Once again, K2 is celebrating the annual International Women’s Day. This year, we’re focussing on some of our talented female managers who work hard to help drive our company’s continued growth. In this series of blogs, these women will be telling us more about their careers, ambitions and motivations.
This time we meet Camilla Swan, K2 University Operations Manager in the DACH (German, Austrian, Swiss) region:
1. What is your professional background?
I started at K2 having just graduated with a degree in German and worked my way up to my current level.
I’ve had a variety of different roles over the years, from Permanent Resourcer, managing the Virtual Bench, through to K2 Konnect Project Manager. Today, I’m the Operations Manager/Programme Manager for K2 University DACH.
2. What challenges have you encountered during your career and how did you tackle/overcome them?
Having had a number of roles over the years, I have been able to see where my key strengths and skills lie and areas where they do not. Realising you are not particularly good at something is never nice but being honest and trying to find a solution is always the best option. If you have the right attitude and drive, you and your manager can work together to find a solution.
3. What achievement are you most proud of in your career?
Since taking on the position of Operations Manager for the DACH region, we have run 62 courses to date – an average of around 3 courses per month. There’s a whole load of work that goes on in the background to make sure the courses can run and that everything runs smoothly, and I’m proud to have created a working schedule that delivers on the expectations of our course attendees.
4. Who is your greatest inspiration or role model?
I find anyone who pushes boundaries or changes the rules inspiring. People who push for change and make space in already established roles and ideologies.
5. What traits have served you best in your career?
I’ve always tried to guide my life (not just professionally but personally as well) by three main pillars – patience, positivity and politeness.
6. What are the three main traits that make a manager successful in your opinion?
A good listener, confidence and assertiveness.
You want someone who believes in themselves because that inspires you to believe in them as well. Someone who listens and takes on other peoples’ ideas, without wavering from their own too quickly or easily.
7. What do you do to ensure a good work/life balance? How do you unwind?
Make sure you take your evenings and weekends for yourself where possible, and use your holiday! I try to get out and about most weekends, whether it’s just going for a walk locally or going on a bit more of an adventure. I love the sea and the mountains, but I’m also a sucker for an addictive Netflix series!
8. What is the best piece of career advice you have been given?
The age-old saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ is still said for a reason.
If there’s something you are finding challenging, talk about it to someone else. Even if it’s not your manager but a colleague or a friend, just speaking out loud about it will help you to organise your thoughts and understand the challenge better, as well as putting into place a plan of action on how to tackle it.
Bottling up worries and nerves will only amplify them and make them worse! Often once you start talking about something and thinking of solutions rather than the problem, you will realise it’s not quite as challenging as you first thought.
9. What’s a fun fact about you?
Some of the longer-serving K2ers might remember this – I used to have very long hair, down to my waist. A few years ago I shaved it all off and donated the hair to a charity and asked for donations for Alzheimer’s Society, and raised nearly £5,000. I’ve kept my hair short ever since!
10. What advice would you give to your younger self
Don’t compare yourself to others and if you push the extra mile, you’ll be able to achieve a huge amount.
To find out more about what it’s like working for K2 and our latest opportunities, visit our website or get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.