CAREERS: How I Got Here - Claudia McVie, director of fundraising, CLIC

What was your first job?

Selling net curtains on a market stall in Oxford when I was 13.

What does your current role involve?

As director of fundraising at Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood (CLIC) I manage and motivate a team of fundraisers covering six income streams.

Roughly outline your career path?

After school in Ghana and England and tertiary education in Sudan and England I worked in the service industry and then in sales for three UK blue-chip companies. I went to Oxfam in their shops division in 1986, joined Cancer Research Campaign and grew their retail outlets exponentially.

As the South Wales and Wales CRC regional director I merged the shops' organisation with local committees. After the merger with the Imperial Cancer Research Fund I was made national director of community fundraising.

I lost belief that the charity could achieve its mission and, disillusioned, I left this year.

What training course has most enhanced your career?

A Leadership in Management course won through a competition run by Cosmopolitan magazine. I learnt a lot about myself, not all pleasant.

What has been your greatest career achievement?

The setting up of Cancer Research Cymru Wales. My most exciting campaign was Bristol Beating Bowel Cancer, which raised £1.5m ahead of time with the aid of beautiful naked bums.

What is your biggest career regret?

The merger of CRC and ICRF.

What is your advice to people starting in the sector?

Believe in your passion, be bold and don't get bogged down in management speak.

Are there charities you support financially?

Amnesty International, The Terence Higgins Trust and Plan International.

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