When I was a child, my ambition was to be a news reader and I used to practice reading the news in front of the mirror. A short stint of work experience at Reuters and a magazine company later, and I realised that Journalism wasn’t the career for me. Instead, I began to focus on a career in international marketing.
I spent my gap year in Qingdao, China where I taught English and travelled across China. I developed a love of the country, culture and language and decided to study Chinese Studies and Business Studies at The University of Sheffield, with a year spent at Nanjing University focusing on the Chinese language. The year abroad was exciting and challenging in equal measure. I climbed mountains, ate a great many dumplings, took part in tv shows, worked in summer schools, braved the traffic in Beijing on a bike, and even ended up as an accidental finalist in the ‘Nanjing Miss Lobster beauty contest 2002’!
After graduation, I started my career at an advertising agency in London. I loved advertising, but I was really keen to work in education. In 2006, I took up an international higher education marketing role for a private education company based at Brunel University.
My career has meant that I’ve been lucky to have spent much of the past decade travelling extensively. Particular highlights have included visiting schools in Siberia complete with a journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway, sushi in Tokyo, hitchhiking in Kazakhstan, salsa in Colombia, and being lucky enough to enjoy frequent trips to my favourite cities of Beijing, Bangkok and Hong Kong.
Being an international student was an inspiration for my future career, as it really opened my mind to the positive experiences that come from spending time in an international educational setting. I’m really excited to be part of the team at Halcyon and to be working in such an innovative learning environment.
Outside of work I’m a member of a book club, run a small Japanese string garden company, enjoy playing tennis (badly), and participate in a local league. I’m also studying to become a Blue Badge London tour guide, and attempting to learn as much as I can about the city over the next two years. I also have the ambition to get my private pilots licence, so hopefully, that will be something I will get the opportunity to do in the not too distant future!
Chinese Studies and Business Studies at The University of Sheffield