After uni I took a year off to back pack round South America, which was a welcome relief from university study. It was a very good social and cultural experience which made me a more rounded human being.
In 1989 I worked for GP and J Baker, who made furnishing fabrics, as an Export Rep. I had the opportunity to speak different languages, travel - and I was given a car - utopia. In 1992 became an Export Manager for the company.
In 1998 I began working for Rubelli Spa - an Italian producer of luxury furnishing fabrics - to become their manager in the Middle East. I undertook training and experience for 1 year within Europe and Venice.
From 2000 to present day I have worked as an Area manager for Rubelli ME in Dubai, representing many other top end furnishing fabrics, wallpaper and furniture companies.
Aston Universitiy was a great help as the course I studied - business, gave me well rounded knowledge on subjects such as marketing, market research, sociology and accounting. This knowledge makes you more confident in making decisions, gives you a base to work from and a passport to getting job interviews. Take the skills from the course that help you. I have not followed the standard employment routine of finding a big corporation as this does not suit my character. I am not a team player so try to find a job that marries your skills and personality.
I know one cannot always choose ones career and I fell into the job in Dubai having accepted another job, which then fell through. By luck I then decided to be an agent for brands in Dubai having travelled extensively in Middle East. This positive step somehow enabled me to meet Rubelli and instead worked for them. They gave me security and also the freedom I enjoy, being far from the head office. Rubelli are a family company more easy going, they look at your results and not embroiled in politics. I feel lucky to be in Middle East where there is great potential.