Cameron administration when Ministers were not prepared to listen to either the public or civil servants.

What inspires and motivates you at work?

A sense that you are helping, in a very small way, to make a positive difference to the world. My current role is enabling the sharing of data across health and social care professionals which is helping save lives. My faith, which stems from my days at Monkton, is a huge influence on what I try and do.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?

In either journalism or public relations, my advice would be enthusiastic, passionate, curious, independent-minded, listen and react to the science and evidence-base and above all be clear, open and transparent in all that you do. Good luck!

Steve Farrer OM '83 - LAW ENFORCEMENT AND SECURITY - Consultant to the United Nations

What is your profession and current position?  
Currently engaged by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as a consultant providing expertise to governments and agencies, in various parts of the world, in enhancing capacity and capability in their efforts to combat two of the largest (& least reported) crimes in the world - Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants.

After Monkton, and University, I joined the Royal Hong Kong Police (RHKP) as an Inspector and spent 9 very enjoyable years in various roles, latterly focused on commercial crime investigations. I moved to the private sector, in a variety of roles in multi-national companies, and smaller boutique organisations, mainly connected to the financial industry, operating all over Asia/ Pacific. My last role was as the head of a financial intelligence unit within a major global bank, which proved both challenging and professionally very interesting. During this time, I became aware of the huge problem of Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants and started volunteering in my spare time with a local charity. After a year, the charity invited me to join them in a full-time capacity, leveraging both my law enforcement experience and financial sector knowledge. Since then, I have had the pleasure to work at some of the highest global levels / forums - United Nations, Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Egmont Group, INTERPOL - all focused on combatting Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants.

I am very grateful that my career has given me various diverse experiences and networks, that are now of great assistance in my role with UNODC.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
I think my time and experiences at Monkton provided me with a strong foundation for life, as well as work, undoubtedly through a strong academic foundation and work ethic, but also through achieving success through teamwork gained through sport (rugby, hockey, cricket), self-reliance and self-confidence through mastering many & varied challenges (CCF, prefect, Head of House - leadership & responsibility), as well as the values of integrity, honesty, fairness, and courage to speak up when something is wrong - such values are, in my opinion, increasingly rare in some business arenas - but very much needed. Monkton remains as a beacon for such values and I am always delighted to meet Old Monktonians, wherever in the world, as we all share the same heritage.

I am always amazed, when reading the testimonies / updates of Old Monktonians (& Old Clarendonians as well), that despite being a fairly small school, OMs (& OCs) do some amazing things in their careers, often travelling paths less followed, and often in service to the greater community… 

What is your biggest professional achievement?
There are several, but two come to mind…

In 1993, whilst serving in the RHKP on the border of Hong Kong with PR China, my unit and the surrounding farmland and villages in the New Territories were subject to catastrophic flooding from Typhoon Dot. On leading efforts to extract some of my patrols, who were stranded, we also became aware of villagers in danger and trapped by fast rising floodwaters. Over the next few hours, in darkness, torrential rain & cyclonic winds, and at great personal risk, the RHKP officers extracted 36 villagers (as well as a few household pets) to safety. I was extraordinarily proud of all the officers involved - who were all awarded the Commissioner’s Commendation for Valiant Service; I was honoured to receive the Governor’s Commendation for Bravery for my part.

More recently, it has been highly encouraging to see the global financial machinery turn its attention to identifying and mitigating the proceeds and profits from Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants; as part of that I was honoured to be one of the very few representatives from charities invited to participate in the drafting of the FATF guidelines “Financial flows from Human Trafficking” (July 2018) - https://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/methodsandtrends/documents/human-trafficking.html - invaluable guidance to every jurisdiction, and every financial institution, as to how they can do more to stop such illicit financial flows going through their institution. This publication drew a very definite “line in the sand” for the global financial industry.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
There have been many…

In law enforcement, there were many operational circumstances (i.e. facing triad gangs, heavily armed robbers, rescuing victims from flooding), facing critical decisions, often involving the safety of others, that a quick (& hopefully, correct) response was required; those were often very challenging times of high adrenalin, teamwork, training, combined with leadership and determination.

In business sector, often the challenges were more subtle - dealing with different personalities & their motivations, finding ways to develop and convey a position or solution, making representations and influencing decision makers. A very different set of skills!

