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Claire Richards - Delivery Programme Manager, Executive Education

Tell us a bit about the journey to your current role at LBS…

I will have worked at LBS for 3 years in September. Originally from Edinburgh, I studied Event Management for 2 years there at Queen Margaret University before completing my degree at Westminster University in London after moving here in 2010.

While working part-time at Marks and Spencer during University, I was selected as one of 12 employees to work at Team GB House with the British Olympic Association for London 2012. I then went back with two other employees for the Paralympic Games where I had the time of my life, and a summer I will never forget. I made some lifelong friends and met some unbelievable people from Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge to all the athletes and even popstars and famous actors and actresses too.

After completing University my first events management role was at RenewableUK, where I worked for almost 3 years organising all sizes of conferences, exhibitions and seminars all over the UK. I then began my role as Delivery Programme Manager at LBS in September 2015.

Can you tell us more about your job role, and take us through a typical day?

There is no typical day in the life of an LBS Delivery Programme Manager, and that’s one of the things that’s so great about my role.

Generally I will come in and plan my day, work through emails and pre-programme prep or wrap up, or I could also be in team meetings, programme team meetings or off on a site visit (usually visiting a venue for a dinner or off-site session or activity). No day is ever the same. Typically I will be delivering a programme every three weeks and the tasks vary depending on the programme.

What part of the role do you enjoy most?

The Participant Experience part of the role is particularly enjoyable.

One thing my Queen Margaret University professor Joe Goldblatt taught me that I will never forget is “to always create event memories”. I always make sure that all participants have the best experience they can on every programme I deliver, and often take it to the next level in order to make this happen.

From large themed catering events, epic closing dinners and visits from the Dean himself, to celebrating faculty service to a programme and adding smaller touches to enhance the experience, I am always aiming to deliver a world class experience for anyone attending LBS and make it one they will never forget.

How does it feel to be part of the LBS community?

I am so proud to be part of the LBS Community. It is a place like no other that I have ever worked in before, and I have made some of the best friends here.

I see the community as not just staff but faculty, contributors and participants too. You build a great network both internally and externally at LBS who can help you deliver world class programmes!

What has been the highlight of your time at LBS?

There are too many to mention but a few particularly stand out. I love the diversity of the team and students and am always learning from people of all different backgrounds and cultures every day.

Secondly I would have to give a mention to the Senior Executive Programme. I love everything I deliver but have a particular fondness for SEP92, where I spent an unforgettable summer with a group of participants with whom I became friends for life. I also attended and worked at the first ExecEd Reunion during this time which was amazing and great to see so many old friends returning to LBS.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

That you always have to live your best life both inside and outside of work – and never do anything less! Always live your dream.

Which five celebrities would you invite to your dream dinner party?

  1. My number one would have to be the one and only Costas Markides from LBS. He would certainly bring a lot of fun to the dinner!
  2. LBS alumnus Tim Kopra would definitely be on the list. Space fascinates me and I would love to hear all of his stories!
  3. The Duchess of Cambridge would be there too. She would bring some glamour and I would like to have an opportunity to speak to her when I am not as star struck as I was at London 2012!
  4. Barack Obama. He’s awesome.
  5. David Wilde, a good friend and classical pianist. His stories are fascinating, he would entertain everyone and he is just a bit of a legend!

Do you have any party tricks?

I always end up in VIP. I just can’t help it, it always happens!

Tell us something surprising about you…

I play the Euphonium to Grade 7 Level and I am an Avatar in one of the simulations we run on ExecEd programmes!