Rungway reveals…

Rungway reveals… Selina McCole, Banking Executive

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Our ‘Rungway reveals…’ section on the blog is to spotlight Rungway users. Today, we have the pleasure of profiling Selina McCole.


The best thing about my job is the diversity of opportunity every day. I’ve been in the same division with the same employer for the past 11 years, and am now  on my sixth role with them. I’m often asked to multi-hat, which adds to the diversity of activities and helps ensure there is no time for going stale or feeling bored.  I work with lots of really bright and driven people, in a very multi-cultural environment, so every interaction is a learning opportunity.  Our firm also invites many high-profile inspirational speakers in for talks, to provide broad perspectives on different markets, life experiences, resilience, and more.

Give yourself more credit

I think my life highlight has to be completing the Marathon des Sables, which was the culmination of 11 months of training; a real physical and mental challenge. I went from someone who was running 20-30 mins a day to running six marathons back-to-back in the Sahara Desert and placing in the top 100 runners. I was also the first British woman and the 8th woman overall out of 1,108 people who started. It helped me prove to myself – and hopefully inspire others – that we are all capable of way more than we give ourselves credit for. If we truly put our minds to a goal and have the right plan in place to prepare, there is no limit to what we can achieve. The icing on the cake was raising over £40k for two women’s charities (Aidha and Women for Women International, both of which provide financial education to disadvantaged women). That’s something I’m really proud of.

Giver not a taker

I’ve mainly been caught up in answering questions on Rungway rather than taking the time to post some so far. I get so caught up in answering questions, that I rarely sit back and reflect on what I’d really like help with.  In my opinion though, a good mentor should listen more than they talk, provide options /suggestions for mentees to reflect on (i.e., not the answer) and be truthful about challenges faced.

Helping women, one step at a time

If I wasn’t doing this job I might be out running! Seriously, though, I’d like to combine my new-found love of ultra-running, interest in nutrition and passion for helping women into something impactful in future.  Watch this space…

Rungway reveals… Elena Kvochko, Head of Global Information Security Strategy & Implementation for Barclays Bank 

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Our ‘Rungway reveals…’ section on the blog is to spotlight Rungway users. Today, we have the pleasure of profiling Elena Kvochko.

Fast growing and evolving field

Our field, cyber security, is one of the fastest growing and evolving areas. It helps businesses embrace digital transformation, and meet the expectations of their customers and all stakeholders. I would not want to do another job and I encourage more professionals to join our field!

Connectivity and convenience

I like the connectivity, reach, and convenience of the rungway platform, allowing professionals to connect across various fields and share expertise and experience. They can hear different perspectives, request advice, and get new ideas for their work and careers.

Makings of a great mentor?

A mentor should challenge you to improve, encourage good development and ideas, and share their own experience. The best perspectives are based on personal experience and knowledge.

Your top tip?

Perseverance. To get my very first job, I remember I had to submit over 100 job applications.


Rungway reveals… Gurmit Kaur, Auditor and writer

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Our ‘Rungway reveals…’ section on the blog is to spotlight Rungway users. Today, we have the pleasure of profiling Gurmit Kaur.

 Supporting and strengthening

I have been supporting an ISO Auditor in carrying out internal audits for small and medium sized firms.  In addition to this, I have also been selected to be involved in a pilot study to undertake audits and strengthen faith institutions.  The second area of my work has been supporting businesses. I enjoy making a difference and meeting new people from different organisations; I have been fascinated by the work of so many people around the country.

Writing inspiration

 My desire to support young girls inspired me to write my book “The Guide, Preparation For Marriage For Sikh Girls”. I have seen so many unnecessary marriage break-ups and the pain that this caused all the families.  I wanted to empower women and give them support and insights into the issues that they might face.  Asian weddings are a costly business and parents often spend a lifetime preparing for this expense. Yet, very little attention is focused on how to deal with many of the issues young women face once entering the extended Asian family.  Many problems occur because women are unprepared to deal with the complexities of living within an extended Asian household.  The book supports young women with these issues and is based on qualitative case studies of elderly and young Sikh women.  I have illustrated the book with my own paintings and photography.

New connections and opportunities

I have tried to help people on Rungway with a range of topics, from work life balance to managing issues and people in the workplace.  Having the opportunity to share ideas and support others helps me feel more connected to a range people who I would not otherwise have had the opportunity to speak with.  Looking back in my past, there have been many times when I could have done with some career advice but did not know anyone to talk to, but Rungway allows people to ask questions anonymously.

Next book?

Having written a book preparing young Sikh women for marriage, the feedback I got was that I need to write a book for men as well. The next book, if I ever have the time, will be for young men.

Rungway reveals…Apricot Wilson, Investment Specialist

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Our ‘Rungway reveals…’ section on the blog is to spotlight Rungway users. Today, we have the pleasure of profiling Apricot Wilson.

Class of 2008

I graduated during the financial crisis and really struggled to get a job. It completely knocked my confidence. When I managed to turn this around, I was offered a place on the Aberdeen Asset Management graduate scheme as my first job.

Manners cost nothing

I have received a lot of fantastic advice from Rungway on so many different areas. One of the most helpful pieces of information that I have received was about writing thank you letters after interviews. I have been told a lot of times that it is a good idea, but I’ve never been sure what you should write. The Rungway crowd shared their advice on how best to follow up – including how
to pick up on discussions, and the importance of the right style and sending punctually. Taking Rungway’s advice might have helped me to receive a job offer and a scholarship for an MBA.

In confidence

What I like best about Rungway is that it’s very reassuring. Sometimes you have a question you really can’t ask your colleagues about, for instance, when I was preparing to leave the start-up where I previously worked, but Rungway is always there.

