What was your first break in business?

Not so much what, but whom. I had graduated from University and was desperate to get a job using what I had learnt asap (also not wanting to lie – needed some money!) I wanted to stay local to home so drew up a list of all the large (by size or brand reputation) local employers for me to go at. Top of my list was Wolverhampton Wanderers FC. 


So, after taking a deep breath I wandered into the reception area on a Friday morning and asked if there were any jobs going in the Marketing or Comms department. I explained that I had just graduated, had a belly full of fire and was hoping to start somewhere pretty sharpish in order to get my career moving.


The receptionist listened intently but informed me that she didn’t think there were any vacancies and that I could leave a CV. At that moment, a lady who I had noticed keeping herself busy at the back of the reception area, turned around like a whippet and asked if I was free tomorrow (Saturday) to job shadow her on match day. That lady was no other than Rachael Heyhoe-Flint. She explained that she liked my approach and she would be more than happy for me to ‘help’ her the following day with her press and PR duties. As you can imagine I jumped at the chance! 


I had an absolutely fabulous day with her and at the end of all of our duties, as we were saying goodbye, she suggested she would have a chat with the current Marketing Director to see if there were any opportunities for me and that she hoped to be in touch soon. I thanked her profusely for giving me a chance and for the experience but deep down wasn’t expecting to hear anything. In fact, was just chuffed to bits to have met such a skilled and rambunctious lady. 


However, first thing on the Monday morning I had a call from Rachael to see if I would like to come in for an interview on the following morning with the Marketing Director. I accepted before she had even finished asking and following the hour-long interview, I started work the following week. And as they say…the rest is history!


What did you want to be growing up?

I have always loved sports and as such, I wanted to be a competitive athlete. There is so much more focus and opportunity now to be able to have a career in sport but I am more than content with having an indirect approach on the sporting world through my various jobs which have seen me, as per the last question, work at WWFC but also with The FA.  


What continues to drive you?

To be the best that I can be and to continue to learn. I have a huge learning appetite whether that be in a practical sense or by reading books/ papers etc and I can’t see that appetite ever fading.


Working in the finance and business funding sector, how have you found the last six months?

What a question! Three words – intense, challenging, rewarding,  


What are your organisation’s short and long-term goals?

Think it’s easier to look at the short term for now considering the environment we are currently living in when access to finance continues to be crucial for businesses that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. For BCRS Business Loans it’s all about delivery, delivery, delivery! 

Since going live with the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) on the 7th April, alongside some of our other lending streams, we have lent £ 7,344,002 to West Midlands based SMEs. BCRS Business Loans has not only supported the survival and stability of SMEs at this time, but it has also helped to safeguard the jobs of 1031 local people and create 142 jobs. This has had an estimated economic impact of just over £39 million.


How do you get the best out of your team/staff?

By driving team alignment, keeping communication clear and constant and most importantly treating them as adults. We have hired them for experience/ certain skills etc so we want them to deliver on the organisation's objectives by utilising said attributes.  It’s amazing what happens when you treat people like adults. They tend to behave that way! Integrity and good decisions inevitably follow. 

What has been your career highlight?

My personal goal was to achieve Director status in my chosen field as soon as possible. I pushed myself to learn, seize opportunities and expand responsibilities. I achieved that goal at the age of 31 years old. 


Who or what inspires you?

I'm motivated by several things when it comes to my work. Doing meaningful work, recognition and having the tools to be successful are the most important motivators for me.


What has been your biggest challenge?

Not to push myself so hard, sometimes to the point of burn out, when it comes to wanting to achieve my goals. I have learnt that if I focus on gradual and steady improvement and striking a balance between work and play that I can accomplish far more than if I were to push (struggle/strain) for my goals.


How do you achieve a work/life balance?

Lockdown has thrown this out of kilter somewhat but I do have a specific time that the laptop/ phone gets switched off by and then it’s time for me to unwind/ do exercise and/or socialise so I’m bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to attack the next day! 




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