Meet the team - Catriona Jackson-Graham
Meet the team – Cat Jackson-Graham
Cat is our Finance Apprentice here at Vista. Her success story is exactly why we believe in apprenticeships within our company and providing people with the opportunities and tools to make a fantastic career for themselves at Vista. This week, we asked Cat to share her story and her journey to Vista….
“My journey to Vista was a somewhat unlikely one. I love theatre and spent my career post-graduation working in various theatres across the UK, including Harrogate Theatre and the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough.
My husband’s job was based in the Northwest, so we decided to move to Manchester, which was sweetened with a Development Executive role for myself with Quaytickets, based at The Lowry. Sadly, the timing of this move wasn’t at a lucrative time within the ticketing industry and so the contract ended. Rather than letting it get me down, I saw this as a great opportunity to retrain and combine it with starting a family.
When my kids were going into full-time education, I was eager to go back into full-time work using my AAT Level 2 qualification. Being self-taught and having very limited finance experience I was unsure how to market myself. I had lots of transferable skills but looking at job descriptions and adverts that recruiters were posting it was proving a tricky path to negotiate. I didn’t fit the job description bill entirely, which, against my better judgment, stopped me from applying for certain positions too.
Apprenticeships are an opportunity to study and develop your skills whilst gaining workplace experience. It seemed like an ideal option for me and upon reading apprenticeships that were on offer I felt they were the answer to securing a career.
After speaking with The Growth Company, I felt confident they would be really helpful in securing me a new job, though I was struggling with a personal fear, I wasn’t exactly what employers were looking for when it came to apprentices and my age might be a problem when trying to get a company to give me a chance.
I persevered, and eventually, I found Vista Insurance! They agreed to interview me, and so, armed with a ton of research as well as reassurance and guidance from loved ones and the Linkedin community, I went to my interview and met with Matt, our Assistant Accountant and Peter, our Chief Financial Officer.
I actually enjoyed my interview! When I felt challenged I was able to be honest and explain why I was there, be clear about my hopes for a career path and was treated with respect and interest instead of suspicion and scepticism which I expected. Even if I didn’t get the job, I felt I had a perfect first interview experience and for that I would forever be grateful!
Not only was I offered the job but Vista showed me exactly what sort of company they were when they agreed to wait for me to start until both my girls were in school full time. Since then I have been treated with respect and consideration for my home circumstances. I have been challenged, taught new skills and I’m allowed to take charge of tasks and all the time being supported with my studies, learning and finding the best work life balance.
I look forward to a long, rewarding and happy relationship with my Vista family.”
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