I wanted to be a football intelligence officer in the police, so I studied criminology - but I realised that the work would not suit me. A lecturer helped me to recognise that I relate well to people and would be good in sales, which led to my first job at IPC Media in 2001. I sold magazine advertising and gained a great grounding in sales and business development. After two years I moved to the sales department at Jane's Information Group, specialising in defence and security intelligence, then to a similar company, Control Risk, as business development manager in 2005.
I felt that managing people was missing from my CV, so a friend recommended that I apply for a senior corporate fundraiser role at the RNIB, which I got in 2008. Moving from the commercial sector was a culture shock. I was used to focusing only on the bottom line, but it was great to do something fresh and I was promoted after two years to corporate partnerships manager. I left in 2013 because I wanted to work closer to home and became a learning solutions consultant at the software company Epic, but the lure of working for the Sported Foundation as head of fundraising and partnerships pulled me away after seven months. Despite being passionate about the cause, I did not like the environment, so I left after eight months for Diabetes UK as senior corporate partnerships manager last year. The cause, with its focus on health and fitness, excites me and I like the charity's culture.
Gerald Carew is senior corporate partnerships manager at Diabetes UK