Helen Franklin

"The sticking power that has helped me be successful throughout my career was in part developed at Bristol."

When I studied for my engineering degree I was one of only two females on my course. Although I then worked in engineering for about eight years, I’ve since cross trained into HR. But I’ve found that, as a senior HR leader, my engineering background pays dividends. Not only am I able to manage projects, budgets, and work with people at all levels, but an early engineering career offered me substantial line management opportunities. Bristol University’s reputation also stands me in good stead – something that’s been noted many times over the years.

I nevertheless found university life difficult at times. The engineering curriculum was intensive and demanding. I learnt a lot about myself and had to develop some emotional resilience when I felt the pressure. The University support services were very helpful during this period and played a big part in helping me focus on completing my degree. I believe that the sticking power that has helped me be successful throughout my career was in part developed at Bristol.

Authenticity, a motivation to develop others, focusing on the most important things, and caring about other’s success as well as your own – they’re all key for good leadership. Bristol enabled me to learn about these, as well as prioritising – to spend my time wisely, to develop a logical approach to getting things done. Being part of the University hockey team also taught me important lessons about getting on with different people and being part of something where everyone contributes.

So what’s the Bristol difference...? Critical thinking ability, a reputation for intellectual rigour – plus a rounded curriculum at the cutting edge.

Helen Franklin, BEng (Hons) 1998, Computer Systems Engineering, Global Talent and Learning Director, Wrigley a a subsidiary of Mars Incorporated

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