Zoe is currently COO at a dorsaVi Europe Ltd, where she is responsible for setting up and driving business growth across Europe. Previous roles include Acting CEO & National Manager of SecondBIte, a not for profit food rescue organisation in Melbourne, and Head of Global Operations for CogState, a biotech company in the USA. From Sept 12 to April 14 Zoe worked at Impetus-PEF, and worked closely with the Working Rite Board and executive team as the Investment Director responsible for the Working Rite investment. Zoe is passionate about the Working Rite model and its potential for helping significant numbers of young people build a positive future.

First Job: At 16 I started a Saturday job John Lewis – Children’s Shoes Dept.

Strongest memory of your first job: I loved earning my own money and the feeling of satisfaction at the end of a long day (which more often than not involved a kick or two to the head while fitting shoes to little people!)

Susan is currently a business and talent consultant with clients in the private, public and third sectors. She was previously Director of Corporate Development for Lumesse, an HR SaaS (software as a service) organisation where she was responsible for M&A and strategic projects. Prior to this she has been a Head of Consulting and earlier in her career a Client Services Director for a recruitment process outsourcing business working with large corporates like Amazon, BP and Microsoft on their school leaver and graduate recruitment. She started her career with a firm of clinical and occupational psychologists and with a background in HR and psychology she has specialist expertise in talent acquisition and management, organisational development and programme management.

First Job: Whilst still at a school I worked in a local convenience store.

Strongest memory of your first job: Going to the cash and carry with the store owners and getting to choose what I thought would sell well to the ‘kids’ in the town. I was right. This was my first experience of buyer profiling and understanding your target market.

As People Director at Standard Life Investments, Elsa leads the global people function responsible for attraction, retention and development of talent across the firm, supporting business effectiveness through organisation design and international expansion, and delivering regular people processes including reward, performance management, resourcing and talent management.

Following her degree and post graduate studies, including time living in France and Switzerland, Elsa started her career in HR over 25 years ago and has experience across a number of sectors; Financial Services, electronics, consulting, and manufacturing. She has also worked as a management consultant and in international marketing and has an MBA in Marketing. She has experience with different cultures and countries having travelled and worked across Europe, North America, South East Asia and India.

First Job: Loading and unloading the dishwasher in my local hotel.

Strongest memory of your first job: It was hot and hard work but I loved the buzz of the kitchen and earning my first pay cheque. Later I worked at Boots on Saturdays which was a lot easier!

Vicky is a co-founder and director of Be Positive, a specialist Business Analysis consultancy. She has over 20 years’ experience working with companies to deliver organisational change – balancing the need to operate in changing commercial and regulatory environments with the need to ensure good governance. Vicky has worked with a range of organisations – from international corporations to educational establishments, from Financial Services companies to charities.

First Job: I started working in a high street jewellery shop aged 16. I became an expert in changing watch batteries and watch straps.

Strongest memory of your first job: The really fiddly springs in watch straps that used to ping across the tiny workshop when I was trying to change them. And the patience of my first manager when I had to ask her (yet again) for more springs.

Kirsty is a Civil Servant currently working at the Scottish Government on European strategy. Previous roles have included a short stint as a Jobcentre Manager in DWP, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills in London leading work on the Digital Single Market – and she has also undertaken a secondment to the European Commission’s External Action Service in Brussels as a Policy Officer in the Human Rights and International Diplomacy Division. Prior to joining the Civil Service, Kirsty worked in the third sector, Local Government and in sales.

Kirsty has a Masters degree in Public Services Leadership from Queen Margaret University Edinburgh and an MA Hons in Social Policy and Law from the University of Edinburgh as well a vocational qualification in Beauty Therapy.

First Job: Not quite my first job but one of the first – I worked as a beauty consultant for one of the premium make up brands selling make up and skin care products.

Strongest memory of your first job: The uniform!