28 September 2016
Chrissie works in marketing, student recruitment and student experience for the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick. Chair of the Coventry & Warwickshire Young Professionals network and Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses for Warwick and Leamington, she was nominated for a staff award both this year and last year and consistently goes above and beyond in her job. It’s no surprise she was ‘Highly Commended’ at FirstPro.
How did you feel when your name was read out?
It was unbelievable. It never occurred to me I’d be recognised but it felt wonderful when it happened.
The response at the University was great. It was lovely that Kate Hughes, the Partnerships Director at Warwick, and Ian O’Donnell from the FSB had been invited to support me. It went in our internal newsletter and I’ve had lots of congratulations.
Which achievements are you most proud of?
I’m really proud of all my qualifications. I have a first class law degree as well as being AAT and CIM qualified. I took both of those qualifications as evening classes whilst also working full time so it was quite challenging. Not to mention I’m terrible at maths so the AAT was really tough for me!
I was also really happy when I got my current job. Half my job relates to the student experience and I love being involved with the students. We like to offer them something extra so arrange guest lectures with well-known politicians and policy makers, and social events. I’m also running a soft skills module, which is compulsory for all our first year Economics students.
Where next for you?
I keep my focus on the here and now but at the moment I think the next step would be marketing manager. At Warwick there are always new jobs and initiatives coming up so I like to keep an open mind. There are currently new projects happening in London and California!
You love photography?
Yes, I ran a photography business for four years. It taught me a lot about marketing and business development but I have put that on a back burner for the time being to focus on my career.
What else do you get involved in?
I mentored an A’ Level student through the Career Academies Programme. I helped him grow in confidence and get ready for the workplace. It was amazing to watch him grow from a shy 16-year-old into a confident young man; he came second in the Career Academies STEM Student of the Year.
I would also like to be a role model for people with mental health challenges. I have experienced severe difficulties with depression, anxiety and agoraphobia over the past five years and yet still managed to achieve at home and work. I want people to know it can be done. That’s not to say it’s easy but you can keep fighting.
What about outside work?
I sing and play the guitar so when I get time I do the occasional gig. I played for a summer festival last year and a Christmas party in December but it’s hard to find the time to get gig-ready with all my other responsibilities.
I also love travelling and went to California and Vegas for my honeymoon. In the last few years I’ve been to New Zealand, USA and across Europe. Later this year I’m off to New York and next year it’s Perth, Sydney and hopefully Washington DC. Eventually I want to visit every single US state.