Looking for inspiration from an industry expert? Want to grow your network? Or maybe practice your interview skills?
Book a 30-minute 1-1 session as a member of Apprentice Nation for just 40 credits (reimbursed automatically!). Scroll to find out how to book and who you can meet.
Check out the latest mentors from Lucozade below!
How to book a Mentor Session
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Have a browse through mentors and their stories below.
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Hear the Story – Get inspired to Shape your Future! Hear your Mentor’s story, ask all your questions and get personalised advice to Go Far.
Interview 101 – Have a go at answering some common interview questions and get some expert, industry-specific feedback and advice. Get your interview technique DOWN!
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Need to top up on credits? Head to the Skills Hub to watch a few future-shaping videos.
Roles: Chief Technology Officer, BT (Global division)
Ask Azeem about career progression, working with global clients, and how business works around the world.
Azeem Akhtar is currently Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at BT Global, where he engages with multi-national clients at C-Level to share BT’s vision for digital transformation, and deliver the client’s desired business outcomes.
After graduating from King’s College London in Mathematics and Business Management, Azeem went on to complete a Masters in Sea-Use Law, Economics and Policy Making at The London School of Economics. He commenced his professional career working first in the oil and gas industry before moving into the telecommunications industry just as the dot.com era was really taking off. Azeem has held senior commercial, finance, business development and technology leadership roles to date and has extensive international experience where he has utilised his multi-lingual skills.
A committed sportsman, Azeem plays cricket, football, squash and tennis and is a die-hard Liverpool FC supporter. Since September 2016, Azeem holds a non-executive director role as Chairman of Active Essex and passionately leads the charge against physical inactivity to improve the quality of life for all people, of all ages in Essex. Azeem also sits on the Board of Sport England. In 2016, Azeem was named in the UK’s Top 100 Most Influential BAME Business Leaders, and he was nominated for CTO of the Year 2018 Award by Information Age.
Roles: CEO Consumer Division, BT
Ask Marc about progressing throughout your career, and using your influence for social good.
As head of three of the UK’s leading communications brands, BT, EE and Plusnet – as well as BT Sport – Marc is ultimately responsible for more than 30m customer connections. Under Marc’s leadership, BT Consumer has a purpose of Connecting for Good and an unprecedented range of new products, services and skills programmes for everyone in the UK.
A priority for Marc is to ensure BT does all it can to connect those who need it most. That includes offering unlimited data to frontline NHS workers, free connectivity to children so they can keep up with their education and Home Essentials, a low-cost fibre package for as many as 4.6m families on means-tested benefits across the UK. Marc is driving the rollout of the next generation of technology: 5G. EE was the first UK operator to launch 5G, creating a faster, more reliable mobile experience even in the busiest locations. 5G from EE is now live in more than 160 cities and large towns and is consistently named the UK’s number 1 mobile network – as well as being its largest and best 4G network. Marc is also leading BT into a new chapter in its convergence journey with Halo 3+, a UK first for hybrid network technology.
Previously, Marc was CEO and, before that, COO of EE. In 10 years at Three, he was a driving force behind their growth from start-up to a major player in the mobile market.
Strategic Partnerships Lead
Ask Matt about working in the world of sport or entertainment, you don’t have to be on the pitch or stage to build a fun, exciting career in something you love.
I’ve a simple philosophy and purpose that being active is fundamental to happiness and through the marketing of sport, entertainment and an active lifestyle it is possible to challenge and change how people live and behave towards brands – thinking time is best done on the trails or the bike! Currently I look after sponsorship and partnerships at Lucozade, with the responsibility for strategic development of partnerships for brand and business value. Previously Commercial Director at the start-up active lifestyle business, Tough Mudder who created the obstacle course event industry. Prior to that I spent a number of years in different commercial, marketing and sponsorship roles within sports marketing, creative and media agencies, working on some of the biggest sports events, athletes and festivals on behalf of many different brands.
Customer Supply Planning Manager, Lucozade Ribena Suntory
Ask Paul about Supply chain, working around the world, and being motivated to change your current situation and surroundings.
Paul grew up in Wolverhampton on a council estate, where his extended family was the streets. “I naturally become a victim of my own surroundings, but in time wanted to change the trend of my peer’s, going to prison and getting involved in wrong doings was the norm.” Entering the world of work as an apprentice, Paul now manages the end to end supply of well-known brands like Lucozade, Ribena and Highland Spring from the point of manufacture right through to the consumer.
Industry: TV | Film | Presenting
Roles: TV Presenter, Event Host & Voiceover Artist
Ask Ben about TV presenting, sports presenting, TV and film industry, motivation.
Ben Cajee is an experienced television and radio presenter, voiceover artist, writer and event host.
He’s been a main presenter on CBeebies since 2015 and has gone on to front Blue Peter, Bitesize Daily, BBC Live Lessons, Match of the Day Kickabout, and live broadcasts for BBC Sport. He’s a regular on Match of the Day on BBC One, present producing their community features.
Ben was the voice of Tokyo 2020 and Wimbledon 2021 across BBC Sport’s red button and iPlayer service.
Having previously worked for the International Cricket Council, Ben’s got an extensive knowledge of cricket and is an ambassador for the ECB’s All Stars Cricket initiative. He’s also appeared on BBC Sport’s The Cricket Social, acted as stadium host for numerous games at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and been involved in the BBC’s coverage of The Hundred.
Ben hosted BBC Radio Stoke’s Saturday Breakfast Show and has voiced the BBC’s Playtime Island App, BBC showreels, animations and numerous BBC trailers.
He’s appeared as a contestant on Celebrity Mastermind, answering questions on his beloved West Ham United, and as a guest on Mister Maker at Home and The Dog Ate My Homework.
He’s performed in CBeebies Christmas Shows and hosts live events, campaigns, press conferences, openings and festivals for charities and corporates – including the Premier League, the ECB, Show Racism the Red Card, Stephen Lawrence Day, Street Child United, Alton Towers, The Children’s Media Conference, Waterstones and the CBBC Summer Social. He’s also an ambassador for the children’s cancer charity, Young Lives Vs Cancer.His writing credits include CBeebies House links (leading to viral content around inclusivity and equality), an episode of Justin’s House, poetry for Colours, involvement in the Writers Room for the CBeebies Christmas Show in 2020 and commissions for opinion pieces, including The Independent.
Marketing Director Lucozade
Ask Hannah about Brand Marketing, Leadership, Sustainability, Purpose and anything else you like.
As Marketing Director Hannah manages a number of different teams including Brand Marketing, Consumer Insights, Sustainability and Corporate communications as well as the in-house Digital agency TED.
The team collectively are responsible for creating a full range of advertising communications from TV ads to social media campaigns, launching new products, packaging design, PR and social purpose initiatives. As well as the opportunity to work on some brilliant brands and create some great new products and ad campaigns, career highlights include a visit to the Love Island Villa, going to the Brit Awards, trips to Japan and meeting Anthony Joshua!
Hannah is passionate about seeing her people develop, building great teams and the power of brands to be a force for good.
Assistant Brand Manager for Lucozade Sport
Ask Gareth about consumer behaviour, branding and working in a sporting environment.
Not only in Gareth is a huge sports fan (particularly football – he’s been a Manchester United fan since he can remember!) but he is also driven by consumer behaviour; what drives consumers to behave in certain ways and what ultimately leads them to purchasing decisions.
One specific area of this is symbolic branding and how consumers purchase brands to construct their self-identity.
Senior Lawyer, Suntory Beverage and Food Europe
Ask Ruby about law, negotiating deals and working with big brands.
Ruby would love to help advise budding lawyers. Her initial interest was in social justice and human rights but through university and work experience was influenced into making impact by working for commercial entities. Ruby advises on all matters relating to brands and the running of those brands in commercial practice, from negotiating sponsorship agreements with Anthony Joshua and the FA to advising on the IP strategy for a high profile brand launch.
Strategic Category Development Manager, Suntory
Ask Claire about working in fast paced commercial organisations, sales, insight, big brands and retail such as Mars and McVitie’s
Claire works with retailers such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s using data, insights and trends to understand what consumers want from their products – now and in the future, how people shop and in what way large trends like Sustainability and Health impact their choices.
Ultimately turning data into stories to inspire change and help grow sales. Developing technical skills such as analysis, problem solving and project management all come with the role but what energises Claire most are the people she works with; communication and building teams with an aligned goal always has the best results.
Industry: Start-ups | Not-for-profit | Design
Roles: Social innovator, non-profit leader, board member
Talk to Stephen about start ups, fair wages, the future of work, careers in non-profit, living and working in USA
Stephen is an innovator, designer and evaluation expert. He is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Turning Basin Labs, a co-operative employment agency in the Bay Area, California. He is also the founder of design agencies The Social Innovation Partnership (UK) and Path Group (USA) and has advised Nesta, Big Society Capital, Big Lottery Fund, Mayor’s Fund for London, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Marks and Spencer, among others. He is a Trustee for UnLtd and the Barbican Centre.
Industry: TV | Production | Journalism
Roles: Commissioning Editor, E4
Ask Mel about TV development, TV production, journalism and writing.
Mel is Commissioning Editor at E4.
Previously, Mel was Director of Development at RDF Television, part of the Banijay group, creating new factual content for a range of platforms. She worked at RDF for seven years; the company specialises in popular factual programming – everything from Eat Well For Less on BBC One to Secret Life of Four Year Olds on Channel 4, 12 Puppies and Us on BBC Two to Lodgers for Codgers on Channel 4.
Passionate about telling contemporary stories in unconventional or surprising ways – through comedians, social experiments, fun formats and high-profile voices who bring an audience to an issue that might otherwise get overlooked.
Beginning her career as a journalist, completing a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism at City University and freelancing for a range of papers and magazines, Mel made the move into TV 10 years ago – beginning as a researcher and primarily working in development. She’s worked at companies including: BBC Studios, Films of Record, Twenty Twenty and Me & You Productions.
Industry: Tech | Start-ups
Role: Co-founder & CEO; Multiverse
Ask Euan about tech, startups, digital future, apprenticeships, football
Euan Blair is the Founder & CEO of Multiverse, a tech startup changing what’s possible in education and work.
