Name and job title
Debbie Pye, Applications Adviser
How long have you worked at the University? Include details if you have worked in different roles/departments.
I have worked part time at the University for three years now. When I’m not here I run my own leadership coaching and consulting business and coach sixth formers in all things employability.
What does your job entail?
I support students to make great applications (CVs/cover letters/personal statements etc) for jobs, grad schemes and post graduate study. I also run interview practice sessions and the new Interview Coaching resource, along with writing regularly for the Careers Service blog
What do you love most about your job?
- First one is easy….talking to lovely students all day! It’s an amazing privilege to be able to help people go away feeling more confident and in control of their careers. It’s the honest truth that I bounce happily out of bed on my Bath Uni days!
- Secondly being part of such a wonderfully supportive team here in the Careers Service. Like everyone else we’ve had to adapt how we work together during lockdown but despite that we haven’t lost the fun and team spirit we had prior to Covid. Can’t wait until we’re all back in the office so that I can have an excuse to bake some Jamie Oliver ginger cake….
If you could go back and tell your student-self one thing what would it be?
Choose to be comfortable with not knowing exactly where your career will ultimately take you. It will all work out in the end.
What personal/professional barriers have you overcome to be where you are today?
I was always a “good generalist” at school and for years was searching for my “thing” without any success. In all my roles in NHS management I felt like a fraud and was frightened that I would never find my true purpose.
Then in my early ‘30s, despite having just suffered a horrendous bereavement, I went on a personal development course at PwC where I was then working as a management consultant. We trained as coaches and almost overnight the penny dropped and I knew I’d finally found what I was put on the planet to do!
Years later, having coached many business executives I knew that I now wanted to help young people at the early stages of their careers….so I pivoted again and here I am doing just that!
What is your greatest personal/professional achievement?
Can I have three?
- Finding my Thing (see above).
- Completing an MBA whilst working full time.
- Finding a new niche in HE where all my corporate coaching transferable skills are, well, transferable.
What do you do when you aren’t at work?
I love to cook - it’s my therapy at the weekend. I admit that I have a secret addiction to cook books. A couple of years ago I trained to be a professional chef and in 2019 ran my first pop up restaurant in a barn with no electricity or running water. 90 people came and no-one got food poisoning!
I also have an 18 year old son who is about to leave school and go out into the world….he isn’t yet sure of his next steps and of course you can’t coach your own children.
What are your hopes for the future?
For good health for me, my family, friends, colleagues, students…..and my two black Labradors Rumble (nine) and Milo (9 months).
The crystal ball moment: What does the post-COVID world have in store for us all….
Well this is what I HOPE it will have in store for us....
- That the human race decides to stop taking the natural world for granted.
- That it will be considered totally unacceptable for people to fly to business meetings. Because Zoom! And Teams!
- That somehow all of the amazing goodwill and hard work shown by volunteers in the vaccination drive can be harnessed and channelled for good in the long term.