Tom Wakefield, Business Solutions Analyst, The Entertainer: My OSS Story

Published by Matthew Deaves on Friday, 28 Oct 2016

Tom was a delegate at our Academy 2016 programme. Read his story here:

Since returning from the Oxford Summer School Academy I have been thrown in to new and demanding projects with the business focusing on efficiency and productivity. The programme gave me the confidence and the knowledge base to impose myself in project teams and challenge, constructively, ideas of those considered senior to me. This change has highlighted the value of my role to the business and thus I have been given increasing responsibility, including roles working directly with our Board of Directors.

I have had no promotion as such however we are now recruiting for another member of my team, with the view to bring them in during January/February. I will then take on a more managerial role for the new financial year and I will be using everything I have learned from the school in terms of leadership techniques to develop them to produce high quality work.

I thoroughly enjoyed the social aspect to the programme and since returning have found it lacking in our business, I’ve taken this as an opportunity to encourage others to get involved in a social group which integrates all departments.

In terms of my role, the Academy made me realise that in order to succeed you need to surround yourself with others whose skills compliment your own. Although I do not currently have my own team this has been highly valuable when forming project teams. I have relied on others expertise as opposed to trying to become the expert myself. On a personal level It also provided me with the motivation and desire to address issues head on at the time they arise as opposed to delaying them I’ve noticed a huge difference in my ability to manage heavy workloads because of this. The biggest impact has been in my confidence, the course tested me and I came out with incredible enthusiasm and a belief in my own ability.

In terms of the company, the programme revealed to me that even an established business has areas of weakness. I’ve been able to identify these and establish where I can prioritise and focus my time in order to help the business continue to be successful.In terms of my aspirations, the programme highlighted that I have the potential to achieve anything and where previously I felt I may be out of my depth it proved that I am, indeed, the right person.

The programme didn’t highlight the one route I should take in life and it would be unfair to expect this however it did reveal to me what I love about retail and has instilled a passion I had when I first began. It also highlighted my desire to lead a team and I’m delighted that I have this opportunity in the New Year, I can’t wait to put all the leadership techniques to practice.

The Academy has highlighted to me that on-going training is essential not only for me but for those around me. I can get the best out of my team and myself by continuously reviewing performance and gathering/giving feedback in constructive and positive ways. By having a personal plan training can be catered in order to help achieve those goals without these things there is a real risk of becoming disillusioned with a role and potentially losing good, hardworking colleagues.

Tom Wakefield

Business Solutions Analyst, The Entertainer

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