Multiverse is on a mission to create an outstanding alternative to university, and a radically better approach to corporate training. Multiverse focuses on three primary areas: measuring potential beyond academics to recruit apprentices, delivering world-class job-focused training via applied learning programs, and helping diverse groups of young people build social capital and strong networks through a thriving community both on and offline.
At the end of 2020, Multiverse secured the largest ever venture raise by a UK EdTech company and, over the past 12 months tripled the number of apprentices it trains to more than 2,000. In Europe Multiverse works with over 300 clients including Facebook, Morgan Stanley, KPMG, Kantar, Citi and Microsoft. The footprint in the US is rapidly growing, with equally impressive clients as partners.
Prior to founding Multiverse, Euan was the UK CEO of Sarina Russo Group, an employment and training provider with more than 1,500 staff worldwide and a turnover exceeding £100 million. Before that Euan, worked at Morgan Stanley and started his career working for the US Congress House of Rules and Homeland Security Committees in Washing DC.
Euan holds a BA in Ancient History from the University of Bristol and an MA in international Relations from Yale University. He is a long suffering supporter of Liverpool Football Club.
Industry: Tech | Advertising
Role: Technical Solution Consultant, Google
Ask Tal about advertising, media, working around the world, and life at Google.
Tal is a Technical Solutions Consultant at Google. Her job is to engage with top Retailers, Broadcaster and News publishers in the UK and Ireland and to develop solutions for their advertising media needs.
She has been in Google for 6 years, started as a Test Engineer and then as an Integration Engineer. Prior to joining Google Tal was a flight simulator instructor in the Air force, and was a flight attendant, when she had the opportunity to travel the world.
Tal holds a BSc in Biomedical Engineering from Tel-Aviv university and her study was advertised in a Medicine & Science journal. Tal loves spending time with her family, traveling and practicing Yoga (particularly being upside-down!)
Industry: Tech | Sports
Role: Revenue Strategy Manager, DAZN Group
Talk to Emanuele about keeping up your motivation, and finding a career that combines your different passions.
Emanuele is a Revenue Strategy Manager at DAZN Group, a leading sports media platform. In his current role, he is part of a global team looking after the day-to-day business performance of DAZN and thinking about strategic initiatives to further grow the company.
Before DAZN, he worked at Google for almost 4 years, in Project Management roles as part of a global team supporting small-medium businesses to get started with Google Ads, Google’s advertising platform. Before joining Google, Emanuele graduated from a Masters in International Management in Italy (Bocconi University) and in the United Kingdom (London School of Economics). He is a true sport enthusiast and, like many Italians, he is mostly a devoted football fan.
Syreeta Brown – Fully Booked
Industry: HR | Recruitment | Banking | Finance
Role: Managing Director, Citigroup
Ask Syreeta about working in a global organisation and what recruiters look for in applicants.
Syreeta Brown is a Managing Director at Citigroup working in HR and heads up Citi’s Global Talent Acquisition (TA) Strategy & Programs function. Syreeta leads a team which leads and manages on Citi’s enterprise-wide TA operating infrastructure and strategy. Prior to joining Citi, Syreeta was a HR Director at British Telecom Group PLC, having joined as a graduate in 1998. She rapidly advanced her career over 12 years working across various businesses in a number of roles. Syreeta holds a BA (Hons) English Literature from Goldsmiths College, University of London, Masters in Human Resources from University of Westminster, and an Executive Masters in HR Leadership from Rutgers (joint program with Bocconi Business School, Milan).
Syreeta has been a Board trustee for Access all Areas Theatre – a theatre company for learning disabled artists based in Hackney (2016-2019). Syreeta sits on the ‘Panel of Influential Women’ run by the Advanced Boardroom Excellence Group based in London, which is focused on the development of senior executives. Syreeta was recently recognised for 20 years of service to Human Resources by the CIPD and was named Financial Services Leader of the year at the 2018 Black British Business Awards. Syreeta actively advocates for and supports Parents who have children with Special Needs focusing on Autism and is in the process of writing a book reflecting on her own experiences in this area.
Industry: Film | Production
Role: Digital Commissioning Executive, Channel 4
Ask Evie about production, digital content, pitching, ideas generation, work experience.
Evie Buckley is one of the youngest Executive Producers in the TV industry, working at Acme Films, an independent production company making TV, films and digital content for all of the major UK platforms. Acme Films is dedicated to telling stories that reflect the richness and diversity of contemporary culture working with A-List talent from Banksy, Danny Boyle and Olivia Colman to Ashley Walters, Akala and Lady Leshurr. Evie has worked in TV Development since leaving university and is responsible for creating new TV ideas, pitching them to platforms and then overseeing them once in production. Prior to working at Acme, Evie has worked at Bauer, Endemol and TwoFour, with experience across all factual TV genres. Evie also has done lots of volunteering work with organisations such as Orange RockCorps and was one of their Youth Ambassadors during her teens. Evie holds a BA in TV Production from Bournemouth University and was recently recognised as a Broadcast Hot Shot 2019.
Industry: Music | Film | TV | Media | Production
Role: Production Designer
Ask Robb about production design and working in the music, TV and film industries and how they differ.
Robb has been a production designer for over 25 years and worked in film, TV, live music and music videos. Working with artists such as Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg, Beyonce and Jay Z. His expertise and passion spans design, film, TV, production, music videos, food and wine.
Industry: Tech | Design
Role: Interaction Designer WearOS, Google
Josef Burnham is an interaction designer at Google. His job is to create products and experiences that help users everyday lives. Currently, he’s improving the user experience on Google’s watches, Wear OS by Google.
Prior to working at Google; he worked at the BBC, small design agencies and co-founded a successful streetwear business. If you’re interested in working in the design / creative industries or thinking about starting up your own business, sign up for a mentor session!
Role: Software Engineer, Google
Talk to Luis about moving from Brazil to the UK, starting his career in a new country, and how he landed a role at Google.
Luis Buriola is a software engineer at Google where he has been working since 2017. He is originally from Brazil, where he graduated in Computer Science and started his career. He then worked for a few years in Italy and moved to the UK in 2010.
Landing a role at Google took a lot of trial and error over several years. Along the way, Luis picked up important lessons about failure, resiliance, and how to perform well in interviews.
Industry: Design | Fashion
Role: Creative Lead, Clarks Originals
Lewis Clarke is an award winning Creative Designer, Conceptual thinker and Art Director based in Bristol, UK. Over the last 15 years he has worked on campaigns for many global brands spanning various industries. At present Lewis holds the position of Global Creative Lead for the much-loved international footwear brand Clarks Originals.
Industry: Government | Civil Service | Diversity & Inclusion
Role: Department of Education, UK Civil Service
Ask Harrylynne about communications and engagement, the importance of personal development, working in the Civil Service, and Diversity, Equality and Inclusion networks.
Harrylynne has worked in DfE since 2015 and is currently working in the Higher and Further Education Group (HEFE) as part of the Director General’s Office, leading on the Working Better Together Programme.
Harrylynne is a communications professional and has delivered excellence in engagement across a wide range of organisations for over 10 years and has led communication strategy development at a national level, along with hands-on delivery. Harrylynne was previously Head of Strategic Communications at the Cabinet Office and more recently in Capital Directorate as Communications lead for the School Estates Capability Project.
Harrylynne is extremely passionate about Diversity, Equality and Inclusion and has initiated the development and implementation of new initiatives to encourage innovation, improve employee engagement and provide visible role models for staff. Her focus has been on supporting the career development of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff, by promoting goal setting, self-managed development and has created several fast-track coaching and development programmes and reverse mentoring schemes.
Industry: Digital | Social Impact
Role: Head of Digital Impact and Sustainability (Consumer), BT
Ask Hannah about building a career with social impact and working in Digital.
Hannah is currently Head of Digital Impact and Sustainability for the BT Group’s Consumer business which includes the BT, EE and Plusnet brands. In this role she is responsible for helping BT bring its purpose – We connect for good – to life and ensuring the business has a positive social and environmental impact. This includes running programmes that help children, families, jobseekers and older and vulnerable groups develop their digital skills, and supporting BT to engage it’s consumers around how technology can help them reduce their environmental impact.
Hannah is passionate about helping organisations embed a social purpose at the heart of what they do, and thinking about how brands can enable their consumers to live sustainability.
Having studied history, Hannah began her career working for a public affairs agency where she advised charities and companies on engaging with government to shape policy. She then spent 8 years working for Tesco in a range of corporate social responsibility and communication roles, including working with Tesco’s international businesses. Hannah is passionate about education and supporting young people to start their careers. When she’s not working Hannah enjoys cooking, sewing and dancing.
Head of Trade Marketing at Suntory GB.
Matthew has a passion for supporting people’s careers and personal development which has seen him build highly successful and award winning teams during his career. As well as helping retailers grow the soft drinks category, his team develop amazing brand activity that goes into Retail Stores & online. Matthew has an extensive background in Drinks and Hospitality Marketing, having worked for MolsonCoors Beverage Company and Mitchells & Butlers.
TikTok, UK Social Editor & Founder at Safe Suppers
Ask Nina about working in social media, creative thinking and finding your purpose
With over 7 years social media experience working agency-side with the likes of Audi, Lavazza, first direct, Universal Pictures and Samsung, as well as client-side with TKEES, Right to Play, Save the Children Canada, ASOS and TIKTOK – Nina brings a fresh and thought-provoking perspective to every project.
Nina founded Safe Suppers in 2019 to support business professionals from minority groups to feel empowered in a working world moving at lightening lightning speed.
Nina is passionate about staying connected to the humanity of creativity and is a self-proclaimed champion of ‘love-centred existence’. She believes that a shift in focus on the small moments and the little things we love has the power to do a world of good.
Industry: Fashion | Retail
Role: Merchandising and Supply Planning Director, RIXO London
Ask Rachel about how to work your way up in an industry and how fashion, retail and merchandising actually work.
Rachel began working in fashion and retail in part-time jobs while still at school. When she finished school, she moved to head office at Radley, and has since worked her way up in the industry, from admin assistant to director, by learning and growing on the job. Today, she’s Merchandising and Supply Planning Director at contemporary women’s fashion label RIXO London.
