The second in our series of interviews with teammates, exploring who they are and what it means to them to be part of the Culture Shift mission, is Gemma Donnelly, Culture Shift's Partnership Manager.
Hi Gemma. You’re partnerships manager at Culture Shift. What does that involve day-to-day?
Partnerships manager is a varied role that includes qualifying leads, having discovery discussions with new clients, running demonstrations of the platform, lots of follow up calls/emails and then hopefully turning those into licensees!
What originally drew you to that type of work?
I have worked in sales for many years, but working for Culture Shift is different. I believe in everything we do and am proud to talk about our Culture Shift’s values and how the platform can change so many people’s lives.
You’re obviously passionate about the platform. What does it mean to you to be part of a company that’s trying to lead positive change in organisational culture?
It is so important to me to work for a company that is so passionate about its cause and by knowing I am a part of helping someone within an organisation/HEI to gain the help and support they need makes it so worthwhile.
After working for Culture Shift for nearly three years and hearing how students have suffered by not having that support has made me even more passionate for change.
How would you describe the working environment at Culture Shift to someone who doesn’t know the business?
Everyone truly supports each other in wanting to make a difference. It is relaxed, yet everyone works extremely hard within their own roles. We work really well as a team. We support each other personally as well as professionally, and I always feel I can talk to colleagues about anything that is concerning me.
We have three core values that reflect what we stand for. What is one of your personal values and why is it important to you?
I am very loyal (if that’s a value?). I am a great believer you should treat people with respect, be kind and to treat people how you would like to be treated.
What do you do for fun outside of work?
I do a lot of running with my dog, which I love, and it helps me mentally. I also love going out for meals and to travel when I can.
What should we be watching or reading right now?
For me at the moment I like to watch anything light hearted and I read anything which takes me away from reality, and something positive. Covid and the last 6 months has definitely been stressful and challenging in many different ways, so escapism for me is a must.
Finally, if you could change one other thing about the world (beside's Culture Shift’s vision: a world of work and study that is safe, happy and supportive for everyone, everywhere) what would it be?
I would change the education system which is currently so outdated and out of touch with how we live our lives today.
To make it more real and to include life skills as well as how to teach children how to cope emotionally in life, how to manage their money, relationships etc. Look at the children who maybe aren’t academic and focus on something they can excel at. Everyone is different.
Whilst working for Culture Shift, I have realised the devastating effects sexual violence, bullying, hate crime and more besides can have on someone and the people around them. I’ve realised how common these are especially in Higher Education. If we can educate children at an early age, surely this would help to form the change.
If you’d like to know more about Gemma’s work or have an interest in joining the Culture Shift team, please do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.