The Faces of Professional Services Week: Lauren Hunt
News Categories: Professional Services Week
Lauren Hunt, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce
[Photo Credit: Jas Sansi]
How long have you been working at your current employer? One year
How do you travel into work each day? Drive by car
How would you describe in no more than two hundred words your working week?
My working week consists of a range of different activities ranging from administrative activities, meetings, and events. The Birmingham Chamber of Commerce is a membership organisation so there are always new companies joining. Part of my job is to set these new companies up and welcome them to the organisation.
The Chamber puts on up to 250 events per year, which I often attend, so there is constant preparation to do for these events. This can include creating the name badges, creating the delegate packs and speaking with the venue to make sure all our requirements are met.
Each working day includes administrative tasks that you would expect when working in professional services such as; emailing, answering member queries, organising meetings, booking people on to events etc.
I often have to attend meetings internally and externally. Internal meetings are usually team briefs and catch ups, whereas externally I meet companies that we are working with or venues where we are holding events.
What made you decide to go into a professional services career?
I decided to go into a professional services career because I wanted to work with people and businesses, so if you enjoy interacting with people this may be a good career choice for you.
At what point in your life did you realise that working in professional services was for you?
I have always aspired to be a business woman and work for myself one day, however I just wasn’t sure what sector I wanted to go in to and what sort of business I wanted to set up. A professional services career offers variety and allows me to build a set of transferable skills that prepares me for the future and encourages me to work my way through a business.
What other jobs did you consider before deciding on a career in professional services?
Before attending sixth form I aspired to be a teacher, however I volunteered for a year in a primary school and realised that the career wasn’t for me.
I then did work experience for West Midlands Police and it really interested me and I started looking in to apprenticeships within the professional services sector. I actually started the job by chance as I approached the company looking for some work experience over the summer and found out they were looking for an apprentice.
What are the top three things you love about working in professional services?
Responsibility: Since working in professional services I have not looked back, I have been exposed to a huge variety of opportunities and challenges, including meeting some fantastic people. I have had the responsibility for organising dinners with organisations such as the US Embassy and working closely with large law firms on projects.
Transferrable skills: A career in professional services opens a great playing field to move around and gain invaluable skills that can be transferred in to all kinds of jobs.
Purpose: I also feel like my job has a purpose. When working in the public services sector you are normally providing a service that clients or customers pay for, meaning you therefore have something to work for to provide quality services to help businesses or individuals.
(Squeezing in a fourth!) Initiative: I enjoy my job because it encourages me to be pro-active on different tasks every day and work by myself without having to be asked.
What do you most look forward to doing during your week at work?
I look forward to the events most of all, I love helping to prepare and plan but also attending the events themselves. There are always different venues to see, different people to meet and events being held throughout the city.
During the past year – describe what has been your working highlight?
My working highlight has been the people I have met and the amount I have learnt from individuals. I have worked with a range of people and I have gained real working skills. It has also made me a much more confident person and I feel more comfortable speaking to people about business related issues and also in board meetings.
What is your favourite lunchtime haunt?
Costa – next to the office
What is your favourite way to wind down after a day at the office?
Going to the gym and then online shopping
If you could give one piece of advice to anyone thinking about a career in professional services what would it be?
Pick something you will enjoy and don’t doubt the job. Everybody has to start somewhere and you will quickly progress if you’re open to learning.