Role: Strategy Lead, Ads Certifications, Google
Talk to Sai about change, growth and learning in your career.
Sai is a Strategy Lead at Google based in the UK. He has been with Google for the past 14 years and worked across different business units and locations ranging from sales, operations, product expert to strategy roles. Before joining Google in 2006, Sai worked in a startup in India as a research engineer(in electronics). He did his engineering in electronics and switched to business roles since joining Google.
Industry: HR | Recruitment | IT
Roles: Founder & Director, Bangura Solutions
Ask Simmane about what employers look for in applications, and starting a business.
Simmane Bangura is a Director who works with organisations across the global to recruit diverse technology and digital transformation staff. As a Director Simmane recently played a pivotal role in scaling a recruitment business from £12m into a £70m turnover during his 8 year tenure, applying his principles and ethos before setting up his own business in 2019, which is already a £4m turnover business.
Simmane started his career in IT Recruitment as a business graduate recruiter in 2000. He quickly became a highly proficient recruiter, achieving market leading results through his customer centric approach, retaining his customers for years and found his true passion in leading others and making a significant impact in business. Today Simmane is giving his time to pro-active initiatives to help other in the wider community secure leadership career opportunities, as well driving forward his own business.
Role: Managing Editor, LBC
Tom Cheal is Managing Editor of talk-based radio station LBC . Having joined the station over a decade ago, he built his reputation from the ground up. During this time, he worked as Political Editor, helping to establish agenda-setting programmes with leading figures from across the political spectrum.
Industry: Tech | Marketing
Role: Product Marketing Manager, Google
Ask Alex about getting into technology, product marketing, working with empathy, building diverse teams, and what it’s like to be an expat.
Alex Edelstein is a Product Marketing Manager looking after Google Search for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). He works on developing new and innovative features for Google Search through rigorous research and user interviews as well as develops advertisements to highlight these new and helpful features.
Before moving to London in 2019, Alex worked as a Product Marketing Manager in San Francisco at Google on Google Ads with a focus on events for Small and Medium Businesses and a consultant for Ernst & Young covering clients ranging from Oil and Gas, Higher Education and Product Management. Alex holds a BBA in Management Information System and minors in Japanese Language and Literature as well as Personal and Organizational Behaviour from the University of Georgia.
When not cheering on his university’s American football team (Go Dawgs) you can find him biking around London looking for the best ‘hole in the wall’ restaurants to eat at.
Industry: Communications | Government
Role: Head of External Affairs & Engagement, UK Cabinet Office
Ask Amrita about communications and engagement, planning big events, and her zero-waste supper club.
Amrita is currently the Head of External Affairs and Engagement at the Cabinet Office, with responsibility for events and all aspects of ministerial engagement for the department. This includes Civil Service Live, the largest public sector learning and development event in Europe as well as all the times you see Cabinet Office ministers, such as Michael Gove, Penny Mordaunt or Jacob Rees-Mogg on the telly.
Prior to joining the Cabinet Office, Am has worked for a number of organisations from NUS to NCS, delivering national and international events, from gala dinners to music festivals. A fierce advocate for equality throughout her career, Am has developed and delivered national training on privilege and worked on embedding inclusive practices in events, and speaks on the importance of kindness and empathy in leadership.
In her spare time Am is the co-founder of Social Supper Club London, a zero-waste dinner club raising funds for Refettorio Felix, a London charity supporting vulnerable, homeless people and those at risk of homelessness and a volunteer with the Young Women’s Trust.
Industry: Sports | Marketing
Role: Head of Marketing, BT Sport
Ask Ed about the Sports and Marketing industries, and how to build a career that combines your different passions.
Ed joined BT in 2013 as the business shook up the UK pay TV market by announcing the launch of BT Sport. As it now enters its eighth season Ed head’s up the marketing team responsible for delivering award winning campaigns from the launch of new rights to Europe’s first 4K UltraHD channel. As well as looking after the B2C side Ed’s role also covers commercial premises where he is responsible for driving commercial sales, partnerships and audiences for the UK’s largest out of home sports broadcaster.
In 2017 Ed was named in the 30 under 30 in the Sport Industry next gen and in 2018 was one of 30 Marketing Academy Scholars. Before moving to BT, Ed studied at Newcastle University and then joined ESPN where he had his first taste of working with the pay TV market.
Industry: Tech | Project Management | Logistics
Role: Commercial Project Manager, Android | Google
Ask Janine about: working abroad, the United Nations, international business, finding meaningful work
Janine grew up on a small island in Canada and always wanted to see the world. Following this desire, she has built a career in international business, making large, hard projects happen. She has worked on projects worth billions of dollars that affected hundreds of millions of lives.
She started out on a project building a gold mine in the Caribbean, where she helped the mining company purchase machines and building materials to build a processing plant.
Next, she worked for the United Nations in Yemen buying millions of dollars worth of wheat and flour, and helping her colleagues to deliver it to those in need. She then moved to Egypt and Tunisia and rented warehouses and organized trucks to get food, tents, medicine and other supplies to those in need during the Arab Spring in North Africa.
She moved to London and spent some time advising British companies on how to export goods, then started working at Google where she helped Google navigate the legal challenges of building the infrastructure of the internet in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Janine now spends her time with Google engineers, tax specialists, accountants, lawyers and sales people, getting them to work together so you can buy apps, games, books and content from the Google Play store.
Industry: Recruitment | Tech
Role: UK Early Careers Recruiter, Microsoft
Ask Kema about her personal journey, culminating at Microsoft
With over 7 years’ experience in early career recruitment, Kema joined Microsoft in 2017 with three goals in mind. One to work with the biggest technology in the world, two to show up at work every day as her true authentic self and three and probably the most important create opportunities for every person no matter where they came from. Since working at Microsoft Kema has had countless chances to bring her passions to work through projects with Microsoft’s employee resource groups such as Women at Microsoft and BAME, collaboration across HR and other business segments and philanthropic work. Outside of Microsoft Kema loves travelling, being active and spending time with family and friends.
Industry: Advertising | Marketing
Role: Global President & CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi
Ask Magnus about being a CEO; media and advertising, leading a global business.
Magnus Djaba, Global President & CEO, Publicis Groupe Creative Practice UK Magnus has led the transformation of Saatchi & Saatchi London for the last 8 years, expanding the services we offer our clients and ensuring we are focused on creativity and business results.
During this time, the agency has won numerous creative and effectiveness awards and welcomed new clients such as EE (the biggest mobile network in the UK) HSBC, Direct Line Insurance Group, BT, Britvic and the Global Expedia Business. He was formerly the MD at the start-up Fallon London, which became one of the UK’s most awarded and best-known creative agencies, famous for groundbreaking campaigns for the BBC, Cadbury, Skoda, Sony and FCUK. Magnus was appointed UK CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi in November 2011 and promoted to CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon UK Group in April 2014.
In 2017 he was appointed Global President of Saatchi & Saatchi, responsible for global clients, new business and brand positioning for the network. In 2020, he took on the additional role of UK CEO of the Publicis Groupe Creative Practice in the UK for the Publicis Groupe Agencies, responsible for 5 creative agencies.
Magnus is a keen sportsperson having previously played rugby for England Students. He is also passionate and vocal about Diversity. Magnus combines both these passions as a member of the English Premier League Equality Panel since 2017 which holds the Premier League soccer clubs to account over their Inclusion & Diversity policies and actions. Magnus and Saatchi London have also played a leading role in Operation Black Vote, an organisation that encourages ethnic minorities to exercise their right to vote.
He is also a member of the Institute in Practitioners in Advertising Council and a member of the Marketing Group of Great Britain Council.
Industry: Marketing | Communications | Media | Start-ups
Role: Founder, Broody; formerly Chief Marketing Officer, EE
Talk to Pippa about media, marketing, communications, sponsorship, management and start ups.
A lawyer turned west end theatre producer who became CMO of EE. Knows how big businesses work and how to get the best out of people, commercial incentive and gets things done.
Roles: Head of Digital Marketing & The In-House Creative Agency, Lucozade Ribena Suntory.
Ask Shaun about ‘finding your edge’ and life in the creative advertising industry.
Shaun’s an award-winning communications professional. He’s worked in-house and agency side, across household brands like Tetley, Ribena and Lucozade and technology brands like Google, Sony PlayStation and Cisco.
He leads a talented team of 20+ creatives, planners, strategists, media buyers, developers, content creators and account partners, who create content across TV, online, in-store and out-of-home for some of the country’s most loved brands.
If you need help finding your edge, honing your creative craft or want to know more about digital marketing, then drop Shaun a line.
Industry: Marketing | Communications
Role: Marketing Expert
Speak to Brad about marketing communications, team & culture building and entrepreneurship.
Brad is a an experienced communications practitioner with a unique background, having worked in Media, Creative and Digital Agencies in both the networked environment (e.g. WPP) as well as smaller, more entrepreneurial environments. More recently he has worked within the tech start-up space and as an advisor to a select number of businesses. He has also successfully launched and sold an agency business, working through a sale process and subsequent earn-out.
Role: Co-founder, LVRN
Ask Sean about staring a creative agency and record label; A & R, entrepreneurship, music industry.
The son of a Jamaican father and English mother, Sean Famoso was born in Boston but spent his elementary school years in South Florida. Sean was surrounded by Reggae, RnB, and Motown classics. At 12, his family moved to Atlanta where Sean emerged into a bourgeoning party promoter. After High School, Sean enrolled at Georgia State University with a focus in marketing.
There, Famoso linked Tunde Balogun, where the team hosted parties, flipped an internship with rapper Ludacris’ Disturbing Tha Peace record label into co-A&R roles for DTP’s publishing arm, and began managing acts like Que, whose “OG Bobby Johnson” was a smash in 2013.
Soon after, Balogun and Sean connected with GSU trio Justice Baiden, Carlon Ramong, and Junia Abaidoo, who were managing Atlanta acts as Love Renaissance (LVRN) – a name intending to penetrate the standardized ‘tough guy trap’ scene with consiouss and emotional music. Baiden invited Balogun and Famoso to the team as they signed their first artist, Raury and earned a deal with Columbia Records in 2014.
