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Day in the life – Sue Alderson, Programme Director, University of Huddersfield’s Sir George Buckley Leadership Centre

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Sue Alderson

Job title:

Programme Director, University of Huddersfield’s Sir George Buckley Leadership Centre

Tell us about your career journey

I started by career post University on HSBC’s graduate programme in London. After a variety of roles within the Group I returned to my home county of Yorkshire to become HR manager at Firstdirect as it was being set up in Leeds. From there I began my consulting career within KPMG in Leeds, then following the birth of my son decided to do my own thing. In 2002 I set up Azure Consulting with my business partner Sharon Klein, who is the ying to my yang. We are opposite in working styles and preferences but absolutely aligned on values and aspirations.

I am currently supporting the University of Huddersfield to set up its new Sir George Buckley Leadership Centre which will be based in the 3M BIC and will provide CMI accredited Level 5 and Level 7 training for middle managers and senior leaders.

Describe a typical day at work:

At the moment, there seems to be no such thing as a typical day! The development of the leadership centre means I have lots of different activities to pursue, from speaking to partners about potential alliances, conducting diagnostic conversations with potential clients, writing marketing materials to help explain our offer, and designing the magic of the two flagship programmes which will launch the Centre and its offering to organisations.

What keeps you motivated at work?

Challenge and variety! Sitting still is not an option for me and juggling lots of balls means I keep out of mischief!

The most exciting thing about your job?

The delivery of something you’ve seen through from a blank sheet of paper and people loving it and finding it valuable in their day to day work.

The most challenging?

People who aren’t quite as excited about personal development and learning as I am!

Time of the day you most creative or inspired?

Definitely first thing, I like to start my day with a little exercise and then after breakfast I like to get my teeth into something challenging, that energy can wane towards the end of the day!

Proudest career moment?

Standing in a room with current and past clients and them telling us that our work had a profound impact on them personally.

Best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Take each day at a time and be present!

What innovations should we look out for in your industry?

Technology is impacting leadership development significantly and the industry is adapting and changing to new ways of working. We need to adapt too to provide blended learning solutions that are appealing and relevant.

Out of the office…?

I love to keep fit and really enjoy being outdoors especially in the sunshine! A couple of years ago I climbed Kilimanjaro and I now am Trustee of a charity we set up post trek to bring clean water to parts of Northern Tanzania. I’m a Yorkshire girl at heart and love spending time with my small close family.

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