Spotlight on Kate Shakesheff... from retail to marketing and everything in between

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news paper and coffee


April 8, 2022

Kate joined Cooper Solutions five years ago which became part of PIB Group in 2019. Since then, she has progressed into a wider marketing role within PIB’s Specialty division which is home to our specialist commercial lines brokers and risk management team. 

Kate sheds light on her career journey and how she relaxes outside of work. She also shares some fun facts …(let’s just say she’s rubbed shoulders with some interesting people!). 

Tell us about yourself…

I grew up in a little village just outside Stratford-upon-Avon.  After studying at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, I moved to London where I worked for Monsoon Accessorize. I’d had a holiday job with the retailer, and really loved the culture of the business…but before I could join Head Office, I was sent to work in the city shops to ‘toughen up’!

I then moved into a Training Manager role, travelling all over the country training staff, and new teams as the company expanded and opened new shops.

When I returned to Warwickshire, I took on the role of Marketing Manager at a law firm in Birmingham. This was in the dark ages of marketing where law firms didn’t have websites, and designing adverts consisted of cutting up pictures, sticking these to a piece of paper which was then faxed to the papers for printing….a lot has changed since then!  

After 15 years, I moved to Coopers in a similar role but a very different industry to law, and felt as though I’d been there forever after just a week – they’re a very welcoming bunch.

What do you do in your current role?

I’m a Marketing Executive and I look after content for our website, internal and external newsletters, marketing literature, supporting with our digital presence.  Our team undertakes all manner of tasks to support the business from assisting with presentations, organising events, and researching. We are champions of our brand!

Best thing about being part of PIB?

No two days are the same!  I’ve learnt so much since I moved to the team, it just goes to show that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!  I’m fortunate to work with such a lovely gang in our Marketing team, and am really enjoying working with our experts throughout the business.

Being part of a larger business has allowed me to join cross-functional groups that bring experts together to support colleagues and customers. For example, I’m very proud to be part of the PIB Community Trust Team, which is hugely rewarding, and it’s lovely feeling part of something that can really make a difference to people and causes in need of support in our local communities.  I can also continue to work with my colleagues at Coopers, so I really do have the best of everything.

Best careers advice you’ve been given or would give?

Never be afraid to ask if you don’t know the answer or how to do something – no question is a silly one.

Biggest achievement (professionally or personally)

My daughter is my greatest achievement.  She makes me puff out my chest with pride, keeps me on my toes, and being a happy soul lifts my spirits every day.

How do you relax outside of work?

I love being outside, so I’m a big fan of walking and gardening.  Otherwise, you’ll find me on my yoga mat, with my nose in a book, or baking.  I’m also partial to a nice G&T or a glass of rose.

One thing most people won’t know about you?

I was on Gok Wan’s Fashion Roadshow!  My look was transformed, along with two of my colleagues at the time, and we were sent down a catwalk in the Bullring, Birmingham in our frocks. Gok even came to my house as part of the filming – he fed my cat and my goldfish.

Or!

I came second in the ‘Just 17 magazine’ search for a popstar competition, coming second to Lindy Layton who went on to having a hit single with Beats International in 1990.

Did you enjoy reading Kate’s story? You can read more about colleagues across PIB Group on our website or explore our career opportunities here.