In the charitable sector, it was different again…

One specific professional challenge that springs to mind is the first time, as an anti-slavery charity, we took our research on a large international fishing network that had been institutionally using forced labour (slavery) on its fleets, to a big global bank, to highlight that the bank was at risk from handling the funds from this network. On the first meeting - within 10 minutes - the bank officers showed us the door. We were highly disappointed as we believed we had a powerful and well researched case and convincing a bank to listen was key to our path forward. Within a week we were called back - they had verified our research and come to the same conclusions; from then on, a strong relationship developed between us and the bank, and from that, with many of the world’s leading banks. It all depended on the outcome of that first meeting…  

What inspires and motivates you at work?
A desire to see that every one of the estimated 40.2 million men, women, boys and girls trapped in modern slavery - often living amongst us but trapped in slavery - literally “hidden in plain sight”. - are freed. The UK is not immune - there are high number of modern-day slaves in the UK, even in & around Bath & Bristol.  

My current work is to help as many professionals - government, private sector, and civil society - see that they can make a powerful difference in the fight against these 2 crimes - Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants. Seeing many of the participants realise the size and scale of the problem, and that they are part of the solution, is a powerful motivation to keep going.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
Having a passion “to make a difference” is a great place to start!

I was shown a diagram a few years ago which had 4 circles with the following statements in each circle - finding a passion or mission or profession or vocation that is

  • something that you love
  • something that you are good at
  • something that the world needs
  • something that you can get paid for

It can be a journey in your career to find all of these in a role - however, once you do, then you will be highly engaged in what you are doing, have a powerful purpose & motivation to do it, thoroughly enjoy it (despite the challenges) - as well as making a difference! This ultimately comes back to the values that were embedded a long time ago… at Monkton.

 

Mark (aka Mike) Shearn OM '86 - MANAGEMENT & MARKETING - Chief Operating Officer

What is your profession and current position? 

I am currently Chief Operating Officer at Haslams - a leading firm of Estate Agents in the Thames Valley. I have only been in estate agency for c.5 years and would say that my profession is management and marketing having worked in such roles previously for companies including Natwest, Johnson & Johnson, and I was one of the very first people to work for Three.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?

It’s fair to say that I was never an academic. It also took me years to really understand and appreciate what I wanted from a career. However, Monkton gave me the foundation in terms of the confidence I needed to be successful in whatever I’ve done. It also taught me to respect others and to be fair and objective in my approach. Business is about relationships and so I believe that these values are important.

What is your biggest professional achievement?

I’ve worked on some very exciting projects (including arguably the world’s first crypto-currency back on the mid 1990’s) but on a personal level my biggest achievement was founding and building a £15m residential property development company over the course of 7 years. 

What has been your most challenging professional moment?

There have been many challenges but that’s the nature of business. In difficult times one needs a cool head and a focus on solutions rather than the problems. The most challenging time was probably during the financial crash in 2007 and being able to navigate my business through it and out the otherside.

What inspires and motivates you at work?

I love a challenge and whatever I have done I have always strived to offer customers something different to competitors. Being creative and positively challenging the status quo is a good thing and means that every day is different. By instilling such a culture into a business hopefully customers and staff should also enjoy working with us. Work is a large part of your life and you have to enjoy it: it shouldn’t all be about money!

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?

It’s a marathon not a sprint. Each day and every month is important and you’ll gain valuable learnings from all of your experiences: good and bad. Remember that careers are built over years and decades and so don’t jump from one job to another: it doesn’t look great from an employer’s perspective and you need to give things time. Finally, remember that you have one reputation. Look after it and nurture it. Don’t work for people or businesses that may damage your reputation.
 

Colin Burrows OM '77 - MEDIA - CEO

What is your profession and current position? 
I'm owner and CEO of Special Treats Productions www.specialtreats.co.uk. We create publicity content for the film and TV industry.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
Hardly at all...the careers advisor said as I like reading I should try to be a librarian. Hopefully the careers service has progressed since the 1970's

What is your biggest professional achievement?
Keeping the company successful for 30 years in a very changeable landscape is probably the most important. But working as a consultant to the Bond films from Timothy Dalton through to Daniel Craig has also been an achievement.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
Either interviewing a very 'relaxed' Bob Dylan who wasn't sure which continent he was on or a very deaf Barbara Cartland who kept saying speak up, until I was yelling my questions at her like some demented interrogator.

What inspires and motivates you at work?
Doing a good job. When a project works well with a team that is in sync, it's very rewarding.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
It's a great time to get into the film industry - there is a huge demand for entrants and an accelerated career path in all types of work. So keep knocking on doors...electronically or in real life!
 

Andrew Crawford OM ’80 - MEDIA & TV - Radio 4

What is your profession and current position? 
I’ve had a mixed career, doing a number of different jobs for the BBC, both on-air and behind the scenes. 

