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Friday, July 26th, 2019
Office Manager and Contracts Coordinator Sarah Rawlings says the experience of working at a growing business – and being given increasing responsibilities - has helped her secure a First Class Degree in Business and Management.
Sarah, 32, has studied for the past three years, attending Hull College two nights a week for lectures as well as researching and completing assignments alongside her full-time job at Kingston Joinery.
Her academic studies have coincided with life at Kingston Joinery becoming busier than ever, as Sarah has overseen contracts on up to 25 major joinery projects across the country at any one time, a role which sees her liaise with contractors, project managers and Managing Director Craig O’Leary.
And whilst she feels her learning on the job has helped her secure top marks in her degree course, she feels her commitment to securing the qualification has also helped improve her input at her employer, which is on course for a £10m turnover in 2019.
“It hasn’t been easy managing a full-time job at a business which has been growing quite rapidly alongside attending college and studying, but I am delighted to have passed with top marks and I feel there have been major benefits both on a personal and business level,” Sarah said.
“I started the course just before I joined Kingston Joinery three years ago as I wanted to have a very clear and direct message about the right way to manage.
“I have worked under a number of managers in my career, all with differing attributes and approaches, so I wanted to focus on developing my own style, whilst taking bits from those I have worked with.
“I have had a lot of support from Craig. He has given me more responsibility in my role over the past two years and that has certainly helped me in terms of managing people and the many significant contracts we have.
“I have also found that I have been able to make suggestions from what I have learned during my degree course to Craig, and he has been open to introducing them into the business.” Sarah feels she has emerged from the course confident in an industry where there is still a minority of women holding senior positions.
“Confidence is a big thing and a combination of the degree course and the responsibilities I have been given at Kingston Joinery have helped massively,” she said.
“I performed really strongly in the last 12 months of the course and that was because I scored my highest marks in Project Management and Leadership, which are of course two areas my work at Kingston Joinery has been focused around.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed studying areas such as Change Management, and this is something all businesses have to be adept at as we live in a fast-moving world, no more so than in the world of business.”
Craig O’Leary, Managing Director of Kingston Joinery, said: “We are delighted for Sarah and it is no surprise to us that she has emerged with a First Class Honours degree as she is talented, determined and organised.
“Sarah is a big believer that by ensuring an organisation has the right behaviours and organisational procedures in place, it will succeed. We have seen her bring those qualities to Kingston Joinery in her role over the past two years and we have certainly benefited.
“A key part of Sarah’s role is ensuring we have excellent levels of communication across the business. This includes between our teams, and our customers, ensuring any niggles or issues are caught and dealt with immediately, be they internal or external.
“Having a focus on that particular area, including aftersales and reviews, is essential for any business and Sarah has led that for us.”
"Design – Supply – Manage - Install"