Next, the team inked 6lack and helped him out of a contract that inhibited him from releasing music. LVRN independently released what would become his multi-platinum single “Prblms” in 2016. When Interscope took an interest in 6lack, they signed LVRN to a joint venture deal. Their first proper release from LVRN Records was his debut album, Free 6lack. Lead by Famoso’s powerful branding strategy, it reached mainstream success.
Industry: Advertising | Marketing | Communications | Digital
Role: CEO, Publicis•POKE
Nick joined Publicis Worldwide in 2014 as founding partner and CEO of digital agency Poke. He was promoted to the additional role of CEO of Publicis London, and further promoted to CEO, Publicis Worldwide UK in 2018.
Last year he brought together Publicis Worldwide UK’s four businesses; Publicis London; Poke; Arc & August to become one integrated agency named Publicis•Poke, bringing technology and creativity together to focus on brand communications, brand experiences and brand commerce.
His focus is on growing digital communications and experiences for clients including EE, Virgin Voyages, Google, Tourism Ireland, Renault, Heineken, Morrisons, Nestlé and Garnier.
In 2010, Nick launched The Lovie Awards to celebrate the wonderful and inspiring things connected by the web’s many tentacles. He continues to Co-Chair the Awards that is considered as the most prestigious, and the only, truly pan-European awards honouring online excellence. Nick is also an advisory Board member of indy film streaming service MUBI.
In 2015, he was awarded with a Lifetime achievement award for his contribution to the industry.
Role: Head of HR, Europe, Amazon Transportation Services
Ask Mandy about working for a fast-paced, global organisations, what employers look for, and what it takes to progress.
Mandy has over 20 years of experience in customer-focused, fast-paced organisations, the majority of which has been spent in HR. Mandy started her career on a graduate program at Asda supermarkets and after seven years in operational and HR roles, moved to JD Wetherspoon where she spent 10 years, the majority as head of HR for the pub group’s 25,000 operational employees.
Mandy joined Amazon for the first time in 2012 and spent five years leading global HR teams and delivering innovative programs and new working models. Mandy then took a role as HR Director at FirstPort, the UK’s largest property manager where she delivered people strategy and business transformation. Mandy returned to Amazon in 2021 as head of HR for Surface Transportation in Europe and India.
Industry: Entertainment | TV | Production
Role: Head of Entertainment, Good Morning Britain at ITV
Ask Rachelle about TV production, the Entertainment industry and working with big names.
As Head of Entertainment at Good Morning Britain, Rachelle leads a team in securing high profile guests and exclusives, whilst generating headline-grabbing ideas and record ratings on the UK’s most talked about TV show.
Rachelle has over 20 years of live TV experience as a Producer, Celebrity Booker and Senior Manager, successfully leading teams and several re-launches at ITV Daytime. During this time, Rachelle created many cross-promotional campaigns and landed some of the biggest scoops and celebrity interviews.
Rachelle helped to launch the careers of Lady Gaga and Rihanna in the UK with their debut Daytime TV appearances. She has also worked with some of the world’s biggest A-list stars, from Madonna to Britney, to Sir Elton John and Diddy.
Her experience also includes covering some of the most important news stories of our time, including a global pandemic and the death of Michael Jackson.
Industry: Sports | Marketing
Role: Senior Marketing Manager, BT Sport
Ask Lewis about creating marketing campaigns in the Sports industry.
Lewis joined BT as a graduate 6 years ago and has specialised in Marketing and Brand Management. He’s worked on hugely diverse campaigns, whether that’s launching the latest iPhone, testing BT’s mobile reliability with Craig David live streaming on a bus of driving customers to watch BT Sport in new innovative ways.
He now leads the Marketing Communications strategy for BT Sport For Business. That’s anyone who shows BT Sport outside of the home. He describes his role as the best role in BT as part of his job is to get closer to his customer base and go out and visit them on site. That means going to the very best pubs and clubs in the country and talking about sport.
Outside of work he is normally found in the pub (again), in the kitchen or supporting his beloved Leicester City Football Club. Feel free to ask him about the 2015-16 season!
Industry: Film | TV
Role: Producer & Director
Ask Ashley about producing, directing, and turning a creative idea into reality.
Documentary filmmaker Ashley Francis-Roy makes distinctive, warm and authentic films. His work is emotionally engaging, intimate, and full of joy and humanity. As a filmmaker, he’s driven by the people he meets and collaborates with, and it’s these amazing characters – their worlds and their stories – that spark his passion for documentary.
Originally from Leeds – Ashley is committed to exploring underrepresented voices and wants to make films that offer entertaining and challenging perspectives on race, sexuality, and society. He strives to craft emotional narratives with intimacy, atmosphere and powerful creative visuals.
For his moving and humane debut The Real Eastenders, Ashley has been awarded the Debut Director Award for the Edinburgh TV Festival’s New Voice Awards. His second powerful and captivating film, Damilola: The Boy Next Door won Best History Documentary at the RTS programme awards. Ashley also produced the RTS, and Grierson award winning series Hometown: A Killing for BBC Three. He is currently directing a ground-breaking series about policing for Channel 4 and his first commercial for the Ministry of Housing.
Industry: Advertising | Marketing | PR | Social Impact
Role: Head of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion, adam&eveDDB
Ask Bukola about: diversity and inclusion, operations, marketing, advertising and PR, strategist, idea generation, relationship marketing, relationship management.
Bukola started her career as a Media Planner at ZenithOptimedia for Procter and Gamble. However, after 4 years experiencing the consequences of underrepresentation within the industry, Bukola changed career paths and moved into the social sector. More recently, Bukola worked as Diversity & Inclusion Manager at advertising agency Havas London and in 2021 she moved to adam&eveDDB as the newly appointed Head of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion.
Bukola is on the advisory boards of two black-owned SMEs: Blanguage, a curation brand that showcases worldwide talent through creating authentic experiences and TING, set up to ensure every business has a plan in place to welcome marginalised people into their company culture, supporting their wellbeing and career success.
Bukola would say, working as Diversity & Inclusion Manager means having the opportunity to learn, inform and encourage dialogue around bias, identity and representation. It is about being able to learn from people and their different experiences and use this to influence better and more inclusive business culture. Diversity and inclusion is not something to do but something to be. It is about making conscious decisions every day that consider and celebrate all types of people. As humans we are built for connection and we are only made richer by being open to exploring the different ways we contribute to society – THERE IS ROOM FOR US ALL!
Role: General Manager, Atlantic Records
Ask Liz about different roles in the music industry, like Marketing, Digital, Creative and PR.
Liz Goodwin took over as General Manager of Atlantic Records UK in April 2020. She is responsible for overseeing the long-term career strategy for Atlantic UK’s diverse roster of superstars and developing artists which includes Anne-Marie, Charli XCX, Clean Bandit, Ed Sheeran, Jess Glynne, Joel Corry, Mahalia, Maisie Peters, Laura Mvula & Rudimental. At the same time, she works closely with the Marketing, Digital, Creative, and PR teams to devise and deliver comprehensive, first-class campaigns.
Liz started her music career as a Label Coordinator at ZTT Records in 2000, before moving to Polydor Records in 2001. While at Polydor, Goodwin rose through the ranks, becoming Head of Marketing and then Head of Campaign Strategy. During this time, she was responsible for developing and overseeing the creative and marketing strategies for a range of artists including Lana Del Rey, for which she was instrumental in setting the approach and aesthetic tone for her first three albums. She also led the award-winning campaign for Elbow’s The Seldom Seen Kid, which sold over one million copies in the UK, as well as countless other campaigns for the likes of Eminem, Imagine Dragons, Lady Gaga, Shura, Snow Patrol, and more. As UK Managing Director of Glassnote Entertainment since 2016, Goodwin led the company through campaigns for established and breaking artists, including Childish Gambino, Half Moon Run, Phoenix and Jade Bird. She was named in Music Week’s Women in Music Roll of Honour in 2018.
Industry: Social Impact | Startups | Charity | Entrepreneurship
Role: Founder & CEO, GoodGym
Ask Ivo about social impact, starting a charity, sponsorship, entrepreneurship, growing a company.
Ivo Gormley is the Founder of GoodGym, a growing movement of runners who run to do good. Previously, Ivo consulted and advised on user participation for technology startups and public services in the UK and US. Ivo directed the documentary film Us Now, an exploration of participatory culture. The film has been broadcast around the world, including Channel 4 in the UK, translated into 24 languages and watched by millions online. He has presented his work to governments worldwide including the French National Assembly, The Hague, the European Union, The Houses of Parliament (UK) and Washington DC.
Maria Grazia Pecorari
Industry: Digital | Telecoms | IT
Role: Managing Director, Strategy & DigiCo, BT
Ask Maria about global business and progressing throughout your career.
Maria Grazia was appointed managing director, strategy and DigiCo at BT in December 2019. She reports to BT’s CEO. As managing director of strategy and DigiCo, she leads the evolution of BT, to become the partner of choice for global organisations worldwide, enabling their digital transformation.
Maria Grazia joined BT in 2014 from the global management consulting firm Bain & Company, where she was a principal in the telecom, media and technology practice. Her strategy experience spans consumer and enterprise telecommunications, software, network and IT equipment – in both developed and emerging markets. She is a regular speaker at global events including the World Economic Forum and Mobile World Congress.
Throughout her career, Maria Grazia has been and continues to be a mentor and strong advocate for women in business. She inspires other women to take responsibility and promote their careers, and was recently nominated for the Chris Seymour award for Women in Telecoms. Maria Grazia holds an economics degree from Bocconi University, Milan, Italy.
Industry: Advertising | Marketing
Role: Global Brand Director, Havas London
Speak to Tam about marketing, communication, media, diversity, equity and inclusion
Tamara is currently a Global Brand Director at Havas. She leads global initiatives for RB (Reckitt Benckiser) looking after 14 brands across 17 markets; building and scaling strategies, implementing campaigns, developing inspired teams and instituting best practices.
