In this edition of One ethos, One culture, Katie Thompson, our Strategy & Execution Principal in London, talks to us about her involvement in Women@Metyis and the changes she has seen in the industry.
Meet Katie, a Strategy & Execution Principal in London
Tell us more about yourself.
I grew up in Dorset, on the south coast of the UK, where I was lucky enough to spend my childhood sailing dingies and playing on the beach. I am still very fond of water sports and try to go to the sea whenever possible. I also spend my free time renovating our house, which was remarkably antiquated when we bought it.
I went to the University of Nottingham, where I studied Human Geography, a topic I find immensely captivating and also, as it turns out, pragmatic since it afforded me to choose any career path.
What was your path to Metyis?
I started my career in retail. I was a buyer at the UK's largest convenience chain for five years; I worked across the grocery and fresh food departments buying branded products and developing private label products. Despite being an appealing role, I required additional challenges in which I could maintain and employ my retail expertise. I joined a boutique retail and consumer goods consulting business, which Metyis later acquired to accelerate growth in the UK.
What is your current role at Metyis, and how did you arrive there?
I am a Strategy & Execution Principal in the London office. Since joining Metyis two and a half years ago, I have predominantly worked on Dutch projects, including a year as part of the operational team at a large Metyis joint venture. Our primary responsibilities were setting up and scaling up the joint venture. Most recently, I have collaborated with a brand leader in the clothing industry.
Are you involved with any of the Metyis communities, such as Women@Metyis?
It's imperative to me, and I thoroughly enjoy being part of the Women@Metyis community. I am currently mentoring two mentees with the hope that I can help them achieve their career goals and assist them in navigating their career at Metyis.
I also lead an initiative looking to adapt the global interview process to attract more female talent to Metyis; this type of initiative towards diversity and inclusion in the workplace supports us all to build an international and cross-departmental network that reinforces a sense of community across the female population.
What changes have you seen in the industry throughout your career?
For me, the most significant change has been companies' focus on their talent, which is undoubtedly true for Metyis, where I co-lead recruitment in the UK office. We invest considerable time and money into finding and retaining the best talent in the market.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to join your team at Metyis?
I think there are three key things you must have to be suitable for us; an entrepreneurial spirit, to be bright and driven, and finally, the capability to be personable and flexible. If you have those three qualities, you will shine at Metyis.
How do you manage your career with your personal life?
Balancing a career whilst being a parent is a juggling act. It's rarely perfect. It certainly helps that Monty prefers being at nursery to being at home, which removes the "mum guilt". People at Metyis are very understanding and supportive of what it takes to be a parent, recognising you're both a great mum and colleague, which means a great deal to me.
What 'rituals' or day-to-day customs do you have to excel at work?
Anish Patel, the UK Lead Partner, told me that the best advice he ever received was to start building your network early on in your career. I spend at least 30 minutes per week on LinkedIn messaging and interacting with former clients and colleagues, intending to establish them as Metyis clients.