Strategic Initiatives Manager

Introducing Rebekah Watson

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"WHEN is totally defined by values of inclusion, respect, cohesion and action – all things that have driven aspects of my career to date and that strongly align with me personally."

We caught up with WHEN's Strategic Initiatives Manager to find out her why and hear what she's most looking forward to at WHEN


What drew you to become part of WHEN?

WHEN is totally defined by values of inclusion, respect, cohesion and action – all things that have driven aspects of my career to date and that strongly align with me personally. When I saw this role, it was very focused on the values of the organisation and that was so refreshing to see. I was at a bit of a crossroads in my career but I knew that whatever I did next had to be guided by my values as a top priority.

What are you looking forward to bringing to WHEN?

I would say that my career path to date has been somewhat squiggly! My journey began as a Youth Worker before moving into development in the charity sector and more recently in Higher Education. I worked at De Montfort University for 6 years, both in professional services and in an academic role as a Lecturer in Careers and Professional Development, so my lived experience of working in Higher Education provides some useful insight.

My experience spans career development, academic research, mentoring and community engagement - all areas that will be pivotal to WHEN as we grow. There has been a common thread running through my career and that is my ability to provide a safe space to explore identity, build confidence and develop skills. My eye for detail will be essential as we build and refine our programmes and my experience of co-creation will help me to work effectively with others to develop our programmes.

What are you most excited about with this role?

I am now 5 months in and have been involved in so many areas of exciting work – from managing the operations of our Career Accelerator Programme to supporting our Senior Women of Colour Network, from designing our webinar programme to learning how to build webpages and too much more to mention. The role is hugely varied and gives me an opportunity to learn every single day amongst a team of the most brilliant and supportive women. I get to work with individuals at all levels of HE, talk to experts in various fields and work alongside an incredible team of coaches on our Career Accelerator programme.

I feel really energised being part of something I truly believe in and excited to manage our programmes at a time of such growth.

What do you need from the WHEN membership to support you to succeed?

Ideas and grace! I love connecting with members and really welcome feedback on your experiences and ideas for how we can build moving forwards. I mention grace because we are a very small team with very big ambitions, but we are always listening and looking at how we can implement new ideas and suggestions.

I would love to connect with you on LinkedIn or you can email me on [email protected]

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