6 October, 2016

Getting to know... Alysia

Tell us about your biggest ambition?

I’d love to learn how to DJ. Not exactly what you’d expect to hear from someone working for a huge retail brand like M&S I’m sure, but I really enjoy music. When songs are mixed in the right way, they have the ability to put a smile on my face; they turn a mediocre night out into one of the best. Whether I’ll ever get on a stage and do it; well that’s a very different story.

Who inspires you and why?

I could name a celebrity, however, I’ll say all of the women who’ve been part of my life: from family members and childhood friends to women I go to the gym with; each of them has a special, unique quality. They’re a huge influence on how I live my life and, of course, they’re the people I go to with anything and everything. I really believe learning how to be a successful woman comes with trials, tribulations and ultimately, other great women.

What would be your dream job?

I think my ultimate job would be a luxury travel editor, where I could test and review hundreds of hotels, activities and food across the globe. My friends and family are constantly joking about my love for travel and how it’s hard to keep track of where I’m planning to go next. Plus, I love food. So teaming the two together would be a dream. I suppose I’m halfway there working in the Food marketing team at M&S – I look forward to any new product sampling sessions.

What do you see as your major strength? Pick one trait and explain

People – in every sense of the word. I enjoy getting to know new people and learning from them to gain a wider perspective. My brain is always ticking over with ways to work through issues or improve processes. But I always come back to the same point: people make the world go round. There’s not much you can achieve on your own.

What is your proudest moment?

Personally: graduating with first class honours. I’d studied hard throughout university, so this was a great moment for me.  Professionally: delivering one of the biggest suites of digital content we have done to date for Foods. I was completely new to the role and had to manage the creation and digital syndication of 13 videos created around our Spirit of Summer product range. It meant everything from buying samples, travelling to the locations to shoot the videos, planning a seamless customer journey with my colleagues and reporting on their performance.

What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given?

“If you’re in the room, be in the room”. I went to an inspiration conference and an author said it. It really means pay attention and give your all to everything that you’re involved in, and it’s something I try to do every day at work.

Tell us something unexpected about you.

I can sing. Definitely not to X-factor standard but well enough not to be an embarrassment.

What makes you tick?

Feeling like I have a purpose, both inside and outside of work. Over the years, I’ve established a role in my friendship group and I think it helps to know where I stand with them, otherwise I’d feel pretty useless. The same applies in work and even travel, I like to be aware of the reason that I’m doing something.

Which M&S value – Innovative, Inspiration, In Touch, Integrity – do you most identify with and why?

In touch. I think my strengths lend themselves well to this value.

What motto do you live your life by?

“Aim high, achieve high”. My mum still says it to me this day and it has always reminded me to look up, particularly when I feel things aren’t in the best place.

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