Made in Manchester Awards: A Q&A with our winners

Friday, 1st March 2019

If you thought you’d heard the last from our Made in Manchester Award winners, you’re very mistaken!

This week, we took those who are now officially Manchester’s most exciting young talent to Beastro for one last celebration.

Kindly sponsored by Four Recruitment, Claire Sofield, former Future pro-manchester chair was also in attendance. Of the awards, Claire said: “Sponsoring the Made in Manchester Awards gives us an amazing opportunity to align ourselves with the best upcoming talent in the north west.

“I previously won the Business Development of the Year award, and have been a judge as Future pro chair last year, so know all too well how much hard work goes into the Made in Manchester Awards. What’s great about these awards is that they’re really credible; they’re very different to any awards out there as it’s not about public votes or popularity, it’s based on your achievements and who the judges think is the most talented nominee.

“These awards will help each individual who has won with their personal development. I can speak from experience here and Four Recruitment is really keen to continue supporting these great awards.”

Among all of the excitement of free food and bubbles, we got a chance to ask each individual what winning a Made in Manchester Award meant to them.

See what they said below…

Sian English – winner, Digital, Media or Creative Professional of the Year

“As much as it shouldn’t take winning an award to validate what I actually do, it really means a hell of a lot because it’s independently judged.

“As it’s judged by my peers and other specialists – and you don’t have to buy a table to win one – it’s a really prestigious award to win and something I’m hugely proud of. I always thought I was pretty good at what I do, but for me this is now a huge confidence builder – I am good at what I do.

“So far, winning the award has opened conversations with people, made me think differently and has really re-inspired my confidence to go out there and share what I can offer to people and what seventy7 can offer too.”

Megan Capper – winner, Apprentice of the Year

“For me, winning this award has been a massive confidence builder. It shows to me, that all my hard work is appreciated. It’s a chance for not only the business community, but for my firm to recognise how hard I’ve worked and also understand how I fare against other apprentices.

“In terms of the future, I really think winning this so early on in my career will open more doors, and will mean I’m taken more seriously.”

Sophie Boden – winner, Talent and Recruitment Professional of the Year

“I think it’s really great to get external recognition for the work I do on a daily basis. It’s really nice to come out of the other end of such a robust process, with experts in my field and get this recognition.

“It’s already presented lots of networking opportunities, so I’m really looking forward to more collaboration opportunities, especially with the work I’m doing in diversity as well.”

Jujhar Dusanj – winner, Graduate of the Year

“Winning the MIMA for Graduate of the Year was firstly, a huge surprise. It was a highly competitive category, so to hear my name on the night was an amazing feeling.

“Winning the award will also help to highlight the work I have been doing on the BME (Black & Minority Ethnic) agenda. I have been focused on growing this from within my firm first, but winning the award will help to accelerate the agenda in the wider Manchester professional community.”

Ruth Fairhurst – winner, Lawyer of the Year

“I found it really great being awarded a MIMA. I’ve already noticed a huge difference in how my peers perceive me, I’ve had lots of contact from different people in the industry, particularly local contacts to say congratulations. Clients I work with have also got in touch to say it’s brilliant, which has been really great.

“From a profile perspective, winning the award has been really great. The recognition after such a tough process is a really great reward.”

Britney – highly commended, Graduate of the Year

“Being highly commended for this award, was a real game-changer for me in the firm – more internally than externally because it was advertised quite widely and I’m not necessarily someone who goes out and necessarily sells myself.

“It means a lot because it means all of the hours you’ve put in alongside the day job – while this doesn’t contribute to promotions or anything like that, it’s been recognised from an external front that all of that is really worthwhile. That’s helped me internally – because a lot of my stuff is on BME and giving anyone the same opportunities I’ve had – this award has given me the leverage to go back to the local partners and say: ‘this is really important to the local community.’”

Emma Ware – highly commended, Marketing Professional of the Year

“Being highly commended for this award is really great. I’m really proud and I’ve had so many messages of congratulations from people in the industry and people I know (and people I don’t know).

“I think it shows how well respected by Manchester these awards are. I think it definitely shows how accomplished you are in your career and how you’ve had a great year.”

Claire Keegan – winner, Marketing Professional of the Year

“For me, winning this award was a big piece of recognition. A lot of the things I spoke about in my entry were around the launch of the funding model that I’ve neem working on, and it’s a real gear shift for our agency and actually, having this recognition just reinforces that this is something that can be widely recognised as being really useful.

“It’s done a lot already in terms of helping me to both drive that change with our clients, but also internally as well and making the rest of the agency sit up and listed and take it on board.”

Lily Shippen – highly commended, Entrepreneur of the Year

“Because we’re a small team it seriously boosted the moral in the office but externally, for us it was more those clients that had seen us already or had been referred by someone else then saw us on LinkedIn and on the news – it got us business that way.

“We got a big client meeting off the back of it just a couple of days later, so we’ve already reaped the awards of winning something as prestigious as this. It’s been really great for us so far, and it’s something I’m hugely proud of.”

David Ingam – winner, Entrepreneur of the Year and Chairman’s Rising Star

“I think winning the MIMA has had a great impact already internally. I am the leader of the organisation I work for and I tell them that we’re doing something special, we’ve got ambitious plans that are different to our competition and winning this gives me a little bit more gravitas with the wider team I feel.

“I’m acutely aware that any leader would say that to his team, so when you prick up an external award, you get some industry recognition as a leader and as a company too. It really validates what we do and lets people see that what we are doing is really getting noticed.

“I think winning both awards gives my team more confidence in me and lets them know that they are part of something special and that’s huge for us, in an industry where talent acquisition and retention can be the key to success.”

All of our winners unfortunately couldn’t make the brunch, but we would like to extend our congratulations to Michael Beatty – Property Professional of the Year; Sarah Cooper – Banker of the Year; Sakib Isa – Accountant of the Year and Mark Smith – Corporate Financier of the Year.