Hannah is currently taking a PhD at Kings College London supervised by Baroness Wolf of Dulwich and working in a start-up executive search boutique. The latter is also known as executive recruiting or headhunting – helping corporates and non-profits to appoint C-suite and non-executive directors. It combines a strategic understanding of business, with an understanding of talent and people.
Hannah graduated with a degree in Psychology and Philosophy in 2004, spent time travelling around Latin America and then joined a global executive search firm, Russell Reynolds Associates, where she trained for a number of years, learning from some of the best I the business. She has been in executive search since then.
Where is the most unusual place your career has taken you?
One of my successful candidates nicknamed me “Gandalf” because by the time I had placed him in his current role, I had met him and his partner in London, San Francisco, Washington DC and The Hague. An unusual sequence of events!
What has been your career highlight to date?
Working in a start-up company and building a successful business from the ground up with a small team has been incredibly hard work, but hugely rewarding. I’ve had to become far more of a generalist than I was before. Likewise, working in the non-profit sector for a couple of years at a university fulfilled an ambition for public service. It’s a tough call between the two.
Three words that best describe your experience at WGS?
Philosophical. Grounding. Fun.
Did you have a favourite teacher?
I don’t think I could possibly claim to have a favourite teacher, as I have fond memories of several. However, Mr Benfield was a huge inspiration to me. I still remember the time he invested in walking me through Marvell poetry in my final year, and that’s really stuck with me. My A levels came a difficult point in my life as unfortunately a family member was terminally ill. I was hugely appreciative of the additional time he invested in me to get me through that time with flying colours. He wasn’t just inspirational from a learning perspective, he was compassionate too.
What’s next for you?
I need to complete my PhD and juggle it with working in a start- up situation. It requires a bit of focus to keep the balance right.