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Ebony Hughes

Day in the life of a Director… Ebony Hughes

“What I love about the role is how I get to satisfy my intellectual curiosity and love of insight, working alongside a range of interesting clients to really get a grip of their challenges and make a difference where they haven’t been able to before.”

 

I find it hard to believe that I have now been at IMPOWER for nine years. What can I say, the old cliché is right; time does fly when you are having fun. I joined IMPOWER from a Big Four consultancy, lured in by IMPOWER’s commitment to making a difference and the opportunity to be involved in some genuinely innovative work in Local Government.

I’ve definitely developed with the company from joining as a Manager; having recently achieved a promotion to Director. Working at IMPOWER has given me the opportunity to really draw on my background as a CIPFA qualified accountant (I was an auditor once upon a time, before transitioning to financial advisory and then consultancy) whilst broadening my skillset to work strategically across Local Government. What I love about the role is how I get to satisfy my intellectual curiosity and love of insight, working alongside a range of interesting clients to really get a grip of their challenges and make a difference where they haven’t been able to before.

So what does a ‘day in the life of’ look like for me….

07.30am: Somehow we are all out the house and ready for the day and I’m on the train to London and luckily I always (touch wood) get a seat at a table so the work begins! I have to work flexibly so I can fit my days around nursery drop-off and pick-ups.

I usually clear my emails and make sure I am prepped for the day ahead looking at what I need to achieve, who I am meeting and what’s on my to do list. I then settle in to review any documents or deliverables that the team have shared with me.

09.00am: I’m currently working with a London client on a large long-term partnership, providing strategic support as well as delivering change on the ground. I’ll kick off a day on site with the Director and Senior Manager, putting our heads together on the meatiest challenges and prioritising where we focus and what actions we will take.

10.00am: I’m meeting an Executive Director. This is a chance to engage them with the work we are doing but to also gain their perspective to help inform the approach we take.

11.00am: We have a full team meeting where we share our progress and insights from the work we are doing and put our heads together on some of the challenges we are facing.

12.00pm: It’s lunchtime! I’ll grab some lunch and then use the clear space in my diary to progress my work; be that working on a client proposal or scope of work, reviewing a deliverable, or drafting some papers for a client board meeting. No doubt there will be a couple of calls to make too.

During the day I may also have some internal company calls or meetings focusing on the operations side of things or other company development activity, such as; working towards my EDGEWORK accreditation or developing our plans for engaging with Directors of Resources.

I’ll typically have a number of client meetings on the days that I am on site, for example: attending a programme board or a management team meeting, or working with Heads of Finance or other managers to progress our work with them.

4.00pm: I am usually done with meetings by 4.00pm. If I am on the nursery pick-up run, like today, I aim to leave about 4.30pm to make sure I get to the station on time. I get another 40 minutes of work done on the train home and then pick up my boys (4 and 1) from nursery.

From that point on my work brain switches off and it’s all about snacks and TV; probably some Paw Patrol, Fireman Sam or Octonauts (personal preference), baths and bedtime stories until about 8.00pm.

I have one day off a fortnight with my boys which is great, but during that week, I typically get my laptop out for an hour or so in the evening to make sure I am top of everything and my teams have what they need whilst I’m off.

For me, work at IMPOWER never feels like a chore and I thoroughly enjoy what I do! We’ve come a long way in the nine years I’ve worked here and I’m genuinely excited about what we are achieving and will achieve in the future.

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