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Q&A Answer Feature - Kate Parrish

Kate Parrish

You

What is your business background? 

I head up Browne Craine’s marketing department so my role is quite varied from organising events to writing articles. I’ve been quite lucky in that from about the age of 15, I knew I wanted to go into marketing. I studied Business Studies at GCSE and A-Level and always enjoyed the marketing element so I did lots of work experience in the industry between attending both school and university (I studied Public Relations at Leeds Met. University) which put me in good stead to get my first job in marketing as soon as I completed my degree.

What was your very first job? 

My very first job was working at the NSC (the local swimming pool) as a lifeguard. My sister and I swum from a very young age so as soon as I turned 16, my mum marched me down to the NSC to see when the next lifeguard course was in the hope of getting me a Saturday job! There was a course being run two months after my 16th birthday and was accepted on it. I really enjoyed the course and was fortunate that there were a great bunch of people on it (some who became my new colleagues). I passed the course and was offered a part-time job so I worked every Saturday (and other shifts in the school holidays) until I went to University – I loved having some independence and earning my own money!

If you hadn’t chosen your current career, is there another career path you would have liked to have pursued? 

That’s a tricky question, I would have loved to have been a vet or a veterinary nurse because I love animals but I didn’t particularly enjoy science. I would have also enjoyed being a sports journalist or a presenter for Sky Sports. It seems so glamorous but I’m sure it’s not quite as glamorous as it seems!

What’s the best business lesson you’ve ever learned, and how did that come about? 

It seems so clichéd but learn from your mistakes. Don’t see them as a bad thing - learn from what you’ve done and evaluate what you could have done better if you had that time again. Surely there’s no better life lesson? I had a manager a long time ago who used to come down on our team like a ton of bricks if the slightest thing was to go wrong. The reality is, you shouldn’t have to make people feel bad for something they’ve done, but help them see where they went wrong which will help them in the future.

What’s the best thing about your job? 

I love my job for so many reasons so I’ll narrow it down to the fact my role is very varied so it’s always interesting and no day is the same, and I really like everyone in the office so it makes coming into the office enjoyable. 

What is the best business advice you could offer to anyone? 

Listen when someone is trying to help you because you might learn something – it’s not a weakness if someone tells you something you don’t know, but thinking you know everything is!

Digital age

What are your favourite gadgets? 

I’m really into gadgets but I’d probably have to say my iPhone!

Which websites do you visit most? 

TopShop and Next Home.

Do you shop online and if so what for? 

I like buying clothes online and I do buy our home things from Next online too. It’s so easy and it comes straight to your door so it saves you carrying it through town!

Personal

Where in the world would you most like to visit and why?

I have been very fortunate that I have been to lots of nice places in the World but when the World has a bit more of a handle on Covid-19, I’d love to go skiing in Colorado. I’d also love to visit the Maldives to recharge and relax, and I think it would be amazing to do a safari in South Africa. I may have to win the lottery first but we can all dream!

What is your favourite TV series?

For my sins, I’d have to say it is The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills!

What is your favourite film?

The Holiday with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz – I love watching it when I’m putting up our Christmas Tree! I also love Cinderella – it reminds me of being a little girl!

What is your favourite single or album?  

I love music but I’d probably say ABBA Gold is the best album for a good old sing song! I’m old school.

What is the most memorable event you have attended? 

My sister’s wedding was lovely and one that I’ll remember forever.

Name 3 things you would like to do before you die?

Get married to my fiancé (fingers crossed for March), travel the World and run a couple of marathons.

What is the best piece of personal advice you could offer? 

Try to not hold a grudge with people, and live in the moment. Live is too short, enjoy yourself!

Current

What are the current challenges facing the accountancy industry?

With the arrival of Covid-19, it’s a very worrying time for everyone. It’s not just a case of “being fine”, this situation is effecting the supply chain of businesses rapidly each day, and businesses might unfortunately suffer from it. Our client services team is talking regularly to our clients to make sure they are ok and making sure that they’ve got the support they need to hopefully come out of it the other side.

Peregrine Tiagnet ICAEW