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MGC, 1998 Leaver

Malvern Alumnae 100 Caitlin Hughes

Lots of things are said about curiosity including that it “keeps us moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things” (Walt Disney). This is certainly true for me. It is why I studied Psychology and International Relations, and why I ended up with a portfolio of roles in media, digital and sport.

Having read books like Francis Crick’s The Scientific Search for the Soul, and Oliver Sacks’ The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, I became fascinated by the workings of the mind

and followed my interest into an undergraduate degree. I also crammed in as much sport as I could, and, after three of the best years of my life, it was time for the next step.

It was 2001. The dotcom bubble had just burst, Facebook didn’t exist, and Google had only recently moved out of a garage. Meanwhile, a new currency called the Euro was launched, the US was set on regime change in the Middle East, and then, dreadfully, the 9/11 Twin Towers attack. It was impossible not to want to understand more so I left the UK to study an International Relations Masters at a US university.

Emerging again from a period of study, I joined the Boston Consulting Group as I was curious about how businesses work. In the years that followed I worked with more than a dozen companies from a US hedge fund to a UK supermarket group to the Royal Opera House. The experience was both exhilarating and exhausting. I adored the variety and pace and I made some tremendous friends.

From there I took a well-trodden path into industry by joining the BBC, an organisation I loved and admired. I was thrown into the team that launched the iPlayer and didn’t look back. It couldn’t have been a more an exciting time to work in media: the internet was coming of age and that freed us up to think in completely new ways. Over almost ten years I worked in many different parts of the organisation in wooden-panelled board rooms, radio studios, prototyping labs and international commercial offices.

Today I run my own company called Halios which advises fast-growing companies, primarily in the media, digital and sports sectors. I am also an independent director of Italy’s most successful football club, Juventus., where I am able to bring views on their commercial activities. For two years now, I have also been Treasurer of the David Nott Foundation, a charity that provides essential training for surgeons in war zones. We count our success by the number of lives we believe we save which puts just about everything else into perspective.

What does success look like?

Success is doing what you love whilst knowing that in some way you are making the world a better place.

What is your best piece of advice?

Follow your curiosity and have the courage to try new things. Careers aren’t always built in predictable straight lines.