Amanda Brooke studied for a Business and Finance degree part-time at Staffordshire University while raising two children and working a full-time job. She is now a highly successful, self-employed business and leadership facilitator and coach – working with clients across the UK for over 20 years. She has helped dozens of businesses to grow and coaches managing directors and chief executives to achieve their goals.
“I specialise in growing small businesses,” Amanda explained. “I work with the leaders of those businesses, coaching them to deliver their strategies and objectives, as well as the management teams, sorting their processes to make them more efficient and lean.”
Amanda will be bringing the same exercises she uses for her clients to Staffordshire University’s FutureFest 2017. As an alumna, she is returning to talk to the next generation of professionals about how they can better prepare themselves for the world of work.
Amanda’s time as a student at Staffordshire University began with a HNC in Business, which was sponsored by her employer. She was working in the Employability Service, helping people find employment through the Job Centre, when the opportunity to enter into higher education arose. She completed the HNC part-time over two years, followed by a bachelor’s degree in Business and Finance over four years, graduating in 1994. She then completed an MBA over 18 months via distance learning with Keele University.
“I left my job in the civil service in 1994 and went to work at Stoke-on-Trent college, until my job was made redundant,” Amanda recalled. “I finished on a Friday and entered self-employment the following Monday, after I got offered a day a week of work, delivering business advice. It has been non-stop since then, for the past 20 years, with all my work coming through referrals.”
One of Amanda’s earliest contracts after she became self-employed was with the then Staffordshire-based business consultancy Winning Moves, a company she still works with as a facilitator. Some of her other clients include Extra Mile Communications, Base Group, Digital Ceramic Systems, Interactive Software, Inspirational Learning Group, Hygan and Mardon Engineering, to name just a few.
She said: “I’ve worked with some of these companies for a long time. Others on shorter term projects. I enjoy the challenge of finding out how a business works, finding the issues holding them back and helping them to tackle those problems in the best, most efficient way possible.”
Alongside her business career, Amanda has a passion for education, having spent more than 14 years as a school Governor and Chair of Governors. She said: “I have a similar passion for education as I have for business. I see so many people who have confidence issues and, therefore, don’t know what to do and find it difficult transitioning from education to employment.
“I’m looking forward to speaking at FutureFest, where I’m going to talk to the students about a practical exercise called Moral Compass, which I use with businesses to encourage people to look at their vision, values and beliefs, motivations, support team, such as friends and family, and ways to build their confidence. When I get others to do this during my leadership courses it has a profound effect on them.”