Gemma Knight was a delegate on the Academy 2016 programme. Read her inspiring story

Published by Michelle Richards on Tuesday, 24 Jan 2017

Confidence Building, Stronger Team Leader, Promotion!

Since attending the Oxford Summer School I have been promoted into a new role as Store Manager of Heathrow Terminal 2. I knew I wanted to progress to the next level and after a week of intense self reflection and learning, it become very clear on what areas I needed to work on to get there. Once I returned into work after my week at the Academy I couldn't wait to put what I had learnt into practice, I was the most driven and determined I had ever been.

Without a doubt the Academy gave me the confidence I needed to be able to take on more and become a stronger Team Leader and work colleagues noticed a difference in me instantly. It made me realise the importance of using the talent of the team around me and made me think more about the bigger picture. The Academy made me realise the impact I can have on the wider business, if I would just force myself out of my comfort zone.

I have always been passionate about developing talent but after a week at OSS I couldn't wait to share my experience and be a part of offering the opportunity I had just had to others in the business. I am now part of the 'Developing Retail Talent' project group, supporting others with their careers and progression paths. I play a part in the selection process and have been fortunate enough to visit delegates of our own at the Academy for the past 2 years running.

Oxford Summer School demonstrates the value of on going training for retailers, no matter how long you have been in a role or business. It is so important to make time for yourself and keep your development plan up to date, if it doesn't make you feel a little bit uncomfortable then its probably not stretching you enough.

Gemma Knight
Store Manager, World Duty Free at Heathrow Terminal 2

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