My last full-time role was Head of Business Operations for BBC News, the senior manager responsible for delivering the back-office functions (including payment, scheduling, accommodation, technology, training, business continuity and data protection) that support the 7000 staff of BBC News in the UK and our 70 bureaus around the world.

I recently took early retirement and am now back for fun at Radio 4 as an announcer and newsreader. It’s a return to a role I first did early in my career, before I moved into management and projects. It’s the best job in the world. 

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
It gave me confidence, independence and belief in myself. I arrived at Monkton very uncertain about my abilities and unable to see how I could ever achieve anything. I was lucky to have some wonderful teachers who quietly worked their magic over five years.

Turns out I’m dyslexic - something not widely understood at that time. It makes the processing of information difficult so I was not an obvious academic. But the school patiently encouraged and supported me, helping me to achieve far more than I ever dared believed I could. 

What is your biggest professional achievement?
On-air, probably breaking the news of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, to the UK radio audience early one morning in 1997. It was a huge, shocking news story and challenging to maintain composure and gravitas on air amidst the frenetic activity going on around us in the studio. 

I later went on to work behind the scenes on the major projects that redeveloped the BBC’s buildings, technology and ways of working. It’s a great feeling to walk into facilities that look and work the way they do because of something I’ve done. Years later, I’m back on-air using the same equipment and studios I had a hand in designing and configuring. Given they’re still in use and haven’t been bettered (yet) we must have done something right. 

More recently, keeping our UK and global TV, radio, online and digital News operations on air despite the unprecedented impact of Covid was probably the hardest I’ve ever had to work. The fact our audience noticed very little difference is the best result one could hope for. 

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
When things go wrong on-air, there’s only you, the microphone and a few million people waiting to hear what you’re going to do next. That’s drilled into me the importance of having not just a good Plan B, but a whole alphabet soup of back up alternatives. 

The most challenging moments, however, have been behind the scenes. 

Having to manage the performance of a member of staff who’s not working the way you need them to and is causing problems can be one of the hardest things to deal with. Or having to handle cases of long-term serious illness - or the bereavement - of valued members of staff or colleagues. 

I could also add any one of the moments on the major change projects I’ve been involved in when things haven’t gone smoothly. You really earn your money when millions of pounds hangs by a thread while someone tries to fix something. As the doom mongers who said it would never work begin to sharpen their knives, you have to front it up, reassuring everyone it’ll be ok. (For the record, it all was, and has been working well ever since)

What inspires and motivates you at work?
I love a challenge. The satisfaction of delivering something difficult - succeeding where everyone else has said it’s impossible - is far greater than pushing something easy over the line. 

We can’t all do everything we want in life. We each have our different limits. But I’ve found that if you push yourself, those boundaries are probably further away than you think. Being dyslexic gets in the way of reading off a page and processing information. If I’d accepted that as a limitation, I’d never have tried to become an announcer. But I worked at it until I overcame it.  

Do things that stretch and scare you. You may not succeed. But then again, with persistence, you might. And if you do, that tastes very good. 

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
Jobs in the media are highly sought after. Competition for the roles that do come up is tough. Disappointment and rejection is the norm. You will inevitably fail more than once to get that dream job. It happens to everyone. So long as you’ve done all you could or should to prepare your application, failure is no reflection on you or your abilities. It’s just the maths of the large number of candidates versus the small number jobs. But someone has to get them. 

Talk to people in the business. Most of us love to share what we do and are happy to pass on advice. We remember all too clearly what it was like when we were younger and trying to break into the business ourselves and be flexible. If one approach fails, try another. Things are changing at an increasingly rapid rate. There are so many different opportunities now in fields that didn’t exist even a few years ago. Keep an open mind. I’ve ended up doing - and really enjoying - jobs I never knew existed.

Keep going. Learn to handle disappointment. Develop a thick skin. Do your research. Be realistic. Aim high. Don’t give up. 

Caroline Harris née Cary OM '87 - MEDICINE - Nurse

What is your profession and current position? 
Registered Nurse in a small isolated town in rural Australia

How did Monkton prepare you for the world of work?
A" level subjects - science was a good choice

What is your biggest professional achievement? 
Becoming a rural nurse in primary health care 

What has been your most challenging professional moment? 
Anaphylaxis of a 9 year old boy who ate cashew nuts - an after-hours presentation so no doctors available at the bedside - clinical phone support only. I am now training to become a doctor.

What inspires and motivates you at work?
Helping patients get the care they need

What is one piece of advice you would like to give pupils or OMs about entering your profession/the world of work? 
Do what you love

Tim Matthews OM '90 - MEDICINE - Consultant in Trauma & Orthopaedics

What is your profession and current position?

Consultant in Trauma & Orthopaedics, Specialist Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon; University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.

