PIB Group turns five years old this year! One person who has been here to see it all is Jamie Lee, Internal Communications Manager, who celebrated her five-year work anniversary in the summer. We caught up with Jamie to find out how she has seen PIB grow, career ambitions and enjoying various roles at PIB, along with family life with a toddler as well as an amazing hidden talent! Over to you Jamie…
Tell us about yourself
My first office job was straight out of school in an accountancy firm, as an Administration Assistant, in Pietermaritzburg, the town I grew up in in South Africa. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school and as it was a very small-town, job opportunities were limited. I worked there full time and studied part time towards my degree in Communications. I didn’t want to take a student loan and have a lot of debt so I decided that was the best way to do things.
I worked for a Chiropractor and ran his office and administrative side of the business, but I wanted to live in a bigger city, so I moved to Johannesburg (five hours away from my family). That was where I started as Personal Assistant to the Managing Director of Gilbert Rugby – which was a lot of fun and involved going to plenty of live rugby games! I got promoted from that job to Executive Assistant (EA) to the CEO of the private equity firm that owned Gilbert, this was a significant step in my career.
One thing most people won’t know about you?
I love drawing! I never get time to do it anymore with a little one, but I am hoping to draw some pieces for our new home! (Most of my art is packed away but I dug out some pieces below).
What prompted your move from South Africa to London?
After a few years I decided I wanted to move to London for bigger and better things. As most South Africans will know when you move to London, it is incredibly difficult to find a job because you do not have ‘London experience’! It took me a good few months and I was fortunate to get invited for an interview for an EA role at Giles, I was so pleased to get the role and I stayed in that role until we were acquired by Arthur J Gallagher.
I went on to work at Arup, an engineering company, then Barclays and joined PIB Group. After a couple of years, I decided it was time for another move and out of my comfort zone as an EA, but I wanted to stay with PIB. So I moved into the projects team and spent a short time there. However, when a new colleague joined PIB to head up the Group’s communication activities, I just knew I wanted to be part of that team and I am in a role that I love!
What do you do in your current role?
I am Internal Communications Manager for the Group. Part of my role is helping employees feel part of the PIB family by keeping them up to date with things that are happening around the Group as well as promoting our specialisms, people and teams in the spirit of collaboration and to help our customers. I also manage our intranet as our primary communication channel to keep everyone connected. Alongside that I work on projects and campaigns throughout the year and work with the executive team and various staeholders to assist with their communication requirements.
Best thing about being part of PIB?
I feel proud to be part of such a successful business! No two days are the same, which keeps the role exciting and I am part of a great team.
How have you seen the Group evolve?
It has changed massively! When I first started, there were about seven of us in a small shared office in Aldgate. We didn’t have the great teams that we have now such as HR or Finance, and had a tiny outsourced IT team just to name a few – so we definitely feel a lot more ‘grown up’ now!
How do you relax outside of work?
Well I don’t (ha ha), I have a beautiful little boy Kaleb, who is two and definitely keeps us on our toes, who knew such a little human could have so much energy. I love spending time with my little family and being outdoors so we do plenty of walks, visits to the park and we have just bought our first house and moved to a new area, so we are spending a lot of time exploring all the woodlands, trail walks, parks and surrounding areas.
Did you enjoy reading Jamie’s story? You can read more about colleagues across PIB on our website or explore career opportunities here.