Career advice, insights & tips for HR professionals
Claire Tuffin, group managing director, VMA Group 08/08/2012
Career interview by Claire Tuffin, group managing director, VMA Group.
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Brief CV history
List your last four jobs:
- 2004 – Present, VMA Group – I joined as associate director and have been group managing director since 2011.
- 1997-2003, Price Jamieson / PTH
- 1996-1997, associate partner, Brunswick
- 1993-1996, head of communications, Dairy Crest
Q & A interview questions
Q. When you were a kid, what was your career dream
A. When I was younger I always wanted to be a nurse. It seems a world away from my role at VMA Group today but I did achieve this dream and qualified after leaving school.
Q. How did you get to where you are now?
A. Various circuitous routes!
Q. Who inspired you along your career journey, and why?
A. Successful friends have provided inspiration for me throughout my career and their experiences and advice have taught me a great deal. I now work with a truly inspirational team and my executive chairman and other board members continue to inspire me on a daily basis.
Q. Why did you join your current organisation?
A. Opportunity came knocking! I was approached by VMA Group and the obvious opportunities for business and personal growth that were offered really appealed.
Q. Describe your typical day.
A. I take the bus to work and use the journey time to check my emails and read the FT and Daily Telegraph online. I arrive at the office by 8.15am and read CityAM with a strong coffee at my desk. When this is done I check my schedule for the day which is usually made up of internal and external meetings. Throughout the week I meet with focus groups across the company. This ensures that everyone has input and that we are making the most of business development and marketing opportunities for our five offices in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Brussels and Hong Kong. I also regularly attend networking events and try to maximise VMA Group’s membership of organisations such as the IoD, London Chamber of Commerce and CIPR.
Q. What’s your greatest achievement?
A. Getting to the role that I am currently in.
Q. What are your biggest challenges?
A. Growing VMA Group’s business across the globe in a difficult market.
Q. What career advice would you give someone aspiring to your role?
A. Don’t burn any bridges – you never know when you might need them! Work hard and always acknowledge that there are other people who know much more than you do.
- Business book(s): ‘The Star Qualities’ by Caroline Goyder. Caroline works with VMA Enhance as an associate for our ‘Impact and Influence’ programme. She teaches actors and business professionals at all levels how to shine and engage with their audiences and this book is immensely helpful.
- Website(s): I am a huge fan of ted.com, which aims to give people on demand access to the world’s most influential speakers. The information on there never ceases to amaze me. I look at the Telegraph website on a daily basis because of the quality reporting.
- Music: Europop!
- TV programme/film: The Terminator. Anything with Arnie in it is a winner!