What is your biggest professional achievement?
I was awarded the Robert Jones Gold Medal by the British Orthopaedic Association and a Doctorate in Medicine for my research into Rotator Cuff pathology of the shoulder.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
Finding myself in the midst of a major rail crash (Ladbroke Grove) both as a passenger but also as a surgeon in training. There was a duty to help, but being thrust out in the ‘field’ without any equipment or my normal sterile clinical surroundings, as well as dealing with my own shock and disbelief at being in a major transport disaster, required a rapid change of focus and expectation into how I could be useful.

Reconstructing a smashed up shoulder following a major road accident can be a huge challenge, but in my experience, providing I follow pre-planned steps and learned principles, the outcome is usually predictable. However, the biggest challenge I have on a daily basis is understanding people, my patients, colleagues, friends and family; what are they really saying, what are they really meaning, how do I respond appropriately to each unique interaction? Of late, that challenge has risen to an even more complex level with electronic communication and interaction on social media!

What inspires and motivates you at work?
The single thing that motivates me most at work is receiving heartfelt thanks from my patients and colleagues; it encourages me to do likewise.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
At Monkton there was ample opportunity to hold various positions of responsibility, even at an early stage, and unknown to me at the time, these provided a significant grounding into understanding and dealing with the diversity of complex personalities within my school environment, and beginning to appreciate how different people think. 

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
I would encourage all pupils to embrace all the opportunities to hold positions of responsibility that Monkton provides as these learned and experienced 'soft skills' are likely to prove some of the most vital skills you will ever learn and will greatly assist you in any work and beyond. If you plan on a medical career, having the skill to listen to your patients is the most important one to have.

Professor Mike Keighley OM '62 - MEDICINE - Bowel surgeon and Academic

What is your profession and current position?  
A bowel surgeon and Academic involved in research and teaching:  Barling Professor of Surgery University of Birmingham 1987- 2004 having trained in London at St Bartholomew’s Hospital with many other OMs 1967

How did Monkton get you ready for the word of work?
It nearly failed! I took English language O level (GCSE) 5 times before I passed and was almost a right off but I was lucky: London Medical schools in those days only needed three A levels and sporting ability.  Monkton helped me to think outside the box: especially art and music through which I discovered the humanities which has been pivotal.

What is your biggest professional achievement?
Writing the International Textbook of bowel surgery (4 editions); discovering C.difficile when working. Founding the MASIC Foundation www.masic.org.uk and inventing a revolutionary cheap accessible global therapy in retirement.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
Discovering that a research student that I felt was hard working and that I could trust had falsified results and plagiarised the work of others in a higher degree thesis.

What inspires and motivates you at work?
The trust that a person in need places in your advice to do what is hoped to be best for them. The stories I hear from people who have experienced terrible things but who are brave enough to speak out as it is these stories that drive change.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
Never give up.

Dr Dorothy Margaret Keighley MBE (past parent and wife of OM) MEDICINE - GP

What is your profession and current position? 
General Medical Practitioner in inner city Birmingham 1973-2006 having trained in Leeds University in 1969, now retired.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
NA I just married an OM

What is your biggest professional achievement? 
Generating a caring listening family practitioner service where there had been longstanding industrial unrest and strike action resulting in huge social need and discovering that my patients, colleagues and staff had generated citations for an MBE in recognition of this work.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
Having to dismiss a Failing practice manager and all the disciplinary procedures that were involved, this was much more challenging than being shot at when climbing into my car after a home visit (true).

What inspires and motivates you at work?
The cohesive team in the workplace combined with teaching young graduates by sharing experience with postgraduate trainees that would mould the way they cared for others in the future

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession? Always be up front and honest when things go wrong.

Richard Payne OM '89 - MEDICINE - Veterinary Surgeon

What is your profession and current position?  
Veterinary Surgeon  (Specialist Equine Surgeon)
Clinical Director of Rossdales Equine Hospital, Newmarket, UK

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
By offering a solid foundation, and helping to instil great core values. The words communication, confidence, kindness, leadership, initiative, opportunity, curiosity and inclusivity spring to mind from Monkton days. These are all essential ingredients in the workplace.

What is your biggest professional achievement?
As a surgeon, being part of a large team  of vets, nurses and support staff, who deliver first class care, often in critical situations. As a clinical director, seeing the growth and development of talented young people.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
Every day has new and different challenges and pressures, and even after 25 years no two days at work are the same. Clients can have ‘superhuman’ expectations. Managing my own self expectation of meticulous high standards and outcomes of surgery is also challenging.

