When did you become a manager?
In 1986, when I was put in charge of all the main administration systems at the careers service.
What does management mean to you?
It means adopting a very structured approach when advising a student on a one-to-one level. We look not only at a student's academic achievements but also their personal qualities, because we have to help them analyse themselves before they can work out which career might interest them.
It's not our role to tell students which direction they should go in - we have to manage them so that they find their own idea of what they'd like to do. We also have to manage their expectations about the job market, which are often unrealistic. Their perception of it is skewed towards the blue-chip employers that produce glossy publicity. They aren't so aware of companies that don't advertise so heavily, such as the media.
What do you love/hate about it?
I love motivating my own team, and the fact that every student is different - what works for one won't work for another. I hate the bureaucracy that comes with working in the public sector.