Throughout her career, Tamara has successfully managed the agile needs of brands with complex product portfolios and organisational structures; while also injecting them with a defined brand purpose and categorical distinction. She is passionate about culture and strives to embed her brands with it.
Prior to joining Havas she worked at KBS+P on Avon global fragrances, and at Berlin Cameron United where she launched the Boost Mobile brand which drove substantial growth form 500k to 5MM+ subscribers making the brand a cultural icon amongst urban youth. Her experience also includes working on iconic global brands such as; Burger King, UPS, diet Coke, Sprite, Belvedere Vodka and Stella Artois.
Role: CEO, England & Wales Cricket Board
Talk with Tom about leading a National Governing Body, increasing participation and diversity in sports, and creating legacy from Men’s and Women’s World Cup wins.
Tom joined ECB as CEO in January 2015 and brings over 20 years of experience across the world of sports after a career as a professional cricketer.
Renowned as a progressive, values-led leader, Tom believes team sport can be an enormous force for good in any community and is passionate about sport’s role in developing the leaders of the future.
Tom is driving transformational, positive change through commercial excellence and a drive to see a more diverse and inclusive sport at all levels of the game. Along the way, England have become both the Men’s and Women’s Cricket World Champions, both events providing watershed moments for the sport in the UK. Tom led the creation of ‘Inspiring Generations’, ECB’s strategy for 2020-24, which sets out a bold plan for growth and inclusion across the country into younger and more diverse communities.
Tom brings real expertise in sports media rights, and prior to joining ECB was a senior figure at IMG Media, where he ran the company’s media rights business in the UK and previously managed IMG’s business in South Asia.
Outside his role as CEO of the ECB, Tom is a Board Member of Sports United Against Dementia and sits on the National Citizens Service (NCS) Board of Patrons.
Industry: Food | Entertainment | Entrepreneurship | Social Impact
Role: Founder & CEO, Social Pantry
Ask Alex about all things foodie, and starting and growing your own business.
Alex Head is the owner of London events and catering company Social Pantry, as well as Social Pantry Café in Battersea.
After being expelled from school at 15 years old, Alex started selling sandwiches off the back of her bike. Today, Alex’s fresh, beautiful food has made her the go-to caterer for celebrity parties – from catering various product launch events by Rihanna and beauty company Nars, to keeping guests nourished at Gigi Hadid’s slumber party.
Social pantry is not only a huge success in its own right but its social responsibility is exemplary. They insure that 10% of their staff are ex-offenders. Helping those being released from prison reintegrate into society by giving them the opportunity to work a full-time job in one of her companies.
Industry: Film | TV | Production
Role: Co-Founder & Managing Director, CC-Lab
Ask Jason about TV production, concert and event production, being a founder, international business.
Jason is the co-founder and Managing Director of CC-Lab. CC-Lab are award-winning creators of exciting, innovative and engaging television and digital content, specialising in music and the arts, live events, factual and branded content
Role: Co-President, Atlantic Records UK
Ask Ed about ways to get your foot in the door in the music industry, and the different roles that make the industry tick.
Ed got his foot in the music industry’s door by taking part in a number of internships, the first one being in Universal’s Classics & Jazz department followed by a placement in Sony/ATV’s Sync team. He then moved over to the publisher’s A&R department where he started signing and developing key songwriters. Ed then made the jump over to recorded in music in 2008 when he joined Atlantic’s subsidiary label Asylum Records as Label Manager.
While at Asylum he worked his way up to A&R Director and then Managing Director of the label while signing and developing stars such as Anne-Marie, Charli XCX, Rudimental and, of course, Ed Sheeran. After bringing Sheeran into the label in late 2010, Ed has guided Sheeran’s career which has seen him sell more than 112 million albums and over 680 million singles worldwide as well as winning countless awards including four BRITs, four Grammys, four Ivor Novellos and four Q Awards.
Now Co-President of Atlantic Records UK, Ed is responsible for overseeing some of the country’s biggest artists, including Anne-Marie, Charli XCX, Clean Bandit, Ed Sheeran, Jess Glynne, Paolo Nutini, Mahalia, Plan B, Rudimental and Tion Wayne. He also looks after the UK campaigns of international stars such as Ava Max, Bruno Mars, Burna Boy, Cardi B, Janelle Monáe, Lizzo, Portugal. The Man and twenty one pilots.
Industry: Youth | Entrepreneurship | Social Enterprise | Charity
Role: Founder & Director, 7PK and Revolution Hive
Louis Howell is a dynamic and rounded professional with experience that pans the voluntary youth sector, education sector and the world of small business. Today, he co-runs an educational social enterprise, Revolution Hive, that equips young people for life by running programmes focused on Personal Development, Social Responsibility and Global Awareness at schools, colleges and universities. Louis’ experience has also led to him setting up an expert consultancy, 7PK, that helps charities, social enterprises and corporate organisations to improve their approaches to Youth and Community Development, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and their Social Mobility Initiatives.
His other commitments include being a trustee and council member of two UK based charities, and he is a proud member of the 100 Black Men of London. Louis’ central belief is that young people are the leaders of today.
Ask Nick about starting NCS, Running for Parliament, Life in Politics, being a Government Minister.
Nick served as the Minister for Civil Society from May 2010 until July 2014, during which time he led the work on setting up the National Citizen Service and Big Society Capital. He was a Minister in the Department for International Development from November 2015 until July 2016, where his portfolio included climate/environment, and leadership of the Energy Africa campaign.
Before entering Government, Nick was a member of Environment Audit Select Committee and led work on climate change policy for the Conservative Party Quality of Life Policy Group, chaired by Lord Deben. He served on the House Of Commons Climate Change Bill Committee and the Joint Committee on the Draft Climate Change Bill. He was a member of the Globe International Parliamentary network for Climate Change and sponsored the Sustainable Communities Act as a Private Members Bill.
Industry: Charity | Social Impact | Youth
Role: Chief Development Officer, Catch22
Talk to Mat about advising a Prime Minister, working in Charity, youth development, creating new programs, working with Government funding.
15 years’ experience working across the public and non-profit sectors with a focus on social justice. Mat is Chief Development Officer (CDO) at Catch22, a national charity and social business that designs and delivers services which build resilience and aspiration in people and communities. Catch22 works across the social welfare cycle, from cradle to career, delivering services including alternative education schools, family interventions, vocational training and employability programmes, and prisoner rehabilitation. Catch 22 is one of the largest charities working in this space in the UK, with an annual turnover of over £45 million.
He spent two years at No10 Downing Street as Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, covering Home Affairs and Justice Policy. He advised on issues from immigration, to violence reduction and probation reform. He was involved in seminal moments such as the response to the Windrush scandal and the rescheduling of medicinal cannabis in the UK. Mat started his career in the private sector, in PWC’s public sector audit business. He is a Churchill Fellow, a Fellow of the RSA, and holds a degree in Modern History from the University of Oxford and a Master’s in International Relations from the London School of Economics. He recently joined the Board of JE Delve, a youth project set up by Jamal Edwards MBE, and based in Acton (West London), where Mat grew up after his family emigrated to the UK.
Industry: Marketing | Branding
Role: CEO, SignalCX
Ask Gillian about how to build products and brands that tell great stories, and create meaningful experiences for their customers.
Gillian is CEO at SignalCX – experts in developing meaningful and engaging customer experiences. Think about your favourite brands. How do they make you feel? Creating those good brand vibes is what SignalCX is all about.
Before joining SignalCX, Gillian helped build long-standing brands, as Marketing Manager in N E Asia at British Airways, and Director of Product Development (Asia Pacific) at MasterCard. Gillian is also on the leadership team at Cello Health. Gillian was a special advisor to the London 2012 Olympics.
Role: Marketing Communications Director for BT, EE & Plusnet
Ask Pete about brand strategy, brand management, and all things Marketing.
Pete is responsible for BT, EE and Plusnet’s brand strategy, brand management and all marketing activity including media buying, social and digital, advertising, retail marketing and demand generation. Prior to this position, Pete held a number of senior brand marketing roles within EE, including EE Brand Director where he delivered a number of successful and high- profile campaigns such as the launch of the EE TV service, 50% Faster Network and the Wembley Cup. He is responsible for BT and EE’s sponsorship portfolio; BAFTA Film Awards, Glastonbury Festival and Wembley Stadium and the FA Partnership. Before this he was Head of Brand Strategy at EE and led the highly successful creation and delivery of the EE brand and the ongoing strategy that has resulted in it becoming market leader in the UK.
Industry: Music | TV
Role: Head of Talent & Music, MTV Networks UK
Ask Anna about the TV, Music and Radio industries, and organising live events.
Anna Karatziva is Head of MTV’s Talent and Music (TAM) department in the UK and acts as the primary liaison between MTV’s music channels and the industry, delivering exclusive and unique content across all platforms. She also sits on MTV’s International Music Council, which defines the organisation’s global music priorities. Since joining MTV Karatziva has worked with globally high profile artists at the MTV EMAS to up-and-comers through MTV’s Push campaign.
Prior to MTV, she spent seven years at the BBC working on live events for Radio 1, 1Xtra and the Concert Orchestra. This included the co-ordination and management of Radio 1’s One Big Weekends, its Glastonbury stage, and floats at the Notting Hill and Trinidad Carnivals.
Industry: Tech | Marketing
Role: EMEA Consumer Search & Apps Marketing, Google
Ask Sandy about product marketing, user research, balancing work and serious hobbies, career development, and growth mindset.
Sandy Ko is a Consumer Product Marketing Manager for Google Search. Her job is to highlight opportunities for Google to create helpful product experiences that people will love, and share them with the world in a memorable way. Her Google adventure started in 2003, where she’s accumulated expertise from roles across New York and London — from managing an advertising platform support team, to strategy and operations, to her present role in product marketing. Prior to Google she was an electrical engineer in Silicon Valley.
Through the evolution of her career, the common themes are (1) a love of problem solving, (2) being energised by solving for the unknown and the unexpected, and (3) sparking curiosity and creativity to identify solutions. She believes that personal and professional growth is constant and plentiful.
She’s also an avid fine art photographer. See her work on her Instagram.
