I grew up in London, and after travelling widely writing articles for a small American newspaper, studied for a BSc at London School of Economics. Then I taught English for five years at a London secondary school, where I set up a business mentoring scheme and evaluated its impact for an MA in School Improvement. Moving with my young family to Milton Keynes in 1996, I began developing and delivering employability education and training activities for Worktree (then ‘Countec’), including Citischool, an alternative work-based school ‘without walls’ for excluded teenagers. With funding from UK government research scholarships and grants, I have visited China, India, Uganda and USA, to observe employability projects and advise schools and colleges on employer engagement strategies.
I was born and grew up in Leicester and moved to Milton Keynes in 2002 after getting married. My first job interview after moving to MK was with Worktree (then ‘Countec’) and I was appointed as Administrator. My roles have varied and changed over the years. I am now Event Co-ordinator, making sure that all resources including volunteer guests are present at sessions in schools and elsewhere. I never thought I’d be doing what I do now which is helping to make a difference to young people where the world of work and employability skills are concerned.
I studied BA Hons Business Administration at Demontford University in Leicester and never dreamed I would be working so closely with schools and young people. I enjoy what I do and enjoy working with my very supportive and fun colleagues.
I was born in Harrow and moved around every 1-2 years as my Dad’s job as a Building Society Manager meant we moved when he was promoted – it certainly helped me to make friends quickly and learn how to establish myself every time I went to a new school.
I went on to University where I studied Modern English – Language, Literature & Linguistics, with the intention of becoming an English teacher. However when I left Uni my perspective had changed and I wanted to work in business and make money! I became a Mortgage Advisor for all of 6 months – not my bag at all! Then a friend asked me if I had ever considered working in Recruitment so I applied and got my first Recruitment job in 1997 recruiting Accountants.
After 6 years in the large corporate world I joined Onyx Recruitment in 2003 where I am now a Director. I saw Worktree give a presentation on how local businesses can help give their time and I went along as a guest to Career WorkOut which I loved. I then started to get more involved and now enjoy facilitating Career WorkOut Sessions as well as Apply For That Job Workshops. I consider myself very lucky to have found something that utilises my skills base gained from a career in recruitment for over 20 years and which is so fulfilling.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my husband and two daughters, volunteer for several charities and mentor young women in schools and the local community to help them build confidence and develop employability skills.
Vivian has experience in charities, education, youth work, and in multi-disciplinary settings, working with young people and vulnerable adults.
Vivian believes that in a constantly changing world, having the necessary skills and knowledge is an essential part of being able to move forward, meet the challenges of everyday life and thrive.
Vivian is passionate about making a positive impact and creating education that is engaging and gives real-life skills and knowledge – which she is able to do, and enjoy thoroughly, when facilitating for Worktree.
I am in the final year of my Law and Chinese degree at the University of Sheffield after growing up in Wolverton, Milton Keynes. After I finished my A-Levels at The Radcliffe School in 2019, I moved to Beijing where I lived and worked as an Au Pair for 5 months. Alongside finishing my degree and working part-time for Worktree as both a Virtual Career Workout facilitator and assisting with the charity’s social media profiling, I work as a Well-Being Ambassador for Sheffield University and as an TEFL English teacher with the agency Italki, teaching students all over the world from my bedroom. When I stay at my parents’ house in Milton Keynes during the holidays, I also work at The Crown pub in Stony Stratford.
Honestly, I am quite unsure what is coming next for me after my degree but I’m excited to find out.