CAREERS: How I Got Here - Angela Royal, director, War on Want

What was your first job?

I was briefly editorial assistant for the in-house journal of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, but soon I was head of education publishing and marketing at the World-Wide Fund for Nature, UK, where I travelled all over the world.

What does your current role involve?

As director of War on Want, I am responsible for the strategic direction and ensuring that the mission goals succeed.

Roughly outline your career path.

I spent five years (1983-88) at what was Longman and now is Pearson Publishing, the largest international educational publisher. I spent two years with Longman in Botswana. I then joined Charles Letts and, in 1994, I established Angela Royal Publishing to indulge my likes. It's on the backburner now but still going.

After a few more jobs, I decided in October 2001 to set publishing aside and concentrate on world development at War on Want.

What training or course has most enhanced your career?

Being sent to Africa on my own at the age of 26 was probably the making of me.

What has been your greatest career achievement?

Setting up my own publishing company without huge financial backing. If I'd thought about it, I wouldn't have dared.

What is your greatest career regret?

I don't believe in regrets.

What's your advice to people starting out in the sector?

It's about making a difference, not about the commercial aspect, although this is increasingly an essential part of it.

Are there any charities you support financially, or with time?

Financially, I support Help the Aged, Macmillan Cancer Relief and Plan International, for whom I sponsor an 11-year-old Zimbabwean girl called Rumbadzi.

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