Having been inspired to take up a career in the Not for Profit sector through volunteering experiences as a teenager and throughout higher education, Rachel has spent over 10 years in income generation roles across a wide range of causes including homelessness, health, animal welfare, supporting vulnerable children and military charities.
Rachel is a qualified teacher and has spent time teaching in France, Japan, East Africa and South Africa.
What brought you to GS?
Executive Search is a new area for me. I love that I’m still connected to the charity sector, making a difference and feeling like I’m doing something meaningful, whilst having the opportunity to work with lots of different charities – giving me a different and broader perspective on the sector.
I am an experienced bid writer by background, which can require a technical approach. This role offers the scope for a more creative perspective which was attractive to me and is helping to build on my skills from this new viewpoint.
Before I joined, it was made clear to me that this is a growing team and a growing practice. I am excited to join GS at a time of success and opportunity. We’ve had three new consultants join since I started in April; it’s really exciting to see the team developing and exploring new areas.
We also had conversations as part of my recruitment about the GS values, one of which is curiosity. That’s definitely a match for my own personality and values, and the continuous drive for improvement resonated with me.
What’s your experience of the first few months been?
Since I joined, I’ve found real flexibility in my role to shape where I fit in and how I complement the skills in the practice team, based on not only what I’m good at but what I enjoy as well. I’ve had a lot of scope to explore how we do this better, working with colleagues to make some of our processes more efficient and that’s also helped me learn more about executive search.
I feel I’ve got a lot of ownership over what I do which is balanced by the opportunity to shadow more experienced colleagues. I appreciate the broader network I have access to within GS, not only within my own Not for Profit practice team, but also across all of the other practices.
We have a buddy scheme to help everyone find their feet. Our internal HR Team set up initial meetings for the first three months. I’ve found it really helpful to continue to catch up with my buddy after this period, who has helped me to celebrate successes, supported me with challenges and shared their experience of going through the GS promotion panels. The development opportunities here are really transparent which is something I value.
What about the Not for Profit sector are you passionate about?
I’ve been involved in volunteering in the sector for as long as I can remember having achieved Duke of Edinburgh and Millenium Volunteers Awards in my younger years. As I got older, I worked on the ground in East and South Africa, with causes that are still close to my heart, and have participated in workplace volunteering with causes supporting young people and athletes with physical disabilities, amongst others. At GS we are given two days per year to volunteer for causes that are important to us.
I’ve always been drawn to work with organisations delivering social good and I have worked in the sector for the whole of my career to date. I’ve worked for a lot of different causes, both as a professional fundraiser and a volunteer. I’ve benefited in terms of skills, experience and the positivity I get from meeting diverse people.
What else are you passionate about?
I am a Mum; my daughter is four and has just started school so I will say the juggle is real!
I still try to find time to take on physical challenges in support of organisations close to my heart. In the past I have sprinted up Tower 42, run laps of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and dashed around Aintree Racecourse to raise funds and awareness.
I’ve been part of The Walking Challenge for the Alzheimer’s Society, our Charity of the Year. Myself and 37 colleagues formed into different groups to walk or run the 421 miles, which is the trip between our offices Leeds – Manchester – Birmingham – London and back to Leeds!