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Ted Hill MBE RNR

Ted HillChief Executive, British Polio Fellowship

MA Organisational Development, Workplace Learning Programme

What made you choose Middlesex University?

I was working at Mind in Barnet at the time and wanted a course to give me greater research skills while still working. Middlesex was therefore the obvious choice.

What attracted you to your course and made you apply?

I was attracted by the ability to study at a high level while still continuing to work. Indeed my studying was focused on my work at the time so it was a no brainer.

What aspects of your course did you enjoy most?

I found the research aspects of my course to be the most enjoyable; this provided me with new skills and understanding which have been useful in so many ways, not just to achieve my MA.

What is your fondest memory of life at Middlesex?

Without question my fondest memory is of the Graduation Ceremony. Not only because it was the culmination of was a lot of work but because one of the recipients of an Honorary Doctorate, was Johnny Vegas, himself an alumnus of the University. He gave an impromptu performance which had everyone falling off their seats with laughter, except of course those responsible for keeping the event to time. Just brilliant!

What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student interested in studying at Middlesex?

Do it! I did my Masters in later life but I wish I had done it years before. The skills learnt have been invaluable in my working life.

How did your course and time at Middlesex help you get to where you are professionally today?

I was working as the Chief Executive at Mind in Barnet when I completed the course but the studying sowed the seeds for further research and assisted me in moving on to work for a regional and now national charity.

Can you give an example of a time when you put the things you learned at Middlesex to practical use?

That's a difficult one, I think the analytical and methodical approach developed during my studies are used every day but certainly when planning new work projects the skills are very much used. Most recently I suppose I used the skills to submit a bid for European funding, I am still waiting to hear if I got the money but the bid itself was sound & had merit.

What made you choose the industry you work in and what are its pros and cons?

I started out my working career as a research chemist but changed direction in the mid 1980s to work in the voluntary and not for profit sector. Don't expect to earn a huge fortune from working in the sector but you can go home and reflect on the positive impact you have made or are making to society.

How did you get your first foot on the career ladder?

I had worked in a voluntary capacity in various charities since leaving school but my first real job came working for a small homeless persons' charity in Bedford, Homes for Homeless People, where I was appointed as the Development Co-ordinator.

What has been your defining career break or highlight to date?

There have been a number of highlights, being awarded the MBE was of course one of those but I think the most impact on me was when I was working for Save the Children and my campaign work was around the issue of child soldiers. I found my six month contract to be one of the most rewarding times of my life and I got to close Whitehall for some filming. 

What are the top three tips you would give to current students and recent graduates who are looking for a similar career to yourself?

  1. Don't set your initial sights too high, a foot in the door can lead on to great things.

  2. Do get lots of voluntary experience working in organisations that you feel passionate about.

  3. Be passionate about what you do.

What one piece of advice would you give to the 17/18 year old you?

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning."  Albert Einstein.

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