Coffee Cup Challenge with Claudine Blamey
Have you ever thought about what you'll need to know when you head out into the world beyond university walls? What career route will you take? Which skills will employees be interested in? What does it actually take to get a job in the city?
As many of you will know, Burning2Learn connects with lots of different business leaders from a range of industries to find out more about alternative career routes for young people.
Most recently we visited the Crown Estate in Regent Street, London to sit down with the Head of Sustainability and Stewardship, Claudine Blamey. One of the first things we spoke about was possible routes into employment and Claudine's journey into finding her current role. She said, "I studied Environment Science at university and it sort of snowballed from there really".
Although we face a lot of different pressures throughout or school lives, there ought not to be so much pressure on determining a fixed career route too early on. As people we are malleable, we change our minds and find new interests all of the time. If you know exactly what you want to be, that's fantastic - but there is absolutely nothing wrong with being unsure either. Claudine’s favourite lesson at school was drama, as she really enjoyed it and got on well with the teacher. Now she has gone on to work for the Crown Estate and is also the Chair of the Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (ICRS). When she was sitting in her drama class, there's a very good chance she wasn't thinking 'One day I want to be chair of the ICRS', but that's what she has gone on to do. Speaking openly, Claudine admitted, "You might not end up where you thought you would end up!"
What makes a good boss?
As children, we are easily inspired. It might be by a teacher, a friend or a famous face. But who inspire us as adults? Claudine revealed that she is inspired by her boss and the Chief Executive. "They let you get on with it, treat you like an adult and they trust you – that in itself is very inspiring. You don't have to ask permission to do things."
Developing the right skills:
We asked Claudine which skills are most important in her line of work, and in response she replied:
"Influencing, confidence and management. Being able to inspire people and manage people, keep up the enthusiasm, being able to motivate people to listen and definitely people skills."
What you'll need to know:
Claudine believes that young people should be given the opportunity to learn about how to get the best out of people early on, before higher education. She talked about the importance of knowing 'how corporate operates' and said, 'People enter the working environment and haven't got a clue how to manoeuvre in it... Just knowing how to treat people and how to get the best out of people is really important."
What would make you employ a young person who came to you without a degree, with little work experience and without a driving license?
“I think they'd have to be curious, open to learning, ambitious, respectful and bright". Claudine reinforced that there are lots of different ways of showing that you are bright when she added, "I don't think degrees necessarily say that you are bright.”
To conclude, we asked Claudine what the key message that she would like to share in 2016 is. She stated, "I'd probably talk about the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) because they've been a positive highlight and a real success so far. The way they've gone about communicating them has gone a lot better than the Millennium Goals. People know what they are, or can name at least a few, or know that they are for 2030."
Claudine described the SDGs as a 'real game changer' that lots of different organisations are getting behind and talking about. She also spoke about the positive impacts of Cop21. The Crown Estate's next step is going to be the development of aspirations for 2030 which will tie in with the SDGs. The aim is to bring a real innovative culture into the organisation, to encourage employees to think in a different way and to come up with solutions and responses to the challenges ahead.
"The research that we have done indicates more change in consumer trends in the next 5 years than in the last 25 years."
Our thanks go to Claudine Blamey for taking the time out of her day to meet with us. Read more from Claudine in one of our latest publications 'Gearing up for the paradigm shift'.