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Director Profile - Mo Osborne

Role in NAEGA

I've been a NAEGA director since 2004 and became the Company Secretary the following year. It's quite a demanding role, overseeing NAEGA's governance and meeting our legal obligations as a company, but most of the work can be planned well ahead. Also, I get a huge amount of support from the other directors. There's a lot we want to do and must do but there's a great sense of commitment and camaraderie.

Career background

After graduating, I taught English for three years in a Hackney secondary school. It was a tremendous experience but I gave it up, disillusioned by not being allowed to teach spelling, punctuation and grammar, which I thought were the tools young people needed.

After various twists and turns I ended up in the Careers Service and did my Diploma in Career Guidance in 1980/81 at North East London Poly, now UEL. I worked in a number of London boroughs and then spent nearly 17 years with Herts Careers Services. I progressed from being a generic careers adviser through a range of developmental and management roles. Particular highlights were Senior TVEI Careers Adviser (anyone remember that?), External Funding Manager and nextstep Manager. Apart from managing people and programmes, I became heavily involved with European funding and was surprised to find that I could write successful bids and even enjoy it. I've often compared this with what I've been told about childbirth - sheer agony but the outcome is wonderful!

Current job

I'm now a self-styled freelance career guidance consultant, in other words I'm willing to have a go at anything guidance-related that comes my way. At the moment I'm working with a friend and colleague to set up some IAG training in Cyprus.

I always maintained my love of the English language, particularly when it's used correctly and effectively, and over the years I've done a fair amount of proofreading and editing of documents. I'm now offering this service as part of my freelance work, along with bid writing, CV preparation, letter writing and any other help with preparing easy-to-read and accurate documents.

Career lows

Losing four different jobs through "restructuring" but, to quote the song, "Like a rubber ball I keep bouncing back again"!

Career highs

Sharing experiences, common problems and solutions with European colleagues during transnational visits.

Outside work

I'm a passionate European, which is hardly surprising since my mother came from Vienna and was proud of her background. Sadly, I wasn't brought up to be bilingual, although I've been studying German over the past few years and even took AS and A2 exams. I'm fascinated - and horrified - by 20th century Austrian/German history and read a lot about the Holocaust, mainly because my family had to leave Vienna in 1938. Having said that, Vienna is my favourite city and I visit it, and elsewhere in Austria, at least twice a year.

On a different note, I adore anything in miniature, in particular dolls' houses. I'm currently building a 1:12 scale Edwardian house which will be inhabited by a 1950s family. It's a long story so I'd better not say any more. However, old toys and scale models fascinate me and I always watch the Antiques Roadshow just in case. I enjoy any kind of needlecraft, especially needlepoint, and find it very relaxing as well as creative. I'm a bookworm, an unashamed Archers fan (soap and tipple) and an addict of Su Doku, Ken Ken and logic puzzles. Most important of all are my husband, Keith, (been together for 25 years) and our delightfully dotty Golden Retriever, Penny, who takes me jogging each morning.

So, if you're out and about near Cambridge and you see a miniature jogger bouncing along to the sound of The Archers, muttering in German, with her nose in a puzzle book and a needlepoint Goldie by her side, don't be alarmed: it might just be your Company Secretary taking some time out from NAEGA!

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