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I left school at 16 having achieved good grades and then spent almost a year at college waiting to join the Royal Air Force (RAF). My first role in the RAF was as a personnel and admin clerk on the Youth Training Scheme, which is equivalent of an apprenticeship today.

My main reason for joining the RAF was because I was sporty, I wanted to see the world and do something different. The first six weeks of basic training were hard, both physically and mentally. Once I'd completed training I was stationed at RAF Innsworth - where over time my job became a desk job. I knew that being in the RAF wouldn’t be a career for me, as I’d have to leave to start a family. After 5 years and 2 different bases, I decided to leave and complete a part-time degree.

I got my degree in Business Admin and eventually a Masters in Business Information Systems, working in IT, MI and Info Security, across a number of different organisations including Yorkshire Water and Toyota. I’m now working for the Co-op as an Info Security and Technology Risk Specialist.

Teamwork and communication skills are crucial working in Info Security, as I work with a wide range of colleagues and areas of the business. Motivation is also really important, as I have to motivate myself and my team every day. There are a lot of tools out there to support everyone with their own and their team’s motivation.

I love working where I do – it’s constantly changing, so I’m always learning. I love what the Co-op stands for and what it does in the community. Knowing that there is something good coming out of the work we all do and services we provide – this is what motivates me.

Over my 35 year career, I’ve done and learnt so much. I want to continue doing the best I can, ensuring Co-op Technology and Information Security risks are managed appropriately. My advice to anyone starting their career is be flexible and open about your career path. If something doesn’t work out that’s fine, there’s plenty of different routes to get where you want to go. Stay positive and focused.


Info Security and Technology Risk Specialist