Made in Manchester: A Young Professionals Panel

Monday, 16th September 2019

Blog by pro-manchester Member and Marketing Manager, Claire Turnbull

With entries for MIMA 2020 now open, we recently heard from previous winners and judges at a breakfast panel briefing.

Our Future pro-manchester chair, Hannah Johnson from Carter Corson hosted the panel, which consisted of Sarah Glynn, Kuits Solicitors and Dan Nolan from theEword.

Sponsored by Four Recruitment and held at Brewin Dolphin, the panel shared their personal journeys, challenges and achievements as a young professional in Manchester. In addition to this they also revealed their tips on what makes a good entry and what qualities they’ve looked for in entrants when deciding who to crown the next future leaders of Manchester.

What have been your biggest successes so far in your career?

Sarah- “My biggest success to date would be winning the Made in Manchester Awards. Becoming a winner of the awards has created lots of further opportunities for me, such as speaking opportunities, being interviewed for marketing industry publications and being invited to join the future pro-manchester committee.”

Dan- “I’m my own worse critic. However, I was recently reminded by someone that as the MD of theEword for 7 years now, I must be doing something right. I think it’s important to be kinder to yourself at times and to also recognise your achievements no matter how small or big they are.”

How important has your network and personal profile been in your success?

Dan- “Building a strong network has been really important to me. Building human connections is really valuable and gaining support from others can help open lots of doors. For a successful personal profile I would say that you have to be well networked and nice to everyone you meet.”

Sarah-“Being authentic is very important and the more people you know then the more opportunities you will have.”

Is there anyone in the business community who inspired you and why?

Sarah- “Sandy Lindsay and Holly Moore are my business inspirations. Whilst passionate and successful in their careers, they are both still well-grounded and authentic women.”

Dan- “Similar to Sarah, people who are grounded and authentic are my inspirations. For example Sam Booth and Fran Eccles-Bech are both straight talking, real people. Both are good examples that if you’re yourself then you can become successful role models for others.”

Let’s start with submissions – what would you say makes an entry stand out?

Sarah- “Entries that hit all the criteria points stand out to me and I know that this year’s entries have all been changed to help make submissions even easier. My advice for anyone looking to enter is to read the criteria carefully and to ask people around you how they think you meet the criteria. When writing your entry don’t leave it until the last minute and re-visit your form a few times before submitting it. When entering colleagues into awards Kuits always write them as a third party, as some people can be quite shy when they have to write about themselves.”

Dan- “The structure of entries are important. Look at the criteria, then produce a bullet list to help answer each point. I’ve read a few entries over the years and the entries that stand out for me are the ones who make a strong impact within the 1st paragraph. Also check your entries for grammar before submitting and get someone to maybe proof/edit it before pressing send.”

As a previous judge; when determining the shortlist and winners – what is it you are looking for? (biggest financial contribution to the business, innovative thinking and creativity.. etc)

Dan- “Judging the creative categories, the standout entries for me are those that can tell a wonderful story, create impact and also demonstrate business metrics and character.”

Sarah-“Stand out entrants to me are those that are trying to better themselves in a business or personal capacity.”

How would you recommend that a nominee prepares for the judging panel?

Sarah-“Passion can really make a person stand out, especially in the interview stage. A written submission can get you so far, but to be able to express your passion and character during the interview is really important to build rapport with the judges.”

Dan- “You’ve only got a short amount of time in the interviews, so make sure you memorize your entry and when asked ‘Tell us about yourself’ you already have a script in your head. In addition to being interviewed you’re also being filmed at the same time so if you’re shy then rehearse your script in your head.

Sarah- “Most of all though, just come along and be yourself. If you’re yourself then you will find it easier and the judges will get to know you better. Learn from the experience but most importantly enjoy it.”

Finally, a quick bit of advice from each of you…

Dan- “As much as you work on your career, also make sure that you put effort into happiness and friendships.”

Sarah- “Similar to Dan, make sure you surround yourself with people who motivate and inspire you.”

The Made in Manchester Awards is our signature event, held annually in February. Entries are now open and due to close on Friday 15th November. Click here for more information and a list of the categories