Campaigns and Engagement Officer - Cairngorms National Park Authority.
Class of 1989.
I studied Agri-Food Marketing at Harper Adams Agricultural College, followed by two years on a Management Trainee Programme with 4 x 6 month secondments in fresh produce and agricultural companies. These included managing a despatch bay of an apple packhouse supplying supermarkets and gaining the ‘Investors in People’ award for a large company.
In the days before email I was offered my dream job (Fresh Produce Buyer) with an offer letter that got lost in the post! The job was given to their second choice. Out of work, and with a marketing qualification, I applied for a ‘stop-gap’ job in advertising at the Cambridge Evening News. This eventually took me to London and 17 years in PR and advertising for the UK’s regional press. Redundancy and a move to Scotland in 2010 led me to becoming a Press Officer at the Cairngorms National Park Authority.
The teaching staff were always fantastic and encouraging, particularly the late Gareth Randall, under whose watchful eye I developed my writing skills, which have been invaluable in my career.
Year-end assemblies, where the late Mr Bolton and his senior team would sweep out of the hall in their black cloaks, before the elderly retired Mr Sparrow would enter, sit at the piano and bang out the school song for us all to bellow along to. I’m not sure if Mr Bolton ever developed a love for the way we shouted ‘YOUR PLAY’ or held onto the Fraaaaaaaaay note – but Gary Kemp did as he led us in a rendition at the 400 year anniversary concert in The Albert Hall!