What inspires and motivates you at work?
The fantastic team I work with, and the satisfaction of turning round critical cases for grateful horse owners.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
Be sure that you are realistic about expectations before you apply, and make sure you do some work experience.  Veterinary Medicine offers a huge diversity of exciting career paths. If you want to be in clinical practice you will certainly enjoy the highs of success, but you will also have to learn to cope with the lows of failure. Owners can be demanding, and you will need resilience!

 

Russell Kyle OM '61 - MEDICINE - Retired Veterinary Surgeon

What is your profession and current position? 
Retired Vet. I had a variety of roles beginning in private farm practice, then teaching at a veterinary college, to working for Defra in disease control and then as a veterinary adviser for international trade, and finally as a consultant in industry for the export of high-end poultry genetics.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
At Monkton and then at Cambridge my main study was modern languages. I believe that any form of higher education broadens the mind and makes one open to new ideas and possibilities.

What is your biggest professional achievement?
I wrote a book “A Feast in the Wild” (which I believe is in the school library) after many years studying and visiting schemes in less favoured agricultural parts of the world to manage the locally adapted wild species in preference to cattle, which was published in 1987.  It makes the point that cattle damage unsuitable environments,  whereas local wild species may produce more meat, cause less environmental damage, ensure a more diverse ecosystem, provide local employment, and generate more income in poorer agricultural areas. It was well received by the relatively limited number of specialists in this rarefied field.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
Moving from an Arts academic background into Veterinary Science.   The need for rigorous assimilation of facts in a scientific discipline is very different from the more permissive approach in Arts. 

What inspires and motivates you at work?
Reducing pain and suffering.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
The academic entry standard is eye-wateringly high. Be prepared to study with dedication both to gain entry to a veterinary school, and throughout the course. To gain entry it helps if you also have another skill or interest like music, or enterprising hobbies.  

Tim Goodwright OM '89 - PERFORMING ARTS - Actor

What is your profession and current position? 
Professional Actor / Presenter / Voiceover Artist

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
Lots of opportunities to shine in school and house productions, sketches in chapel / Christian Union, worship band

What is your biggest professional achievement?
International tours to Australia, South Africa, France, Lebanon , performing at the Swan Theatre in Stratford with Saltmine Theatre Company

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
Being asked to learn a song just before the dress rehearsal for pantomime in Cheltenham before opening the next day!!

What inspires and motivates you at work?
I enjoy performing (understatement) – interacting with the audience and using the gifts that God has given me. I want to do my best for Him.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
Prepare to be poor! Everyone sets out with great enthusiasm – perhaps goes to drama school or gets a performing arts degree – but the reality is that unless you "make it" and become well known you will be earning a very low wage very occasionally. To make ends meet you will need to do lots of part-time work – answering phones, waiting on tables in between auditions to try and pay the bills and eat regularly. But nothing beats the buzz of being on stage! 

Rob Wightman '91 - PROPERTY - Partner Knight Frank Estate Agent

What is your profession and current position?  
I am a Chartered Surveyor and work at Knight Frank as an Estate Agent; I am a partner and run the Hungerford office.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?  
It gave me the ability to work as a team, be organised and to forge relationships with all walks of life. 

What is your biggest professional achievement?  
Qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor.  On leaving The Royal Agricultural College in 1995 I worked as a land agent and after 2 years sat my APC (Assessment of Professional Competence).  This involved being interviewed by a panel of three surveyors in a hotel near Heathrow.  Whilst it was pretty daunting, I was hugely relieved to pass and qualifying has been a great ‘string to my bow’ as it has enabled me work in a variety of property sectors.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?  
Selling houses during Covid has been extremely challenging, particularly during the lockdowns.  Estate agency is very much a people-based job so it was hard having to working from home and show people around houses with virtual tours online.

What inspires and motivates you at work? 
I am very lucky to work for a fantastic firm and have a great team around me.  I love the variety my job gives me and no two days are the same; I could be looking around a lovely farmhouse with a potential vendor in the morning and in the office, negotiating with a buyer, in the afternoon.  I meet some fascinating people and get to see some wonderful properties.  Doing a great job for my clients is my absolute priority and selling a house never fails to give me a buzz! 

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession? 
I consider myself fortunate as I knew from a young age that I wanted to be involved in agriculture/property and working as a land agent gave me a great insight into this side of the profession.  I would urge anyone to get as much work experience as possible as it is not only good for your CV but will also help give a valuable insight into what the job entails.

 

James Benson OM ' 78 - PUBLISHING - Owner

What is your profession and current position?

I own and run two related but distinct  businesses providing Sales Agency services to book publishers across the UK.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?