Industry: Finance | Investing | Social Impact | Entrepreneurship
Role: Founder & CEO of an impact investing fund
Ask Christelle about Impact Investing, start ups in Africa, venture capital, starting a business.
Christelle Kupa is a founder and CEO of an impact investing fund with over 15 years of experience in investment banking, alternative investments and development finance.
Multi-lingual, as a Belgian national of Congolese heritage, with the majority of her career in the City of London, she’s acted and continues to do so, as a “bridge” to ensure that the combination of social impact and financial return can be achieved. After years in investment banking where she worked on complex financial assets and instruments, Christelle decided to reorient her career towards impact investment in order to serve the people who really matter. As a result, she founded Uhusiano Capital as an enterprise devoted to “real people, real projects, real impact”.
She is committed to touching the lives at the unbanked or at the bottom of the pyramid while ensuring that investors can also have a financial return from quality bespoke structures. She has a degree from the University of Westminster, a BA in Business Studies and Finance. Throughout the span of her career, Christelle has held senior positions in many organisations in financial services including J.P.Morgan and Deutsche Bank, amongst others. Christelle speaks French, English, Flemish, and basic Swahili, which enables her to work more intimately across a wide variety of markets.
She is committed to the diligent governance of financial developments and philanthropic endeavours throughout Africa, including acting as a trustee, for a foundation that focuses on maternal health for African women.
Industry: Start-ups | Entrepreneurship | Food & Drink
Role: Co-founder CEO, Distill Ventures
Ask Frank about starting a new business, fundraising, and the food and drinks industry.
Frank has set up several businesses and helped raise over £100m for startups in drinks and eCommerce. He mentors founders and helps them work out their business and brand propositions.
Outside of his day job he volunteers as a project leader at the Kilburn branch of Foodcycle foodcycle.org.uk.
Role: Subject Matter Expert – Monetization, Google
Julia is a Monetization expert at YouTube. Her job is to help prominent media companies and top YouTube creators to find the right revenue strategy. She works with the biggest YouTube business partners advocating for smart business optimization. Before this role Julia was in charge of YouTube operations for European partners getting to know the creators ecosystem and artist management.
Julia has extensive interview experience and regularly participates in the hiring process for Google. Julia is passionate about online media and leadership diversity. She is a winner of the SIFE award for project Encouraging teenage girls from rural areas to pursue a university education and develop professional career. Julia holds two master degrees from European law & Business. Privately, she is a pianist and plays in a London-based music band.
Industry: TV | Radio | Music | Production
Role: TV & Radio Presenter and Host
Ask Remel about TV & Radio, presenting, and how to take your creative talent into the mainstream.
Remel London is a bubbly, energetic and fun award-winning British TV, Radio presenter and host. Since graduating with a BA Degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Leeds, Remel is making waves in the industry as the lead presenter on SKY One’s What’s Up TV, the host of the Saturday Afternoon show on CAPITAL XTRA and a highly sought after voice-over artist working with the BBC, CBBC, BET, UKTV and BT Sports to name a few.
Remel’s early career started with the online music platform Link Up TV as the lead presenter and the weekly host of London’s top live music event ILUVLIVE. Her extensive knowledge of music and entertainment meant she was invited to join the MOBO Awards panel in 2013-2015 and went on to present the MOBO’s official Red Carpet in 2016 and 2017. A confident and experienced host, Remel has hosted numerous events including The Music For Youth Proms at the Royal Albert Hall for two consecutive years, The Rocking Ur Teens Girls Conference for the last 5 years and the first Virtual Notting Hill Carnival Main Stage in 2020.
Role: Senior Vice President, Concord Music
Ask Sara about music publishing, music management, artist management, music industry.
Sara started making the tea at Sony Music way back – then went on to managing some incredible artists and bands with a bit of music supervision thrown in. For the last three years Sara has been at Concord as SVP of International Synchronisation and Project Development which is a very long way of saying she tries and makes sure that lots of people who make visual content pay us lots of money to use our wonderful music.
Industry: Social Impact | Not-for-profit | Youth
Role: Founder, NCS Trust
Ask Michael about starting the NCS Trust, running a not-for-profit, working at Number 10 as an advisor, and management consulting.
Michael is an experienced executive with passion for purpose. He has worked across all three sectors – for Bain in the private sector, for No10 in the public sector, and founded a not-for-profit with annual income of £180M. Michael gets excited by working with great people to scale big ideas. Most proud of founding National Citizen Service Trust, building a new national institution enshrined in legislation and by Royal Charter that has created billions of pounds of social value by supporting 600,000 young people – building bridges across social divides and ladders to opportunity. He continues to serve NCS as a Patron and sit on the Board of the John Browne Charitable Trust. He is currently leading a new initiative, INTO CareerFirst, supporting students to find their dream job.
Industry: Sports | Law
Role: Chief Operating Officer; England and Wales Cricket Board
Ask David about Sports management, becoming a lawyer, being Chief Operating Officer, Englands cricket world cups in 2019 (Men) and 2017 (Women).
David is currently chief operating officer at the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
Prior to this, he oversaw the strategy, insights, HR, integrity and public policy teams as ECB’s Chief Strategy Officer. Before joining ECB, David held a number of senior roles at Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, including director of policy and chief advisor to its CEO.
He was also seconded into Government in 2009 as a director of the Digital Britain Report, which examined the transformational nature of digital technologies and the policy responses needed as a result.
A qualified lawyer who specialised in competition and media law before joining Ofcom, David is a keen sports fan who enjoys cricket and golf as well as following West Ham United. He joined the Sport England Board on 28th October, 2019, and is serving his first three-year term.
Role: Senior Agent; Paradigm & Founder, Kid Talks
Talk to Mike about the music business, live concert industry, entrepreneurship.
Mike Malak is a Senior Agent at the global booking agency, Paradigm, where he strategically builds the careers of both emerging and established artists in the live space. Working hand-in-hand with management and labels, Mike ensures that the progression of his artists is complemented by their live work, by locating, negotiating and facilitating shows at some of the world’s most renowned locations and events.
Most notably, over the past 4 years, Mike has worked with and developed the live career of Gen-Z megastar, Billie Eilish, taking her from small stages in East London to sell-out arena tours and festival headlines. In addition to Eilish, Mike represents the likes of Jess Glynne, Finneas, Normani, Girl in Red, Denzel Curry, Alec Benjamin, Powfu and more. He is also heavily invested in the A&R space, currently with a role at Polydor Records and recently launched his label and publishing company, Coldpress Music as he builds further into this area.
Mike started his career 18 years ago working with the Black Eyed Peas, learning all facets of the music industry from tour managing to content creation in sessions with legends such as James Brown, whilst watching the group achieve global dominance in the live performance sphere. It was thanks to this opportunity that Mike progressed into a booking role with the band, scheduling and negotiating the group’s club shows.
Working with the Black Eyed Peas spring-boarded Mike’s career in the live events industry, allowing him to start his own booking agency at the age of 25. With the Black Eyed Peas club shows as one client, and superstar DJ duo LMFAO as the other, Mike moved to CODA Agency one year later, retaining both groups on his roster.
A couple of years later, Mike was named as one of the 30 Under 30 on Musicweek’s annual list. In 2019, CODA Agency merged with US agency Paradigm, where Mike has remained for 9 years. Mike is passionate about the music industry as a whole, and strives to explore every opportunity that lies between music, technology and social media. In 2016 he launched KID Talks, a social enterprise inspiring the youth to join the Music Industry through talks, panels and workshops.
Mike is on a mission to inspire others with his work process and push the live industry forward, by developing new models the integrate live performance with technology, broadening the artist’s reach, whilst furthering revenue streams.
He was nominated for Agent of the Year twice in both 2019 and 2020 by the European Festival Awards and Musicweek respectively.
Mike Malak Socials & Notable links:
Role: Vice President, Original Series, Netflix
Ask Anne about shaping a career in film, TV and production, and where to begin.
Anne Mensah is Vice President, Original Series at Netflix. Prior to this, she was Director of Drama and Sky Studios at Sky UK. Before joining Sky, Anne served as Head of Independent Drama at the BBC as well as Head of Drama for BBC Scotland. Anne has commissioned a wide variety of internationally acclaimed dramas such as the BBC’s Wallander with Kenneth Branagh, BAFTA award winning Patrick Melrose starring Benedict Cumberbatch for Sky/Showtime, John Ridley’s political drama Guerrilla as well as BAFTA and Emmy award winning Sky/HBO drama, Chernobyl.
Currently, Anne is an Independent Governor and Chair of the Diversity Committee at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, on the Board of the schools based educational charity, Into Film – as well as sitting on the Board of ScreenSkills, a UK based charity dedicated to training in the television and film sector. She is a member of the 2018 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.
Industry: Tech | Gaming
Role: Enterprise Account Director, Google Cloud
Ben Miller is an Enterprise Account Director at Google Cloud working with clients in the gaming industry.
Google’s mission statement is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. As part of the Google Cloud team, Ben works with customers to make sure they are using their data in the most exciting ways to deliver great experiences for their end users, including some of the biggest gaming & igaming companies in the UK.
Before Google, Ben spent 6 years in the Cloud Technology industry, working closely to support customers in delivering technology change within their organisations. He has a BA in History from the University of East Anglia, and has recently begun study through Harvard Business School
Industry: Music | Tech
Role: Head of UK Artist Partnerships, TikTok
Ask David about the music industry and tech.
David works closely with musicians, their managers and record labels to help them make the most of opportunities presented by digital platforms. With 20 years of experience across MTV, YouTube and TikTok, he loves spotting and supporting new talent, and creating partnerships with superstar acts.
Industry: Charity | Youth
Role: CEO, Young Camden Foundation
Ask Keith about leading a charity; youth work; working at a local authority and leadership.
Keith is an ambitious leader with extensive experience of developing corporate and directorate strategy/plan. Keith is experienced in stakeholder engagement, service design/redesign, project management, and building diverse networks. He enjoys using innovation to create new systems and processes that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery. Particularly experienced in delivering large scale projects focused on improving young people’s outcomes.
Industry: Tech | E-commerce | Consumer Electronics
Role: Director of Operations, Europe, Amazon
Ask Marie about working in different continents, and progressing throughout your career.
