Watching my usual dose of Come Dine with Me and I was pleasantly surprised to see the lovely orange hat and even lovelier owner Mrs Moneypenny. I love this woman not only because she is a great influence in my life but she has a heart for people and a great spirit to succeed.
A former investment banker who worked leaps and bounds and attained an MBA and a PhD from reputable institutions around the world. She has authored 6 books and presented 6 series of UK Channel 4’s Superscrimpers. She runs her own successful London business and contributes in a weekly column in the Financial Times since 1999. I had the opportunity to learn from her through the Taylor Bennett Foundation, which she champions and is still involved in. Mrs Moneypenny advocates to equip those with a desire to succeed, and I am fortunate to have had that opportunity.
Trainees on my programme, see our blog entries
I am a product of a wonderful programme run by the Taylor Bennett Foundation (TBF) which directly addresses the lack of diversity in the communications and PR industry since 2008. Exactly 3 years ago I completed the programme and emerged a communications professional but not without hard work and determination.
The application process is very intense. I was just telling my mother what the assessment centre consisted of. Two words – SPEED INTERVIEWING. I haven’t experienced speed dating but I am sure a similar buzz is felt in the room. 21 candidates spoke to 21 interviewers for a few minutes and then moved to the left to the next interviewer. With each encounter you were sure to replicate all those things Google told you to do for good interview etiquette. Some of the questions I received were, “A hobby you put down is singing, why?” “Why do you want to do the programme” or my personal favourite that I got asked a couple of times “Tell me about yourself.” In 2 minutes, I had to be clever, courteous, coherent and comprehensible, not to mention charming. Then stand up and do that all again with another interviewer. Intense. I must have done something right because I was chosen to be a trainee on the programme and my life has never been the same.
Media training at the Royal Bank of Scotland equipped me to do a short web series
See the Episode
Facebook page for the web series
Mrs Moneypenny does more than share her wisdom with the nation to scrimp and save, she is very hardworking and has taught me not to let anything stand in your way to achieving your goals. I applied her networking advice and that saw me work from intern of an amazing organisation to, within a year, addressing the International Board about engagement at a movement-wide general assembly streamed live across the world. Only possible through the training from professionals responsible for FTSE 100 companies. It all began with an application.
I encourage all bright, ambitious and outstanding candidates to apply for the next programme starting in Spring 2015 and urge those who would like to support the programme to do so. Before Taylor Bennett Foundation I had no idea what PR was but because of the training, I am a passionate PR professional all thanks to a TBF Star Mrs Moneypenny. She is a hero who equips willing individuals to be the best they can be.