To be honest I cannot really remember! Like Colin Burrows (featured below) the rather wonderful late, lamented Mr Geoffrey Randall- one-time fellow horn player in the School orchestra- might have suggested I become a librarian. More generally, I do owe an enormous debt to the inspirational John Vickery , Tim Borton and Peta Hooper of the then English Department.  I remember a trip to the RSC at Stratford to see Glenda Jackson and Alan Howard in the 1978 Peter Brook ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ -also featuring a hirsute Patrick Stewart and Alan Rickman. Sensational events such as this nurtured my lifetime's love of literature and the written word.

Competing at sport, for me that was on the river, and thereby learning to manage with both winning and losing was an invaluable lesson.

What is your biggest professional achievement?

Working with some of the most prestigious book publishers in the UK and abroad-this is truly satisfying when you are self-employed. If I may be permitted a couple of name drops, this has meant that I have been able to work on separate occasions with both Zippy and The Cookie Monster.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?

Oh gosh. Having to stand up to an unpleasant, incompetent bully in the workplace. Monkton had not really prepared me for this, and it ended with me claiming unemployment benefit while living in Oldham, a briefly humbling but in its way powerfully motivational experience. However, a couple of months later I was back on my feet, self-employed and in my first month earning more than I had in six months previous work for the bully and his lieutenants. He had his comeuppance shortly after-as these people usually do.

Coping with the frequent loss of clients due to predatory corporate acquisition is a constant challenge these days.

What inspires and motivates you at work?

Above all my family and my dog. Working with fantastic authors, editors, publishers and books. Great music, (thanks Irving Steggles), wonderful landscapes that I pass through on my travels (thanks Brian Nalder and Martyn Garrod).

Working for yourself is completely liberating, I have been doing it for thirty years - do not dismiss micro-businesses! You may need to work through a corporate environment to get there though.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?

Publishing is a notoriously challenging industry to get into, and you may end up like me starting at the very bottom. So be confident yet humble, sincere, adaptable, and resilient, and be prepared to laugh at yourself and with others; network like crazy and read lots and be open to new ideas.  Is that nine or ten things?

George Jones OM ’17 – SALES – Sales Development Representative

What is your profession and current position? 
I currently work for a SAAS company called Livestorm which is a video engagement platform enabling hosts to increase live participation and impact while capturing greater insights on attendees. I'm part of the business development team as an Outbound Sales Development Representative for North EMEA. My primary focus is to generate enterprise new business opportunities and help solve future clients' pain points!

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
Three of the biggest advantages I feel Monkton gave me in readiness for life outside the valley was firstly work ethic and dedication.

What is your biggest professional achievement?
One moment that stands out from others happened while working for a startup called Mayku who are relocalising manufacturing by giving the makers and creators of today tools that previously would only be accessible to big corporations without the price tag. While I was there the pandemic hit in turn having a significant effect on the number of orders being placed by our network of resellers and distributors. However, I'm fortunate to say that I was able to prospect, develop and bring to close the largest value sale in the company's history which saved the quarters target and settled some of the shock waves caused by the pandemic!

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
One of the biggest obstacles I've had to conquer is resilience. Sales is a numbers game at the end of the day so you are constantly searching for the one yes out of the ten no's.

What inspires and motivates you at work?
The biggest motivator at the moment is a combination of solving the complex problems for our clients and enabling them to succeed! But I also work in sales so the potential earnings, both financially and future career progression wise, is very appealing! 

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
The biggest thing that helped me was networking and creating opportunities through conversations with people you meet at school, uni or even the pub! Network network network! 

 

Louise Smallbone OM '18 - SALES - Commercial Apprentice

What is your profession and current position? 
I am a Commercial Apprentice at News UK. This is a two-year course where I work in month-long rotations around the commercial floor, and I am also studying for a Level 4 Sales Qualification at the same time.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
Monkton taught me how to spin many plates at once. Going into the workplace is not just about how well you can work, it's about your interpersonal skills, your communications skills and your professionalism. Monkton gave me a really good foundation wherein I learnt to hone many different skills, all of which I can put to use both at work and in my personal life.

What is your biggest professional achievement?
A month into my job I won my first sale, I was working in Fashion, Luxury and Beauty for The Sunday Times STYLE Magazine at the time and an advertiser had just dropped out. Winning that sale last minute and 24 hours before the magazine was set to print gave me a lot of credibility at work, and also gave me a lot of encouragement.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
This is my first job post-uni. I was unfortunate in being at university during the pandemic, and I consequently lost a lot of opportunities and internships. I was really worried about finding a job straight away but I put the hard work in; I networked, cold-called many people in media and applied to 30+ schemes. Eventually, the hard work paid off and I was offered the job I have currently.