Marie has been working for Amazon for 15 years. She has worked in the UK (London), European (Luxembourg) and US (Seattle) headquarters in various roles, among which Divisional Merchandising Manager for video games in the US, Europe Director for Alexa (Amazon’s smart speaker) and Technical Advisor to the Senior Vice President for International.
Marie is currently the Director of Operations for Surface Transportation in Europe, based in London. Before Amazon, Marie worked for 4 years at Johnson & Johnson France as head of the Sales and Marketing Analytics team in Paris. Her first job was at the (then) start-up Ubiqus, specialised in conference reporting and still thriving today. Marie graduated from the HEC business school in 1994 and has an MBA from the London Business School.
Industry: Production | TV | Music | Film | Advertising
Role: Executive Producer, Music Videos, Pulse Films
Ask Nnena about production, TV and Film, and getting your creative work seen and heard.
An experienced producer, Nnena’s diverse range of work includes television commercials, branded content, music videos and short films. In 2021, Nnena was appointed Executive Producer at Pulse Films in its award-winning music videos division. In her central role within the division, Nnena is responsible for the management and development of the studios directing talent across its music video roster, and signing new filmmakers into the studios ecosystem.
In 2019, Nnena joined Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s in-house production company, Black Sheep Studios where she produced some of her proudest work including Absolut Vodka Pride Film and The Photographers Gallery Portrait Films which previewed on Nowness. At Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Nnena produced television and online content for several global brands including Burger King, Tesco, Audi, Mentos, Absolut, Volkswagen and Samsung. She also produced the 2019 London Fashion Week x Justice 4 Grenfell stunt casting many celebrities to participate including Adwoa Aboah and Emilie Sandé. In 2020, Nnena produced a large-scale production for Mentos with production taking place in South Africa.
Nnena is a co-founder of unsigned, an exhibition to promote unsigned and diverse photographers, illustrators and filmmakers on the creative industries radar. She also sits on the board of Trustees at Upswing, a leading contemporary circus company. Nnena’s ability to spot and nurture new talent resulted in Unsigned featuring over 80 artists since its launch in 2018. In 2020, Nnena was recognised for her work as a Winner at the Black British Business Awards, in the category Rising Star in Arts & Media.
Industry: Music | Sports | Talent
Roles: CEO, Ikon Talent Management & Caribbean Premier League
Ask Damien about entrepreneurship, working in the music and sports industry, starting a professional sports league from scratch.
Damien O’Donohoe trained as a lawyer before going to work in the entertainment business. He started his new career with MCD/Live Nation. He promoted shows with some of the worlds biggest bands including Coldplay, Jay Z, Lady GaGa and U2. He then went onto to set up his own business – IKON media and entertainment. Through this vehicle he has represented talent in the music and sport space and done a number of big sponsorship deals. Damien was the co-founder of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in 2013. The CPL is the second biggest T20 cricket league and this year it will exceed 500m tv viewers globally. IKON is also an investor in esports. They started the first city based franchise league in Australia and also run the esports programme for Formula 1. IKON has a production company called Trombone which produce documentaries and short form content. Damien is also a board member of Quinta do Lago and PGA Catalunya – two of Europe’s most exclusive resorts. Damien is a graduate of Harvard Business School.
Industry: Tech | Marketing
Role: Associate Product Marketing Manager, Google
Talk to Rahul about his journey from GCSEs to where he is now and all the different hurdles along the way.
Rahul Patel is an Associate Product Marketing Manager at Google. He has a split role, meaning he works 50% of his time across two different areas. He spends 50% of his time working with Google Ads Sales teams and enhancing the experience for customers & clients for UK & Ireland. The other 50% is spent on Innovation & Strategy for Think with Google UK.
Alongside this, Rahul has a keen interest in Fashion, Gaming and Startups. He has helped many companies get going and understand what steps they need to take in order to scale and grow.
Rahul didn’t finish his A Levels or University Degree, but managed to land a full time role at Google via an Apprenticeship. Before joining Google, Rahul worked in a technical consultancy which he got into from his raw passion of technology shortly after leaving school.
Role: Head of Community, The Premier League
Nick is Head of Community at The Premier League. The Premier League has organised the top-flight football competition in England since 1992. In that period, attendances have grown by 60% and media rights are now sold to every territory in the world, making it the world’s most watched regular domestic sporting competition.
Nick is responsible for the delivery of the Premier League’s community strategy, which aims to use the appeal of the Premier League and professional clubs to inspire children and young people to realise their potential.
Nick is currently Chairman of the Football Foundation’s National Football Facilities Strategy Advisory Group. In 2016 Nick was appointed as a Trustee of the National League Trust as the Premier League’s representative and also sits on the English Football League Trust’s Board.
Before joining the Premier League Nick was CEO of Hertfordshire FA (2009-2014), and County Development Manager at Essex FA (2006-2009) where he also sat on the Board of the County Sports Partnership. His early career was spent at Watford FC’s Community Sports and Education Trust and QPR FC in the Community.
Role: Chief of Staff to VP of Northern Europe, Facebook
Ask Shona about working at Facebook and building strong teams.
Shona works as the Chief of Staff for the Vice President of Northern Europe at Facebook. That means she’s right-hand strategic advisor to the Facebook Vice President, working to amplify their internal and external impact – designing and driving impact across strategy, comms, policy, rhythm of business, and leading key strategic initiatives for the region of Northern Europe.
Shona also sits on the Refugee Week Advisory Group. Before Facebook, she held a similar role for the CEO of NCS Trust, a non-profit organisation aimed at improving social cohesion through bringing together young people around the UK from all backgrounds, in order to foster community and connection. Before NCS she was a strategy consultant at Accenture where she focused on Health & Public sector clients to design and drive meaningful change. She studied History at Oxford and focused on exploring assumptions of superiority and inferiority throughout our past, and how we as humanity have approached a sense of ‘difference’ between us. She believes strongly in the power of music and artistic expression to bring people together and sings in a soul/pop band for fun at the weekends.
Industry: Tech | Sales
Role: Account Manager, Google Cloud
Ask Keeza about a career in sales and retail, and life at Google.
Keeza grew up and went to school in east London. She was the first to go to university in her family, studying economics at Warwick. After this, she took a year out travelling and then started a sales graduate scheme at IBM because she likes working with people and thought she’d be good at it. 4 years later, she moved to Dublin and Google in the process, where she is now a cloud seller to tech companies. Keeza enjoys travelling, good food, movies and playing with her dog Nala.
Role: Director of Communications, Ofcom
Former Director of Public Affairs, Europe for Google, Simon now works as Director of Communications at Ofcom – the UK’s communications regulator.
His first job was in a department store in Bournemouth selling saucepans and microwaves which taught him a lot about being a consultant. A great mentor and a passion for politics helped him get a leg up into a consultancy called Connect Communications where he was able to develop his political campaigning skills before jumping into a bigger corporate communications role. This led him to the world of coffee and Starbucks where he drank way too many frappuccinos while heading up the comms team for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Then he uploaded his brain into the tech world at Salesforce and then Google, where he helped build campaigns to explain the company’s values and products to key opinion formers.
Industry: Marketing | Tech
Role: Head of Brand and Marketing Insights EMEA, Google
Talk to Laura about working in media and technology, building a brand, what is marketing? Life at Google
Laura is Head of Insight for Google EMEA. Laura’s first job was actually in Music, at Ministry of Sound, helping launch the brand Internationally. Much as travelling around and putting on parties was lots of fun, she then decided to move into brand consultancy. Over the next 10 years, she built up the agency she’d joined – Sparkler – into an award winning consultancy and became their Managing Director. The agency worked with clients such as Channel 4, Diageo, Unilever, Amazon and Facebook, helping them understand their consumers and build strategies to drive their marketing and product development. Then 5 years ago she decided to leave agency-life and join Google.
Industry: Tech | Research
Role: Research Scientist, DeepMind
Talk to Jonathan about AI, working at Google, the things you can do now to fulfil your career dreams, and what working as a scientist looks like.
Jonathan Schwarz is a Research Scientist at DeepMind, a company dedicated to building artificial intelligence and using it to solve some of the world’s most important problems.
At DeepMind, he has been interested in building algorithms that can learn from a stream of increasingly more complex problems, similar to how we learn skills as children. Eventually, his goal is to create an AI that can rapidly learn on completely new problems, allowing us to collaboratively work with algorithms: For instance in deciding how to respond to a global pandemic, helping with manual labour or finding new strategies for ancient board games. His work has been published at several internationally renowned scientific conferences and journals.
Prior to joining DeepMind, Jonathan was a PhD Student in AI and Neuroscience at UCL, but also worked on autonomous robots in Germany and climate research in Japan. He graduated top of the class from his Master’s degree at the University of Edinburgh and also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering. In his free time he enjoys long distance runs, playing the piano and cooking. He’s been a supporter of Arsenal FC since his childhood.
Industry: Social Impact | Film | Entrepreneurship | Youth
Role: Social Entrepreneur and youth coach
Amani Simpson is an award-winning social entrepreneur and youth coach. His social enterprise is called Aviard Inspires CIC. It exists to empower young people through personal development, digital media and enrichment opportunities.
He is also the producer and protagonist of the ‘AMANI’ Short Film starring Joivan Wade (The First Purge, Shiro’s Story and Doom Patrol) which amassed 1 million views in 4 days and has been widely acclaimed by both youth and adults. It has now had over 3 Million views! Amani is using his lived experience and expertise in youth engagement to transform lives across the UK.
Amani is committed to creating a lasting legacy for the next generation and in celebration of Black History Month (Oct 2020), Amani was recognised as a BHM Next Gen Trailblazer by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Industry: Tech | Recruitment
Role: Program Specialist, Employee Referrals, Google
Ask Kurt about interview interview, life at Google, the world of recruitment, advising on career decisions/ choices.
Kurt is a Program Manager in the Recruitment team at Google. He studied Sports Marketing at The University of Northampton before deciding that it wasn’t the path he wanted to follow. Change is ok.
Kurt has been helping people and find the right role for over 5 years. Including supporting people through interview processes, it’s as important to learn about yourself when interviewing as the company you want to work for. He has helped hundreds of people during his time in recruitment.
