In every issue of our Aycliffe Business magazine, we take a break and sit down with a different employee or business owner/leader to ask them 20 questions about a variety of subjects.
In our latest edition, Isobel Currie, director of Communicators Training Associates, answers our 20 questions over a cuppa…
1: What do you do?
A: I run a very busy and demanding training company. It often means putting on different hats to different jobs including making the tea and coffee.
2: Who have you worked for in the past?
A: Before I started up Communicators almost 21 years ago, I worked for the British Forces in West Germany and I was a Youth Training Scheme Co-ordinator looking after young people who finished secondary school in Germany and needed a YTS placement to start their career.
3: Best part of your job?
A: I love all parts of my job and get very excited and enthusiastic about it. The one bit that stands out is when I see people getting on – learning – achieving and in many cases changing their lives. That’s what I get up for in the morning.
4: Is there anything about your job that you really don’t like?
A: No, I like all of it. If I had to say something it would be big spreadsheets that have been locked! I can’t manipulate the data and therefore it is not a quick task. Spreadsheets were built to save time not the other way around!
5: Favourite thing about working on Aycliffe Business Park?
A: I love the convenience of everything. It is close to home so I can zip in and out for meetings and I can get home from the office in about 10 minutes without all of the traffic
6: Which company/individual on the park do you do the most work with?
A: Well we work with a lot of Companies on the park – many of our learner’s gain employment with Huskivana, Multisurface, Diamond Cleaning and we have also taken part in trials for HB technologies. We also have links to employment agencies as well.
7: Who’s your tip for future success?
A: We know all about the long-established engineering and manufacturing companies here on Aycliffe Business Park. I love reading and hearing about the innovation of companies who have been at the heart of the estate for many years. I know Christine Bewley at Aycliffe Fabrications very well, they are the company behind the ‘head’ which is a landmark for the business park. It’s
also great to see small service firms like LemonTop Creative and Pixel Media growing and doing some fantastic work.
8: Four famous people you’d love to have round for dinner and why?
A: I really love Dragons Den – one of my favourite programmes so I’d probably like to invite a couple of them for dinner. I’m a big fan of JK Rowling’s, and I think I’d make room for Maureen Lipman (Tyrone’s gran in Coronation Street) as I find her so funny!
9: If you could do something else in business, what would it be?
A: Whilst I do get an opportunity to help people start their own business, I’d like to do more of that and give something back in terms of my experience. When you have been there, done it and got the T-shirt you really can help others move their dreams and aspirations along a bit quicker.
10: Who’s your favourite Tweeter?
A: This is something I’m just starting to get into, believe it or not.
11: Have you ever done anything really daring?
A: Going up on a glider is something I won’t forget. It did not register fully until I was up in the air that there was no engine to this little plane! I have to say it was remarkably wonderful – but would I do it again probably not.
12: What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?
A: My Uncle Phil, who is 85 and to this day still runs his business in Scotland, said to me when I was probably about 15 ‘if you think running your own business means you can just take time off to suit yourself because you are your own boss, then you are mistaken – be prepared to work more than anyone and you will be successful’. This has been true for me.
13: If money was no object, what would be your ideal car?
A: I do like a nice car and my favourite is a Jaguar. If, however money was no object, I’d probably say I’d like to do something retro and buy one of those reconditioned old-style Capri.
14: Money no object, your dream holiday would be?
A: It would be something simple with not a lot of hustle or bustle. Somewhere quite but beautiful with lots of wide-open spaces – water could be rivers or sand and sea.
15: Do you have a favourite band or type of music?
A: I really like country music but I’m also a fan of Queen, Status Quo, The Who, Thin Lizzie. Last year I want to a colleague’s 60th birthday and the band specialised in rock music. It was one of the best nights I’ve ever had. We were all dressed up in costumes from the 60s and 70s.
16: What is your greatest achievement?
A: In life it would be my son, who is now 26. In business it would have to be Communicators as I’ve been able to bring together many things I’ve done from an early age, such as running my own Dance School for ten years straight from leaving school at age 17, training young people leaving school and helping them to identify a career, and helping business to improve productivity through upskilling their workforce. So I have been able to put all of that into Communicators and make it successful.
17: How would you best describe yourself in four words?
A: Creative, resourceful, ambitious and determined
18: Where do you see yourself in five years?
A: If you asked my husband that question, he would say ‘retired’ – but me, well, I’d like to spend some more time in Spain with my family and perhaps have some time off to enjoy it. But if duty calls – I’ll be there.
19: Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met?
A: Probably Amon and Ruth from Good Morning Britain when Communicators won the Regional Award for working with Employers – and Kate, one of my tutors at the time, won Best Supporting Tutor.
20: Do you have any guilty pleasures?
A: Lindor chocolate.