What inspires and motivates you at work?
Being back in the workplace gives me a lot of energy, I love hearing people on calls to clients in the office and just generally chatting to people around me. Also, that feeling of winning a sale, especially if it's a tricky client you've been dealing with, is such a good feeling. That feeling of accomplishment and relief is definitely a motivation for me.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
Be confident in yourself. Half of the battle with being in sales is about believing you can sell that deal and believing in yourself. Keep a cool head, work hard and above all, be kind. People want to work with others who have compassion. 

Marta Brothers (nee Marquez-Vega) OM '94 - SOCIAL WORK & MINISTRY - Student

What is your profession and current position? 
I was a senior social worker for 13 years, working frontline in Child Protection, looked after children and adoption and fostering.  I am, however, now a student in my second year of three training to become an ordained pioneer at Trinity College in Bristol.

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?
When I was in Monkton, I was not your A* student but the one in set three for everything. It was during my time there that they discovered I was dyslexic and the extra support in this was amazing. It helped me get through my GCSE and A-Levels. What was amazing was that Monkton didn't ever make me feel like because I was not the A* student I couldn’t do well in life. Instead, there was so much encouragement and opportunity to develop in the creative arts and in sports. I believe this was the foundation that allowed me to have the confidence to approach and explore what I learned and apply it into what I later became. I can see now that it’s through the love of sports that I learned how to work well in a team. Being involved in theatre and art and music provided me the skills in how to, therapeutically and creatively, provide a safe place where children felt able to make significant disclosures. Following this, being called into the Ministry I realise how Monkton being a Christian school provided me with the roots of my Christian faith. Going to chapel every day and having Sunday services (though I remember feeling it was boring at the time!) meant that there was something beautiful provided in a ritual and this deepened my faith.

What is your biggest professional achievement?
This is a hard question to answer, because achievement means so many different things to different people. Achievement can mean financial success or status success or fame and recognition.

My biggest professional achievement in Social Work was successfully matching adoptive children with their forever family. I always ensured that a child’s voice was heard, leading to providing them a safe home environment. Though it was incredibly hard to have to do it, I also safely removed a baby from further abuse.

Here in college my biggest achievement was starting a ladies’ netball team in the midst of a pandemic. This helped a huge number of women who felt isolated and alone where their mental health was so low. I recognised these beautiful ladies needing something and starting a netball team allowed them to do some exercise, play a game, and build their confidence.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
In social work it was having a meeting with service managers and heads of department with a clear plan of why their idea of a child in my caseloads’ needs is not going to work but instead coming up with a proposal of a more expensive but better provision for this child. When I was a Looked after Children social worker, I was told by my manager that these children were my work children and the responsibility was huge as there was the pressure to ensure I did the best I could for the children I was responsible for, knowing that they have been through so much already and therefore it was crucial to get it right.

As a student is not just the learning and getting essays in on time but also this word called ‘formation’, we are constantly looking deeper into who we are and what we are called to do as future minister and face some uncomfortable truth. This means at time hearing people say things like ‘women shouldn’t be in ministry’ and have to accept they too are welcome in the kingdom even if you want to throw a shoe at them. There is a need for a lot of grace and love and acceptance that they got there from their own interpretation of scripture but what we have in common is we worship and praise the same God and so instead choosing to focus on what unities us is what help us overcome our differences.

What inspires and motivates you at work?
As a social worker it was when as a team we worked all together, where when one social worker maybe struggling, others pitched in to support. It was great helping the children and families get from a place of despair to a place of hope. I suppose this is one of the reasons I felt called into the ministry - because I wanted this hope to be an everlasting hope which only comes through Christ.  As a student my motivation is feeling inspired in what I am learning and finding a creative way to present the knowledge I have learned into an assignment. Training as an ordinand is not just theological school but a deeper look into who we are and who we are called to be as a way of learning how to lead well as vicars in the Church of England.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
As a social worker it was when as a team we worked all together, where when one social worker maybe struggling, others pitched in to support. It was great helping the children and families get from a place of despair to a place of hope. I suppose this is one of the reasons I felt called into the ministry - because I wanted this hope to be an everlasting hope which only comes through Christ.  As a student my motivation is feeling inspired in what I am learning and finding a creative way to present the knowledge I have learned into an assignment. Training as an ordinand is not just theological school but a deeper look into who we are and who we are called to be as a way of learning how to lead well as vicars in the Church of England.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
As a social worker. Never stop being passionate. Be passionate in the assessments you carry out, in the visits with children and parents. Also don’t forget self-care is key because if you’re not looking after yourself than how are you meant to look after the children your responsible for? Anyone thinking about going into ministry, it would be don’t compare yourself to others because God has called you as you are. Your fearfully and wonderfully made and your ministry won’t look like other peoples, just keep God at the centre of it. Don’t ever stop learning and think you have all the answers, be ok with being humble and admitting you may not know it all or you may get it wrong. 

