CAREERS: How I Got Here - Jon Sampson, challenge events manager, Children Nationwide

What was your first job? I joined the army straight from school and spent the next 10 years seeing various parts of the world, including the US, Norway, Belize, France and Oman.

What does your current role involve? Children Nationwide funds medical research and challenge event fundraising plays a big part in that. I am directly responsible to the head of fundraising for marketing a wide range of events such as marathons and overseas treks.

Having joined this year, I'm still very much learning the job while trying to develop new events. I am also Children Nationwide's resident cross-country ski instructor.

Roughly outline your career path? A totally non-standard trail of employment.

Following the army, I worked in sales, IT consultancy and before my current role I spent a year as a web site company manager. For the past five years I have also been a volunteer ski instructor for Children Nationwide, which led to being taken on in my current position this April.

What training course has most enhanced your career? The Section Commanders Battle Course. When you can lead soldiers in any weather to take on almost any task with a "can do" attitude, lesser challenges pale by comparison.

What has been your greatest career achievement? Our team in the Flora Challenge for women this year consisted of more than 350 women, which was a great success for my first event. The feedback has been really positive with many kind words from happy participants.

What is your advice to people starting out in the sector? Time spent networking and working your network is seldom wasted. Try and help others first and ask for your needs second.

Are there any charities you support financially? Being an ex-serviceman, I give financially to some military organisations.

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