I started my working life as a waitress at the age of 16. I loved this role as it really helped to build my confidence working with people and supported the funding for driving lessons.
Supervisor, Gate at Bournheath
When I was 18 I was promoted to a supervisor at the same restaurant meaning I was given cash counting and locking up responsibilities. This was the first inkling I got that I enjoyed having responsibility.
When I left university I managed to secure a graduate placement with Enterprise Rent-A-Car which had a gruelling interview process. This role involved anything and everything to do with car hire (including cleaning cars and giving lifts). I left this role six months in as it was too sales focused for me. I learnt I didn't really enjoy sales in this role.
Research administrator, Sanctuary Group
I started my journey at Sanctuary as a research administrator. I did surveys on the phone with our customers and wrote down *word for word their feedback. I owe my very fast typing skills to this role in particular I think. This role really enabled me to learn how to engage with people over the phone (something I wasn't overly confident with earlier in life).
IS Administrator, Sanctuary Group
After 9 months in the research team I progressed to be an Information Systems administrator. This involved some personal assistant duties for the head of IS, lots of raising of purchase orders, writing formal board reports etc. This is where my organisation skills really started to come out.
Records Analyst, Sanctuary Group
Whilst I enjoyed administrative work, I found that it didn't challenge me on a daily basis. I decided to progress to another role in the company. My role as a records analyst allowed me to blend both business analysis skills and project management skills into one role (secretly I preferred the project management). This role was all around data protection and content management within the company (including setting up two scanning bureau's with the rest of the team).
Project Manager, Sanctuary Group
After 2 years in my role as a records analyst, I progressed to being a project manager in the IT department. This role really allowed me to stretch my wings and own a piece of work from start to finish. I enjoyed the variety and the autonomy I got in this role and felt that it truly matched my personality and skills.
After managing a large compliance programme for the Group, I was promoted to a programme manager. Programme managers look after lots of projects that have links between them and support a team of project managers or other staff in ensuring they have everything they need to successfully complete projects.
I loved being a waitress, it really taught me how much I love to interact with people and that I couldn't do a job that didn't involve working with others. When I became a project manager, I felt I had found my calling. The job utilised all of the skills I had collected from previous roles and still allowed me to build relationships with others both in and out of my department.
I'm Tamara, currently 29 years old and have worked at Sanctuary Group for the last 6 years in a variety of roles.
If you said to me when I was 18 that I would know what an application, a database or a server was, I would have wet myself laughing at you. However after working in the IT department for 4 years in total, I definitely know what these things are, but I would probably explain them in a very non technical way (probably in a sribbled drawing format). I never considered myself a 'techy' person, but I am very proud to work in technology as a woman. I know the world is running head first into technology and I definitely want to be a part of that future.
All of my roles have led me to where I am now which is working on a digital innovation programme for my company which is very exciting stuff (think virtual reality and artificial intelligence).
Other things about me: I am an uber Harry Potter fan (books over movies). I am a red belt in kickboxing. I just joined a running club which I'm not sure I love but giving it a go. I love to travel and make the most of every opportunity I can to do so.
Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions at all :).
Information technology IT / ICT
There are two things a girl should be: Whoever and Whatever she wants. Don't ever underestimate yourself, be exactly who you are.
Make sure you are working to live, and not living to work. Make time for yourself and the things that make you happy.
"The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me." – Ayn Rand
BSC Honours in International Tourism Management
University of Gloucestershire
Psychology A Level
Sociology A Level
Travel and Tourism A Level
Worcester Sixth Form
Biology, Chemistry, English Language, English Literature, History, ICT, Mathematics, Physical Education, PE, Religious Studies, RE, Textiles
North Bromsgrove High School
I really enjoyed History which was a huge shock to me and it's the subject I did best in. I loved Sociology A Level, mainly because I was allowed to express my opinion as long as I could back it up with evidence. I really didn't enjoy Maths and had to sit my GCSE twice to ensure I could get into University. I still don't love budget management to this day and rely heavily on excel to work things out for me.
One of the most important skills is communication. You must be able to communicate with people at all levels of a business and be able to motivate a team of people, and bring people together even when things might be going wrong. Building relationships with others is key as these relationships are what make a strong project team. There will be times when things do not go to plan (we wouldn't have project and programme managers if everything just went as planned), and you must be able to quickly react and recover from setbacks.
All of my roles have involved communication, but as I have progressed through my career the communication methods / styles and people involved have changed. I took on line management and mentoring responsibility to hopefully improve my skills of knowledge sharing and letting other people take the reigns (I am somewhat of a control freak).
When I was at school I wanted to be an air hostess. I wanted to travel the world and get paid to do so. The reason I didn't go into this career (and sometimes I think it's meant to be) is because I am 2 inches under the minimum height requirement (No, I'm not a hobbit before anyone asks, I'm 5ft).
If I started out again, I don't think I would have gone to university and maybe would have done an apprenticeship. University taught me so much personally, but I haven't used my learning from my degree much in my working life.