Suzi’s journey to MyCleverHub…Categories:
Suzi has recently joined the team as Entrepreneur Accelerator Manager, here she shares her journey to MyCleverHub.
“When I started my degree in Psychology at Sheffield Hallam University, I had no idea what I wanted to be ‘when I grew up’. As part of the degree I wanted to gain some experience of working with children and joined a fantastic volunteer project called ‘Jigsaw’ supporting children with Asperger Syndrome and Autism. In my second year, I was approached to become the Project Leader for the Jigsaw project by Ben West, who at the time was Head of Student Activities within the University. I quickly learned the value of having someone who really believed in you and recognised your talents before you’d even considered the opportunity. In my third year, Ben pushed me to take on the Fundraising Officer role leading the fundraising and liaising with each of the Project Leaders across the Students Union volunteer projects. Alongside my final year of studies, I led a number of volunteer committees and was recognised by being awarded the prestigious ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award. It was within the Students Union that I found a love for fundraising.
When I graduated University and moved home to Stoke-on-Trent, I knew I couldn’t sit still for long. I craved a new opportunity and joined Douglas Macmillan Hospice as one of over 1,000 volunteers. Three months later, in October 2012, I joined the team as a paid fundraiser and was promoted to Fundraising Manager in May 2013. I graduated University with no experience of marketing, sales, financial planning, budget preparation or managing and leading a team so my quick career progression to Head of Corporate Fundraising and Events was driven by learning on my feet.
When starting to develop my fundraising career I quickly found a love and skill of working with local businesses. I take great satisfaction in working with a business to help them achieve their aims whether that was to increase sales, maximise PR, improve employee morale or purely the satisfaction of raising money for a fantastic cause.
In recognition of their hard work, I developed a Corporate Partnership Scheme to help celebrate business achievements and built a network of companies united behind the love of the cause. The Corporate Partnership opened the doors to work with businesses who were inspired to create meaningful relationships that went above and beyond raising money. Over the past six years, I’ve worked with a large number of local and national businesses across a wide range of sectors and gained a wealth of experience in pitching for corporate support, managing and leading a team, creating and managing budgets, networking, organising various events and most importantly, developing meaningful relationships.
There was never going to be a good time or the right moment to leave a job I was so passionate about but when Gareth and I met for coffee (in an independently owned, local start-up of course!) and I heard more about the chance to help local entrepreneurs grow their own passion in a creative, supportive environment and to be part of such a unique opportunity from the beginning I couldn’t resist.
I am looking forward to the moment when MyCleverHub is bursting at the seams with enthusiastic local entrepreneurs all determined to build a business they love, working alongside local companies and partners to help grow successful businesses right here in Stoke-on-Trent.”