00:00:02 I’m Alexandra F, I’m the Ford Account Manager here at Johnson Matthey. Essentially it’s the main point of contact for Ford of Europe, and I will be the person they come to manage and co-ordinate all the activities for that account.
00:00:17 I’ve been with Johnson Matthey 11 years now. It was the first place I joined after University. But within that time I’ve done three or four different jobs. I started off as a Product Development Chemist. I did that role for about 18 months, and then I moved into I guess what’s best described as sort of small scale production management. And then after 18 months in that role, I was ready to look for something else, and that’s when I moved into sales and marketing.
00:00:44 When I was much younger I never had any aspirations. I know a lot of children do and think Oh I really want to be this, or I want to be that. But I didn’t, and yeah what I’ve – what I wanted to do is really develop later in life for me, as I’ve learnt more about it, and what the options are. That’s a really dull answer, but I didn’t so I’d have to make something up! (LAUGHS)
00:01:08 When I was at school, and also at University, I didn’t really have a very clear picture of what I wanted to do in terms of a career actually, and I think I followed it more sort of few years at a time, rather than knowing well in advance exactly what I wanted to do. It was during my A-Levels that I knew I really wanted to pursue the Chemistry further, and so I went ahead and did a Chemistry degree. And then at that stage I thought, yes, I definitely still want to keep Chemistry in my job.
00:01:35 I think one of the most significant things that happened to me during my sort of time at University, and leading up into my career, was the fact that I got a 2:2 at University. And I was, at the time, devastated, it wasn’t the result I was expecting to get, and I thought my world was over. But looking back now, it was actually one of the best things that happened to me. Because I got a 2:2, I then decided I didn’t want to do a PhD any more, and I didn’t want to stay at University. I decided that at the end of my final year. And hence I moved straight into a job, and I’m really pleased with that decision. So it was a really good thing that happened in the end.
00:02:14 I think through all my career my father’s been a real inspiration, in terms of helping me grow up and look for the opportunities, and learning how to sort of study, and sort of progress from a – I suppose a school University type life, into a professional role.
00:02:37 One thing which is great about Johnson Matthey as a company, is they see the work/life balance as very important. And I think everybody needs to have their home life as well as their work life. So that’s really important, you get a lot of support from work for that side of things. In my spare time at the moment we’ve got a big project, we’re transforming our garden. Our aim is to be completely self-sufficient in sort of fruit and vegetables. We’ve got ducks that we keep in the garden, which we got just recently, so we’ll have fresh eggs every day from those. It’s quite a long project, I think it might take us quite a few years to get there, but it’s something I’m really determined to achieve over the next few years.
00:03:14 In terms of thinking ahead, of where I might like my career to progress and move on to, I would like to see myself progressing through the company, moving to a sort of more senior role as a female manager within the company. I think it’s also about looking for those opportunities yourself as well, and not just sticking in a role and you think – Oh well this is OK. I’m always thinking, well what else would I like to do, what else would I like to learn, and what other opportunities might be available for my next career move?