#NoWrongPath 2021 – there’s no wrong path to success!

It’s results time again for our young people – albeit, like last year, things look a little different this year due to the pandemic.

In the eyes of many this is make or break time, a time when futures are decided. But many won’t get the grades they want or need – and this is ok, because there’s no wrong way to get to where you want to be.

And, maybe where you think you want to be now isn’t actually where you’ll want to be in a few years’ time!

We spoke to a few of members of our team who got to where they are now via less than conventional means.

Up first is Leidah Watts, our Client Services Manager.

“I left school when I was 17, and was a bit unsure of what I wanted to do.  A friend of mine decided to train to become a nurse, and my Gran was a nurse too, so I decided to give that a go.  However, I quickly discovered working with blood wasn’t for me.  Neither was shift work!

“I decided to leave university and got a job in customer service at my local Adidas outlet store for the summer, before going on to work in financial services at my local Building Society. It was all new to me but none of it phased me at all – I was young and adapted quickly. I loved working with and helping customers, and  I also thrived on the challenge of hitting targets. 

“Next, through a connection of my Mum, I transferred the skills I had developed at the Building Society into a Business Development/Account Management role within the HR sector, spending a few years in Aberdeen.  At the time I was really nervous about this move.  I didn’t know much about HR and had never worked in Aberdeen before.  However, I worked hard and made some great friends in the process.  

“A few years on, after witnessing Hunter Adams expand rapidly in Aberdeen, I reached out to to see if I could take the next steps in my career with them – and  I’ve been here now for almost 7 years! I work with the best team and client base, and finding solutions for them doesn’t feel like work at all most of the time!” 

Leidah pictured here earlier on in her career

Next we have Senior HR Advisor, Jennifer Thain.

“Unfortunately I didn’t get the grades I needed to go straight into university. I wasn’t a natural academic and had to work very hard, but I was determined I would get to university one way or another!

“I completed a HNC/HND in Administration and IT at college, and then on to university to study Human Resource Management. Normally if you’ve completed a HND you’d go straight into a classroom-based third year at university, meaning no practical placement year for students entering via the college route. However I was determined I wanted to leave university with practical work experience under my belt as opposed to just theory. So I decided to join second year, which enabled me to do my third year placement year thereafter.

“A long journey but it paid off!”

Jenny with her mum – who she describes as her biggest cheerleader throughout university – on the day of her graduation back in 2012

And finally here’s our Recruitment Advisor Jude Fletcher’s story:

“I always enjoyed school, although was never set on one specific career path. As a child, there were various things which I considered – vet, marine biologist, pop star… none of which transpired, although I do still love a bit of karaoke!

“In high school I just chose the subjects I enjoyed. I stayed in school until 6th year and from there decided to complete a Foundation in Art & Design where I would be able to build a portfolio and apply for art college. I started an HND in Fashion & Textiles and this is where I started to narrow down my career choice with big ambitions of becoming a fashion designer.

“On completion of my HND I was ready to move further afield and was successful in gaining a place on the BA Fashion Design course at Manchester Metropolitan University. It seems silly saying it now but I genuinely believed that once I had completed my degree I would just get a job as a fashion designer! The reality was that I was expected to move to London, work for free as an intern to prove myself and potentially just be making coffee and picking up peoples lunch.

“My desire to become a fashion designer just wasn’t strong enough, so I moved back home to Edinburgh where I was offered a job in Harvey Nichols on the men’s fashion floor – and my retail career started from there. I did well, but after eight years, the weekends and late hours just weren’t suited to my lifestyle as a mum.

“I moved on to a Coaching and Development consultancy, which took me in a whole new direction and played well to my strengths in relationship building.

“When I heard about the recruitment role with Hunter Adams, I was initially unsure if recruitment was for me. But when I learned more about Hunter Adams I decided to give it a shot leading me to where I am now.

“Although I never imagined or planned to be a recruiter, it now feels as if this is the perfect job for me. On reflection, the thread which runs throughout both my education and career is the relationships. I have always been good with people, I can listen and understand and easily build good relationships. In recruitment I have the bonus of supporting candidates in their careers and I enjoy the feel good factor of knowing that I have helped someone on that journey.

“Hunter Adams as an organisation is aligned to my values and I have the best colleagues who make work fun to boot! When people ask if I regret not pursuing a career in fashion I tell them no, not at all. I am exactly where I am supposed to be!”

Some sketches from Jude’s fashion design days

So in essence, academic results definitely aren’t the be all and end all. If you have a goal and you are determined to achieve it, chances are you will – one way or another!