|English and Related Literature|
|Joint Literature & Linguistics|
|Digital and IT services|
|Small business (0-49 employees)|
More about Kerry
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A day in the life of a Operations Manager in the United Kingdom
I thought I would take the graduate scheme route, but after working for a big company I realised my passion for start-ups and technology.
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
Lucky Duck is a Leeds and London agile digital agency that design and develop beautiful apps and websites for our clients.
What do you do?
I oversee the studio portfolio including operations, HR & culture, new business, project management and client happiness.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
I started off in sales for a tech start-up, then moved into business development for Hilton hotel, is also involved in some marketing and PR work. Realising I preferred start-ups I apply for a role as Studio Coordinator at Lucky Duck, my main responsibility was working as a project manager.
A year on I've been promoted to Operations Manager and work mostly with HR and ensure the Leeds studio runs smoothly.
What helped me find my role, was focusing on what a valued in a company and then searching for companies with similar views as my own.
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
I thought I would take the graduate scheme route, but after working for a big company I realised my passion for start-ups and technology. It's good to be at a company where you can move across into different departments as well as up the ladder.
Describe your most memorable day at work
While I was working as the Business Development Manager for a hotel, it was refurbished and converted to a Doubletree by Hilton. The weeks leading up to our conversion were stressful and every department worked extremely hard to reach our common goal. When we finally got that go ahead, everyone celebrated together and there was a real sense of community and pride.
Are there any challenges associated with your job?
I have dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia so I take longer to process information and work with numbers. I was very honest about this in my interview and the company has been understanding and helpful! Sometimes it is difficult to stay organised and balance the workload but every day I learn new techniques and methods to overcome different challenges and my confidence grows.
What’s your work environment and culture like?
Very friendly, fun and fast-paced. Every client, project and day is different so it's important to learn how to be adaptable. We work very hard but also make time to relax and be social.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
I founded and ran the University of York Irish Society which was really fun! If you can turn a passion or hobby into a society you should as you develop a lot of skills and can make some amazing friends.
I volunteered every year with the careers department and engaged with the Students' Union. I learnt how to communicate and successfully work with many different people, running events and collaborating with other societies.
I completed internships during my summers which are excellent ways to figure out what you do or not want to do and the kind of company you want to work for. I also had part-time jobs throughout university which helped me become more organised.
What would you like to do next with your career?
I would love to do a qualification in HR.
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
Be open-minded! About roles, relocating, organisations. You might end up in a role you never considered but absolutely love it.
Consider applying for jobs that are not just graduate roles as well, you might not get your dream job straight away but you can gain skills that will help you get to it.
Do your research. It's so important to understand a company's values and if they do not align with your own, really consider if it's the right move for you. If the values do align with yours, then show that in your application. Always use relevant examples and make sure you are answering the question they are asking (instead of a generic answer).
Linkedin and Bright Network are excellent websites for job hunting.
What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?
Communicating your skills
Disclosing disabilities to future employers
If you like the look of Kerry’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Kerry a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Kerry to be your mentor.