OxWIB welcomed Margaret Young on the 19th of February. Margaret is a qualified Chartered Accountant who spent most of her executive career in Investment Banking, focussing on mergers and acquisitions. She currently sits on several non-executive boards and has had an illustrious career spanning several sectors of business.
Margaret left us with five tips for a career in business (or any other field for that matter, she adds). First, make sure you get the right qualifications. Qualifications are the building blocks of your career and your CV is the way you present yourself to the world. Margaret highlights her MBA from the London Business School as a key qualification she felt helped her career. The MBA in conjunction with her chartered accountancy qualification opened up many career opportunities for her. Margaret also expounds on the importance of building your own confidence and believing in yourself. She asserted - 'if you don't understand something, they're not explaining it properly'.
Next, exposure to the workplace through internships or job shadowing is incredibly useful. Apart from helping to build confidence, work experience marks you out as someone who is serious about your career.
A personal favourite was Margaret's advice to be better at saying 'no'. In order to make the most of your twenty-four hours in a day, you need to prioritize. As a practical starting point, Margaret recommended taking some time out to sit down, order your priorities and write them down.
It is never too early to start thinking about your own public relations. Here, Margaret cautions the use of social media and emphasizes the strength and potential dangers of building your brand through online profiles.
Finally, Margaret encouraged us to use resources to develop your own career potential. For example, reading autobiographies of successful women acts as inspiration and provides you an insight into the potential challenges you may face in the workplace.