Julia Stones – 4’s 66-73

Research has shown that 95% of us don’t plan our careers strategically unless we have a vocation and that was definitely me as I headed blindly to UCL to study History simply because it was one of my best subjects at CH. I was lucky enough to be brought up all over the world, which included living in the very north of Norway aged 5 and I had the opportunity to learn many different languages: Chinese Malay until I was 4 (born in Kuala Lumpur), broad Cornish from 4-5 and then Norwegian, Swedish and Danish until I went to CH aged 10.  Discovering that UCL had a wonderful Scandinavian Studies department, I switched courses at the end of my first term and loved every moment of the next four years, studying intermittently.  We had the luxury of choice in those days and a degree more or less guaranteed a job afterwards, regardless of what degree and despite the fact that translating medieval Icelandic sagas was never in great demand in the London workplace.

A career in marketing/advertising/PR in the travel industry followed graduation and qualification as a London tour guide where I was able to use all my languages and travel. I loved everything about tourism but it paid peanuts so I then fell into recruitment and over the years became a director and shareholder of a market leading consultancy before relocating to NZ in 2005 to work for a number of executive search firms. I then set up my own consultancy in 2017 and this focuses on the complete life cycle of a career. I realised it had taken me 25+ years to realise my passion and purpose was to help people set themselves up for success in their careers and I designed an innovative career scoping tool called a Career Blueprint™  which enables that.

I have always been tremendously grateful for my time at CH and I made lifelong friends there. I have been the NZ Secretary for OBs since 2009 as a way to give something back to the school which gave me so much.  I have loved seeing how the CH experience creates such a strong bond, regardless of age, for those of us who have had the privilege of that education. I am now looking forward to the opportunity to work with the CHOBA Board to help support OBs young and old and actively contribute to OB wellbeing around the world.