In his personal time he loves playing Golf & Football and is a life-long Aston Villa fan!
Google is a corporation that was formed to provide internet-based search services, providing accessibility to the world’s online information. Founded in 1998, Google expanded from their initial search-based services into providing advertising, applications and services for mobile internet devices.
Industry: Tech | Events | Production | TV
Role: Community Engagement Lead, Europe, Google
Ask Zoe about working in broadcast and in the tech industry
Zoe started as a runner in local television, and found that putting her hand up to help out on random projects led to opportunities to travel the world, meeting presidents and movie stars along the way. After a fun and varied career in TV and live news, she brought her black book to Google to help curate content for their big events. Zoe now leads the tech company’s community work across Europe, which reminds her a little bit of the buzz of live broadcasting in terms of the immediacy of the impact.
Industry: Tech | Sales
Role: Chrome Enterprise Sales Lead, Google
Talk to Matt about influencing upwards, networking, and sales approaches.
Matt has been at Google for almost 5 years, initially bringing Android Enterprise to the EMEA market. After success in this go to market drive, he is now introducing Chrome Enterprise to the workplace. As Chrome Enterprise Lead, his core remit is advocating Chrome Enterprise as a viable, alternate platform for enterprise. His experience covers platforms, cloud solutions and manufacturers. He now leads the Public Sector business in the UK and is passionate about what Chrome Enterprise can bring to this space. Before joining Google, Matt has spent time living in Sydney, Australia running a restaurant before coming back to the UK and stints with BlackBerry & Samsung as well as with a B2B startup. Matt holds a BSc (Hons) in Business Information Systems from Portsmouth University.
Industry: Marketing | Communications
Role: Head of Sponsorship, Hospitality, Ticketing, Events and Talent, BT
Ask Matt about branding and communications, and building partnerships with big names.
Matt is Head of Sponsorship, Hospitality, Ticketing, Events and Talent at BT (covering both BT and EE). He has over 20 years of brand and comms experience including 14 years dedicated to sponsorship and partnership activations, which has seen him work across brands such as Nike, O2, Orange and now BT and EE.
Before joining EE, Matt played a pivotal part in the launch of NikeTown London during his four years at the iconic brand. He then moved to O2, where he spent eight years leading the brand’s music sponsorship programme, which included the successful launch of the O2 Wireless Festival (now in its 15th year).
At BT, Matt leads a team of 14 who are responsible for the company’s sponsorship portfolio – the 4 x football Home Nations, Wembley Stadium, FA Cup, Glastonbury, BAFTA and Apprentice Nation – and its Hospitality and Ticketing offering, and sourcing Talent across the business for filming and various events.
Industry: Music | Creative
Role: Creative Director, Atlantic Records
Ask Luke about building a creative career, bringing ideas to life, and working with music artists and brands.
As a Creative Director, Luke makes ideas and campaigns with global brands, artists and small businesses, as well as his own ventures. Luke is currently Creative Director at Atlantic Records, and has previously worked at Anomaly, AKQA, Wieden+Kennedy and 101 London.
Luke is a D&AD Yellow Pencil 2020 Winner for his work on Stormzy’s No.1 HITH album. Other names on Luke portfolio include Ed Sheeran, Mahalia and Rico Nasty, as well as brands such as Nike, Three Mobile, Stand Up To Cancer, and Volvo.
Industry: Advertising | Marketing | Branding
Role: Co-founder & CEO, And Rising
Jonathan has over 20 years creative brand and marketing experience. He began his career at the world famous Adam & Eve DDB (six times Campaign’s Agency of the Year), he then joined Fallon (twice Campaign’s Agency of the Year).
From there, he led a breakaway to form And Rising that invests in and is creative partner to some of the world’s fastest growing scale-ups. It is also the UK’s first B Corporation creative agency using business as a force for good.
He has been voted Sunday Times Debrett’s most influential people in advertising, is a Marketing Society Fellow, and B Corporation Ambassador. Talk to Jonathan about marketing, advertising, brands, start-ups, entrepreneurship, and drumming.
Role: Co-President, Atlantic Records
Ask Briony about A&R and a career in the music industry.
Briony Turner is Co-President of Atlantic Records UK. With her award-winning team she is responsible for overseeing a roster of some of the UK’s most commercially successful and critically acclaimed artists, including; Anne-Marie, Charli XCX, Clean Bandit, Ed Sheeran, Jess Glynne, Joel Corry, Paolo Nutini, Mahalia, Plan B, Rudimental and Tion Wayne. She also presides over the continued UK success of Atlantic’s international stars, such as Ava Max, Bruno Mars, Burna Boy, Cardi B, Janelle Monáe, Lizzo, Portugal. The Man and twenty one pilots.
Briony was previously part of the Atlantic A&R team, establishing herself as one of the most dynamic A&Rs in the industry, winning awards for her accomplishments and working her way up to Co-Head of A&R.
Briony was instrumental in developing and breaking Jess Glynne who holds the record for the most number one singles by a British female solo artist. Jess’ debut album ‘I Cry When I Laugh’ has sold more than one million UK copies and her second album topped the UK album chart on its first week of release, with two number one sinlges in ‘These Days’ which Jess featured on as part of her come back and ‘I’ll Be There’.
Briony has also nutured the career of Grammy Award winning electronic pop collective Clean Bandit. Since Briony signed the band, they have landed four UK number one singles while accumulating billions of streams and becoming a huge global act. She currently works with a host of fresh talent signed to Atlantic including Darkoo, Dylan Fraser, Fred Again, Joel Corry, Maisie Peters, Nathan Dawe and Tion Wayne.
Briony started her career at 19 Entertainment in 2002 finding songs for Pop Idol winners and runner-ups. Having worked closely with Will Young on his most successful albums, she also looked after song-writers signed to the publishing company, 19 Songs. She then moved to Global Talent Publishing and while there was involved in the signings of Justin Hayward-Young (lead singer of The Vaccines), Al Shux (producer and co-writer of Jay-Z’s ‘Empire State of Mind’ and Kendrick and SZA’s ‘All The Stars’) and Ellie Goulding before joining Atlantic in 2011.
Role: Founder & Owner, Graphite Media
Ask Ben about music management, live music, entrepreneurship, dance music, music supervision, global music industry and booking acts for Apprentice Nation.
Ben Turner is the founder and owner of Graphite, a music management and brand services company, based between London and Los Angeles. Turner is the artist manager for techno and technology icon Richie Hawtin aka Plastikman and the company also represents leading female electronic artists Anna (from Brazil), Nastia (Ukraine) and Sama Abbduhadi (Palestine). Graphite also has a long history of assisting and advising brands in the music space. Turner is the head of an influential global network in the music industry. He is a co-founder with Pete Tong in the International Music Summit in Ibiza (every May), a powerful networking and discussion platform described as ‘the TED of music conferences’. In 2013, he also formed the Association for Electronic Music, a not-for profit trade body to represent the genre. Its concept is to preserve, protect and promote electronic music worldwide. Turner also heads up a technology investment fund called Plus 8 Equities which has invested in Endel; LANDR; Splice and others. Finally, he is a partner in Earworm Music Supervision – overseeing music for TV shows and films for the likes of Amazon; A24; Fox; HBO and Netflix.
Industry: Digital | Tech | Social Impact
Role: Head of Digital Impact and Sustainability, BT
Ask Celia about running a business, using tech for social good, and how the Google Digital Garage was built.
Celia Varet is Head of Digital Impact and Sustainability at BT. She leads the development of the Skills for Tomorrow platform which is providing support to reach 10 million people with help to make the most of life in the digital world. She also leads BT’s initiative to support 1 million small business owners and employees across the UK as part of the Skills for Tomorrow programme.
Celia has over 10 years’ experience working in Marketing, Content development, Product Management for early stage start-up to blue chip companies including Google and American Express. Outside of work, she loves spending time mentoring small businesses and is also passionate about kite surfing.
Industry: Tech | IT | Finance | Banking
Role: President, BT AMEA & Managing Director Banking & Financial Services
Ask Bernadette about business around the world and how to progress throughout your career.
Bernadette was appointed to the role as managing director, banking and financial services in April 2019. She reports to BT’s CEO. Her role focuses on building and growing relationships with customers in the banking and financial services industries. She is also responsible for BT’s regional activities in Asia, Middle East and Africa. Bernadette joined BT in September 2018 as managing director, resources, manufacturing and logistics.
With over 25 years’ experience in IT and telecoms, Bernadette joined BT from Cisco, where she was president and CEO of Cisco Canada. Her responsibilities included sales, both corporate and public sectors, systems engineering, relationship management, operations, market strategy, policy leadership and influence, business development and brand management. In her 19 years with Cisco, Bernadette served as the general manager for Cisco in Russia, Ukraine, and the Commonwealth of Independent State countries, where she led the team in a challenging geo-political landscape and built a trusted business platform for the future. She also led Channel and Commercial sales for Cisco’s Emerging Theatre, the largest Cisco Commercial theatre outside of the Americas, spanning 84 countries and over 10,000 partners. Her Cisco experience also includes various roles in the UK and Ireland including leading the partner organisation, and working with BT.
Bernadette has been widely recognised by her peers throughout the industry including being named Business Leader of the Year by CWT Every Women in Technology awards, Computer Weekly’s 25 Most Influential Women in UK IT, and Debrett’s list of 500 most influential people in Britain 2014. Her focus on culture has resulted in industry-wide recognition including best place to work awards. Bernadette is passionate about the development of talent and a champion for inclusion and diversity initiatives, including co-creating a programme consisting of workshops, mentoring, peer networking and group support, which over 1,000 women have benefitted from globally.
Role: Software Engineer, Google
Talk to Mike about working at Google, life at a tech company, software engineering, programming, coding, apps, Android.
Mike is a software engineer working at Google. Currently, he is in the Google Play team creating software that Android developers around the world use to publish their apps in the Play Store.
Before joining Google, he did an internship at Amazon Music in San Francisco. He studied Electrical & Computer engineering in Athens, Greece and Computer science in Los Angeles, USA.