Born in Sicily but, having grown up in the UK, I have always had a passion for languages. This prompted me to choose to study Modern Languages & European Studies at the University of Bath. It is impossible to spend time in Bath and not fall in love with the city, even now going back to Bath feels like going home. I was fortunate enough to spend my third year abroad with six months in Aix-en-Provence, France and six months in Siena, Italy where my love for carbs grew every day. Every weekend was spent discovering a new city or town.
Once I graduated, I joined Valiant Petroleum, an independent oil and gas firm, as their Project Team & Contracts Administrator. Though I had never considered working in oil and gas I loved working within a small project team, there was always something to be done and the fast pace of a project made for a very interesting and varied day. I developed skills and was afforded experiences way beyond my years in industry. In late 2013, three members of Valiant’s leadership team broke away to launch their own exploration and production company, Oyster, and I was approached to launch the office and manage day to day services as well as projects.
It was at Oyster that I developed my management skills, and all-round experience in every aspect of the business, from HR to IT, commercial to finance and G&A to procurement. As Projects & Services Manager, I realised variety is key and no two days were ever the same. With the accountability of running day to day operations, it was my responsibility to ensure the whole team could work unaffected by problems that would inevitably arise. Unfortunately due to the slump in the oil price in 2015, Oyster was forced to close its doors, but even this provided an opportunity to learn new skills and develop my full cycle business experience.
With the closure of Oyster, I was met with a fantastic opportunity to join Edison, the Italian half of EDF, as their Business Services Manager. Launching Edison’s London office I was in and amongst the fit out works, ensuring cable was laid correctly and overseeing the entire project. I communicated with my colleagues in Milan in Italian and I was able to use my French when liaising with counterparts in Paris. Using my languages was a real highlight and as well as experiencing how business is conducted in different countries, there is a huge contrast between the approaches adopted in the Middle East and Europe and even within Europe, each country has their own unique style.
Whilst I loved my time at Edison, when I met Daren and Kathleen I knew that making the decision to join The Lighthouse Company was the right move for me personally and professionally, their passion for people and growing the business is obvious as soon as you speak to them. As Head of Business Operations & Finance I lead the day to day operational side of the business as well as handle the financial side. Kathleen, Daren and the entire TLC team have an infectious energy and I’m excited to see what the future has in store for us all.