Our Managing Director’s Career Story
At 16 Jackie did not want to stay on for A levels and to go to university like most of her classmates she wanted to be a PA/Secretary and so left school after her GCSE’s to go to Chesterfield College to study for London Chamber of Commerce (LCCI) Private Secretary’s Certificate, during the year’s course she also took a number of other secretarial qualifications inc. RSA Typing, Audio Typing, Word Processing and Teeline Shorthand.
After college Jackie started work at 17 as an Office Junior with Fibermesh Synthetic Industries Europe Ltd (try saying that quickly!), an American owned company based on the Sheepbridge Industrial Estate in Chesterfield. Jackie gained a range of office experience including reception and secretarial duties.
After a year she was approached about a job at a larger company, The Beverage Company Ltd, based in Clay Cross, Chesterfield. Jackie joined as Junior Secretary/Receptionist but her usual willingness to help and learn meant that by the time she left she could cover 5 different office admin roles with duties including: reception, secretarial, sales order processing, material requirements planning, human resources administration.
In 1999, Jackie was made redundant and luckily after only a week unemployed was offered the job of Secretary and HR Assistant at PKF accountants and business advisors, in their Sheffield office. It was whilst in this role that Jackie started helping out in Marketing with updating the database (as anyone that’s ever done this knows a never ending job!), doing mailshots for seminars and helping with event organisation. This was intertwined with her other secretarial duties for 4 departments and HR Assistant doing some of the confidential admin, setting up a personnel database, collecting articles for and putting together the in house newsletter for the Sheffield and Doncaster offices.
Then in 2000 PKF created the role of Marketing Assistant in the Sheffield office for which Jackie was then perfectly placed and led to her career change. Recognising the change of career path and wanting to learn more to support her new role Jackie started evening classes to studying for first of all the Certificate and then Advanced Certificate in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). Jackie, pictured, at her graduation in 2003 at Chesterfield College.
In 2003 Jackie gained promotion to Marketing Executive. Having settled into the role Jackie wanted to start studying again but at that time no-one in the Sheffield area was running the Post-graduate Diploma in Marketing so not to be deterred she contacted Sheffield Hallam University to see what courses they offered and this is how she came to start in 2005 studying again, this time for her MSc in Marketing Management.
Throughout studying for her Marketing qualifications Jackie has worked full-time and studied in the evenings and on weekends, added to the hours required in the job this led to some long hours particularly just before assignment deadlines! Even using holiday particularly when completing her dissertation in 2007. Jackie is pictured outside Sheffield City Hall for her MSc graduation a proud day for her family and friends.
In 2008, after 5 years as Marketing Executive in PKF (UK) LLP’s Sheffield office Jackie was looking for a new challenge when the opportunity arose to make a change from professional services to heavy engineering with the international company DavyMarkham Limited based in Darnall, Sheffield. Whilst this was a very different role it was still business to business (B2B) and services marketing. Although presenting a whole new set of challenges as the company had not already got a marketing department so Jackie was presented with an empty desk apart from a computer and a phone! Various other people within the company were already looking after elements of marketing but it needed pulling together to create a cohesive brand image.
At the same time as leaving PKF in 2008, Jackie set up CQ Marketing Services as she had a number of enquiries for help from former colleagues from issuing a press release about joining a new company to promoting a range of specialist seminars. To ensure she had the right knowledge to go about this Jackie went on a number of Business Link workshops including business planning, bookeeping, taxation
Following a number of changes in 2010 where Jackie moved back to Sheffield and DavyMarkham was sold to Indian ownership. Jackie decided that after nearly 4 years at DavyMarkham to move to one of the world’s largest international valve manufacturing groups AVK UK Ltd as Marketing Manager for the UK and Ireland.
Jackie played a key role in ensuring improved internal communication of the marketing activity utilising the company’s intranet, and attending monthly sales meetings to ensure the external based teams were kept informed. Another key area was developing a social media presence on LinkedIn taking over the company profile and encouraging staff to develop their individual profiles. In addition to maintaining a high standard of brand image across all materials inc. website, banner stands, advertising, and detailed technical brochures across the full range of products available for sale in the UK.
Back in April 2010 whilst Jackie worked at DavyMarkham, the then MD, Kevin Parkin and Alan Lyons from Creative Sheffield set up The Lyons Den, a LinkedIn based networking group. Due to repeated ‘can you do…’ questions Jackie became the Head Lioness endeavouring to keep the pair in check! Generally providing support in terms of behind the scenes administration, event and website support. This led to at the Christmas ‘Awards’ event in 2011 (and again in 2012) her being presented with the ‘Best Supporting Lioness’ award!
All of this experience gives Jackie an all round knowledge of business and the systems and processes required to run an efficient business.