- Course studied:
- Sport and Leisure Studies
- Year of graduation:
A new business challenge for Amy
Amy Foster is no stranger to adventure – she lived abroad for more than eight years and even climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for Cancer Research UK – but her latest challenge is based closer to home.
Having left her role as Global HR and Talent Manager for an international consultancy firm, she launched her own business, Nomad HR and Recruitment Ltd (http://www.nomadhrandrecruitment.com), in August 2015, which specialises in providing support to companies who do not want to employ a HR function or who need extra help with specific projects.
“I had a baby last year,” says the 37-year-old, who won the CIPD People Management Award in her previous role for a revamp of the recruitment process which saved the company £250,000 in the first year, “and when I went back to work it just wasn’t the same. I wanted more flexibility so I decided to resign and find something part-time. But I found I was over-qualified and wasn’t getting jobs I thought I would.
“Two weeks before I finished I decided to set up on my own. I felt totally excited and empowered by the decision.”
Amy, who lives in Warwickshire, studied Sport and Leisure Studies at Staffordshire and graduated in 1999.
And while the course may not seem immediately relevant to her chosen career, Amy says it provided a great foundation for working in business.
“The course wasn’t science-based,” she says. “We did law, psychology, management, economics and marketing, everything you need to run a business. None of my friends from the course are working in sport now.
“My degree gave me a great understanding of how sport feeds into everything. For example, at my previous company I set up a healthy work initiative, which used everything I had learned at university.
“It wasn’t an easy course, despite what many think about sports degrees – I worked harder than the law students!”
Great student experience
Amy chose Staffordshire for the course and found she loved the campus, as well as being neither too near or too far from home. She lived in Wedgwood block in the first year and in a house nearby for the next two years. And an unexpected bonus was the low cost of living in Stoke.
“I worked at Kidsgrove sports centre at the weekends and came out with no debt,” says Amy, who says the strong friendships she made are her favourite memories of university. “I took out two loans and went travelling with one and bought a car with the other. It gave me a great start – I had more money at university than I ever had afterwards!”
And now her focus is on developing her new business and getting to a position where she can employ other people.
“I don’t have a fixed business plan,” she says. “It’s all in my head. I have a sensible head on my shoulders and I’m up for whatever happens. What’s meant to be will be.”