I think a good mentor should be:

Sympathetic- sometimes you just need to have a whinge. Prepared to tell you the right thing- even if it’s not what you want to hear. Practical- someone who will give you concrete suggestions about how to change the situation.

Sleepy situation

When I was interning, I was allowed to sit in on a rather important meeting with the Chair of a FTSE 100 company. It was a hot afternoon, I’d had a big lunch and I could just feel my eyelids becoming heavier and heavier. I did everything I could to stop myself falling asleep, I took notes, I punched myself, and I tried to fidget. Anyway I thought I had managed to get away with this, but at the end of the meeting my boss came up to me and asked “were you tired during the meeting?“

Download Rungway to help and be helped by people like April.

Rungway reveals… Caitlin McDonald, Data Research & Insights Manager at TES Global  

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Our ‘Rungway reveals…’ section on the blog is to spotlight Rungway users. Today, we have the pleasure of profiling Caitlin McDonald.

Don’t let yourself be button-holed into one role

Willingness to learn and be flexible will open unexpected opportunities.  Look for mentors and bosses who see your future potential.  I’m a former dance researcher but that didn’t stop me from
getting hired into a very quantitative role in the edtech industry. In the past few months I’ve been able to engage with network analysis which relates to my prior research about digital communities among dancers.  My presentation on digital communities research recently won the visualisation prize at the Oxford Internet Institute’s ‘Connected Life’ conference.

Everyone struggles with time pressures

The best advice I have received on Rungway has been practical steps for managing constant time pressures. It helped me to see that this is a common problem faced by many very effective people! In return, I have helped others with communication challenges, career planning and confronting sexism in the workplace. It is so great to have the opportunity to give feedback as well as receiving it.

My heroes

If I could have anyone as my mentor it would be Genevieve Bell, Intel’s strategist for Corporate Sensing & Insights.  Her work at the heart of culture and technology is a blueprint for any social sciences or humanities researchers wanting to move into digital careers. If I weren’t doing this job, I would like to be the next great travel writer like Bill Bryson.

Check out Caitlin’s work below


Rungway reveals… Lee Robert Harrison, Financial Operations Manager

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Our ‘Rungway reveals…’ section on the blog is to spotlight Rungway users. Today, we have the pleasure of profiling Lee Robert Harrison.

Network, network, network

Learning to network is so key in achieving career success. Many have told me the importance of networking but I never really valued it until I qualified as an accountant and actually started to network. The best advice I’ve received on Rungway has also been about networking.

What I like about the app is that it connects you with bright and ambitious people that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to contact at such a personal level. It also gives you great satisfaction in assisting those who face a dilemma at work. I actually check it more than LinkedIn.

Local hero

If I could have anyone as my mentor it would be Sir Alex Ferguson, such an leader that has been at the top of his game for a quarter of a century.

Download rungway to help and be helped by people like Lee.

Rungway reveals… Catherine Heath, Freelance Blogger and Content Writer

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Our ‘Rungway reveals…’ section on the blog is to spotlight Rungway users. Today, we have the pleasure of profiling Catherine Heath.

Transition phase

At the moment I’m transitioning out of my current job into freelance writing. Some of the best advice I’ve received from Rungway is to emphasise the services and benefits that you can offer your clients as a freelancer.

I’ve helped people with interpersonal problems, like dealing with colleagues or how to approach balancing their wellbeing at work. I’ve also advised people on how to deal with interviews and the politics of networking at parties!

Making mentoring easy

The app is easy to use and doesn’t pressure you to post. If you have a question you can easily and quickly get an answer from other experienced professionals, with much less effort than usual.

So far in my career I’ve learnt to make connections with people in your field and seek out mentors who can help you. It may seem impossible now, but so did lots of things that you have already done.

Download rungway to help and be helped by people like Catherine.

Rungway reveals…Anna Strillacci, Asset Management

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Our ‘Rungway reveals…’ section on the blog is to spotlight Rungway users. Today, we have the pleasure of profiling Anna Strillacci.

Variety is the spice of asset management

I enjoy the variety in my job, the fact that it brings me to deal with different teams from across the firm and it is very dynamic. I am constantly working on different projects and it makes my work non-repetitive. I’ve recently moved from banking to asset management. I thought it would be very difficult to transfer my skill set but I have managed to find a niche role that is perfect for what I can bring to the table.

Speak up

Thanks to my fellow Rungwayers, I have learnt that, in a new job, being proactive and voicing my ideas from the beginning is a good thing. I was conscious that perhaps it would come across as too aggressive but actually, they made me realise that if I believe in my idea, I have thought it through and if I manage to communicate it in the right way, then it can be very beneficial to the firm.

I like that I can ask any question I want on the app, because even if I feel embarrassed or if I feel it is a ‘sensitive’ topic I can ask it anonymously. I have asked advice on an array of topics, from politics to whether I should wear my hair straight or curly!

Helping women ease back to work

Through rungway, I have helped a lot of women who have taken a career break and needed a confidence boost to go back to work. I myself took a career break for five years and felt I completely understood their anxieties. Many women feel worthless after a break from the working environment but actually do not realise that the skills they gain from their time out can be almost more
valuable than re-using the same skills at work time and time again. I truly enjoy empowering women in believing they can do whatever they set their mind to do: be it finding a job, running their own clothes shop or baking a fresh loaf of bread every day!

If I wasn’t doing this job, I’d like to be on the board of a charity that helps women around the world to become more independent and empower them to be what they want to be. My (secret) dream is to appear on TED Talks to tell people about my experience in helping women everywhere!

Download Rungway to help and be helped by people like Anna.