Cat Chambers - Associate Director of Customer Experience
Cat Chambers is the Associate Director, Customer Experience in the Campus Services and Developments team. She’s been with the School for the last 13 years and Life@LBS caught up with her to talk about her role and lengthy career at LBS.
You’ve been at the School for the past 13 years, tell us a bit about your journey.
I started as a new Events Assistant on a rainy Monday in November 2004, thinking this was going to be a short term role – how wrong I was! Over the years the events team grew, and I took on a manager role with direct report responsibility, then headed up a team of five for six years.
I’ve seen four Deans and umpteen Congregation ceremonies, Reunion weekends and Global Leadership Summits. The scale and diversity of the School’s activity continues to grow more and more impressive as the years go by.
As my role developed, it became progressively more concerned with overall delegate experience; including pre- and post-event communication and on-campus experience. Shortly after my return from maternity leave, the role within Campus Services came up, and I just felt the Customer Experience position had synergies with what I was already doing and was what I enjoyed – so I went for it!
Can you tell us about your job and your typical day?
I normally get in around 08:15 and spend the first hour or so with a *large* coffee - replying to emails and getting my to-do list sorted for the day. I’ll then likely have meetings, either with other members of the senior management team, project groups, stakeholders or our service contractors. Given the range of campus services that fall under my remit the days are rarely the same – priority is given to any issues that arise where service standards are falling short. Other days is about reviewing procedures, kicking off projects, looking at new products, or getting out and about at Sussex Place and Sammy Ofer Centre to walk the floors and identify ways we can continually improve. I run out at around 16:30 to get back and collect my son from nursery – and then the rest of my day continues with mum duties until it’s time for bed!
What part of the role do you enjoy most?
Being able to affect positive change to improve visitor experience – first impressions are so important, and an individual’s subconscious shapes the way they remember a place or a visit. I try to ensure we consistently deliver a world-class experience to everyone on campus; whether they are members of our community or new to the School, and hope they leave us feeling valued, respected and happy to return.
What does being a part of the LBS community mean to you?
Being at the School for as long as I have, you make deep connections with many like-minded people. I have long term friends with whom I speak regularly, but who have since left and are now located all over the world – such is the strength of the relationships you make here.
I joined, and then chaired the Sports and Social Club for a number of years, and enjoyed pulling together themed Summer and Winter Celebrations with the rest of the committee, and seeing more West End shows than you could shake a stick at! There is great community spirit.
There is also an incredible amount of goodwill and generosity running through the School, you’re never far from someone willing to lend a hand or an ear – something which I appreciate greatly when I’ve had childcare or other challenges to contend with.
What is your best LBS moment so far?
While managing an event in 2015 with one of The Prince’s Charities during an already busy week of activity, we welcomed HRH The Prince of Wales to the School. The logistics were epic; various rounds of recces and security clearances were required, and the whole operation was run with military precision! As a thank you for our efforts, a colleague and I were unexpectedly invited to the post-event reception at Clarence House, and got to meet and chat with Prince Charles – certainly a highlight of my time here!
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Perspective is key! Try not to let things bother you for too long as you risk derailing yourself. Being firm, but kind is important, and don’t forget to put yourself first once in a while!
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
David Bowie and Barbra Streisand to provide us with the soundtrack, Dara O’Briain for the craic and Jennifer Lawrence for the drinking games!
Tell us something surprising about you.
While I went to university, I played in all-girl band Chiquita alongside Anna Calvi.