Thank you to Old Girls who have been interviewed by MSJ girls past and present to create the OGA Interviews.
Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway – inspiration from an Old Girl
The Old Girls’ Association was thrilled to welcome Old Girl Vicky Jones (MGC 1996) back to school recently. Vicky, a Life Coach, flew in from her home in Sydney to give an empowering and inspirational talk about creating a mindset for success and wellbeing.
Vicky is a graduate of Oxford Brookes University. In 2014, she swapped her career of 15 years in the media industry to follow her passion to inspire and empower individuals to be the best they can be. She does this through transformational coaching, mentoring, facilitation, keynote speaking and training programs. With a BSc in Biology and a strong interest in neuroscience she is fascinated by human behaviour and its impact on peak performance.
We took some time out with Vicky to find out more about her time at school and the journey she’s been on since leaving…
Questions by Jenny Gallagher, OGA Prefect (Year 13)
What do you remember from your time at Malvern Girls’ College?
The friendships. I met my best friend (Philly King) on my first day at MGC – we’re godmother to each other’s children now. I also learnt a lot from being in a dorm (in Ivydene) of 21 girls, especially as some of them were three years older than me. MGC was a nurturing environment and I have really good memories of being there.
When you left MGC, you went on to study a science degree. Can you tell us about your university experience?
I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I left school so I decided to do a degree I knew I’d enjoy. I went to Oxford Brookes and studied Biology and Environmental Science. I worked really hard and got a 2:1. I think it’s really important to follow what you’re passionate about. Just like MGC, I made friends for life at university, as well as playing lots of lacrosse (which I did a lot of at school too).
After university you went into the media industry for 15 years. Did you enjoy it and can you tell us about moving from London to Sydney?
My first job was in Advertising. It was exciting and daunting at the same time, with lots of responsibility. I would always put my hand up to do things that other people wouldn’t and as a result, I was running a department and training senior members of the organisation within a year. Always be open to any opportunity and always take on more than your job description as this can lead to other opportunities. Richard Branson says he always hires the attitude because skills can be learnt.
Sitting in Leicester Square in London one rainy February day, I decided to apply for a working visa to Australia. It soon came through and I was heading to the other side of the world. I worked my way up at Fox Studios and became an Account Director. I loved the diversity of my job – and the glamour! I often went to red carpet events and film premieres, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Justin Timberlake, Jack Black and Ben Stiller. It was a really fun environment to work in.
You underwent quite a dramatic career change to become a Life Coach. What inspired this and what do you get from the job personally?
I changed career in 2014 after losing my brother suddenly. Whilst grieving our loss, I went in search of a more meaningful career. I considered going into teaching as I always wanted to give back through education.
I began researching life coaching, quickly realising it ticked off multiple passions of mine in one amazing career. I could work in challenging and dynamic environments; use my natural ability to inspire and motivate; and incorporate my love of science into my work – all of our actions are driven by our biology after all.
I have never been happier and I get a deep sense of fulfilment knowing that I am able to help people transform their lives on a daily basis. I now run regular group workshops across Australia, as well as having the flexibility to spend more time with my daughter, and family in the UK.
Why do you think it’s important for people and firms to have the kind of self-awareness that you teach? What benefits does it bring?
95% of the journey is about self-awareness and it’s empowering to have self-knowledge. When you know your true authentic strengths, you can be yourself. This is important for everyone. The idea of self-awareness is not a new one – it was Socrates who said, “know thyself”. It’s about investing in yourself. The most successful leaders are those who continue to grow on a personal level.
You have an array of testimonials singing your praises. Why do you think people value life coaching and the skills you teach?
With coaching, it’s about building trust with a client and being a best friend to them. As their coach you can tell them things that their friends and family may not say. It’s about giving people the gift of honest feedback, with their best interests at heart.
What one piece of advice would you give to girls today?
Know that you’re enough. Have trust in yourself and follow what you’re passionate about. Also…enjoy the journey.
Who inspires you?
My daughter, who’s nearly 10 years old. I want to be an amazing mother and role model for her.
Some inspiring quotes that Vicky shared with us…
“Attitude and the way you respond to a situation is your greatest asset.”
“The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling.” Fabienne Fredrickson
“We need to develop and nurture our minds on a daily basis.”
“There’s no such thing as failure, only feedback.”
“You can only be you.”
“Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
India Wilkinson, Year 13 MSJ student, and OGA Prefect, talked to Dr Caroline Copeland ahead of the OGA Lecture and Admissions Workshop she presented at School in November …
Tanith Carey (MGC, 1984) wrote this article for the OGA News on how she was inspired to write for a living. Tanith is a highly successful author and journalist, writing regularly for various national newspapers.
Ottoline Scriven kindly came back to School to host an OGA Careers Lecture for Years 9-13 in 2014/15. Ottoline now works at PA Consulting, as a Digital Business Consultant, having achieved a BA from Oxford, followed by an MA from Tsinghua University in China. Ottoline is a Trustee of the OGA.
Ottoline talks to girls and Mrs Huntley after the Lecture