For whatever profession you consider into going into I think what I have fundamentally learned, especially where there are pressures and work schedules seems tight... FIND YOUR SPORT!. Now this literally can be a sport or going to the gym or going to a coffee shop and reading or drawing or something similar. Since I left school, I have always joined a hockey team to train and to play matches and I recently got into netball. This was the one place where it didn’t matter what work stress I had or how chaotic home life was or that I was a Mum of three, when I was training and playing my matches, I was able to let it all go and just have fun and do something that required my mind to be focused on the game and have rest from life pressures. It’s mentally and physically super healthy to find weekly pockets of time away from your desk, from your job or your homelife and to do something that is just for you. This gives you so much more energy and focus to carry on with the daily tasks. I can’t emphasise how much sports and exercise in any way increases a healthy mentality and totally worth it!

 Finally, and most importantly as an ethnic minority or global majority (which is a term I prefer) never ever compromise who you are. Being a Latina has meant I am created a certain way and we should celebrate our cultural differences; we need to embrace it! We can learn from one another and there needs to be space for this. There needs to be acceptance and love and equality. When you look at professionals around you especially the leaders ask yourself are we representing the globally majority. You have the power and gifted education to make the changes that are desperately needed to make the work place an equal gender and global majority playing field.

Emma Jane Taylor nee Goodall OC ’85 – SOCIETY & ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT - CEO

What is your profession and current position?  
I am the CEO of Dot-The-Eye Ltd. a company that works with not-for-profit associations, institutions, and societies both in the UK and internationally. Dot-The-Eye supports these volunteers led organisations in many different ways. One aspect is ensuring that the day-to-day things happen, such as collecting of members fees, managing finances, and even ensuring the bills are paid. Another aspect involves more complex tasks such as organising events in the UK and abroad, creating and implementing marketing campaigns, building websites and producing and publishing publications. This means the volunteers can focus on working to improve and enhance their chosen field of expertise.

How did Clarendon get you ready for the world of work?
The school had a very positive environment in which we were encouraged to believe in ourselves and that if we worked hard, we could achieve our dreams.

When I was in the sixth form at Clarendon, along with 3 friends, I got permission to start the school tuck shop. Funded by a loan from my parents, we sourced the items and managed the venture. The staff encouraged and supported us, giving us the chance to understand what it takes to run a business (admittedly a very small venture) in a safe place.

What is your biggest professional achievement?
It’s hard to say, I guess most people would say it’s running my own business for the last 17 years, which is continuing to grow and develop in terms of both customers and staff.

Maybe for me, it is showing people that being dyslexic is not a barrier and does not mean people are stupid or cannot achieve their goals.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?
The most challenging thing about running a business, in my view, is managing your teams’ expectations and demands. You need to treat people equally and fairly, so if you allow one member of the team to do something which you don’t allow another you must have clear reasoning behind this. It’s a balancing act and there have been many moments when this was a challenge.

What inspires and motivates you at work?
I enjoy a challenge and am often resolving complex problems which enables the organisations that we work with to grow and develop. I am lucky to work with a great team of people and have a mix of customers, so I never know what the day will hold!

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?
Do something you enjoy. You will spend a large amount of your life working, so being able to get up each day knowing you are heading out to a job you enjoy is a real benefit not only for your own wellbeing, but your family and your work colleagues. I love my job and the variety it brings me and even though some days are tough, I would not change it.

Paul Winchcombe OM ’78 – IT – Retired

What is your profession and current position? 

I joined the Army straight from school and was fortunate enough to be an engineer, a logistician, an explosives officer and an IT Programme/Project Manager while reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  On retirement I was an IT professional working for Nationwide Building Society as a Senior Programme Architect

How did Monkton get you ready for the world of work?

Monkton taught me self-resilience and to work with others while being me

What is your biggest professional achievement?

Delivering a deployed information system for the Armed Services for use in Iraq and Afghanistan to time, cost and quality to act as the information bearer for the new administration system.

What has been your most challenging professional moment?

Rendering safe my first improvised explosive device on my third day on an operational tour in Londonderry, Northern Ireland (when it all became a bit real)

What inspires and motivates you at work?

Problem solving and delivering great outcomes

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with pupils or OMs about getting into your profession?

Qualifications open doors but you have to stick at it to gain the experience and never over promise (you will get found out)