CAREERS: How I Got Here - Robert Skinner, director-general, The Money Advice Trust

What was your first job? Serving ice creams and innumerable cups of Horlicks in a Weymouth seafront cafe.

What does your current role involve? I direct all the activities of the Money Advice Trust, which attempts to enhance the volume and quality of free money advice in the UK. This either takes the form of direct service provision such as National Debtline or by providing training and support to our partner advice agencies, such as Advice UK, Birmingham Settlement, Citizens Advice, the Money Advice Association and Money Advice Scotland.

Roughly outline your career path. I joined Barclays Bank straight from university and spent the next 26 years working in various retail, corporate and international banking roles. I switched sectors and became director-general of the Money Advice Trust in April.

What is your greatest career achievement? I find it difficult to single out one achievement in particular, but my most challenging role was probably when I was managing director of Barclays in Swaziland.

What is your greatest career regret? I have no regrets at all having had a very enjoyable and challenging career, but I count myself very lucky to have been offered the chance to play a part in the voluntary sector.

What training course has most enhanced your career? Probably a presentation skills course I took many years ago, and also, the most recent one I took here - the general level money advice course.

What is your advice to people starting out in the sector?

Join an organisation with a mission you really believe in, and work hard, but make sure you enjoy yourself.

Are there any charities that you actively support? I contribute to a number of medical research charities. I also volunteer in the local Oxfam bookshop managed by my wife.

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