CAREERS: HOW I GOT HERE - Nicola Tallett, NCH, assistant director, external affairs

What was your first job?

My first paid job was as a management trainee at RTZ, an international mining and minerals processing corporation. They invested heavily in training future managers in subjects such as marketing, finance, negotiations and leadership.

What does your current role involve? NCH helps 98,000 vulnerable children, young people and their families through more than 480 projects across the UK. My role is to communicate this message to our individual supporters and to maintain and improve our supporter care.

Roughly outline your career path? After RTZ, I began my chosen career path in the not-for-profit sector. I worked in three charities and a direct marketing agency. All were focused on donor relationships and donor communications. I joined NCH in my current role this August.

What training or course has most enhanced your career?

Most of the best learning about fundraising is on the job and within the sector from networking with other charities. At the moment I am studying for a diploma in Professional Coaching (Business) at Newcastle College.

What is your biggest career achievement?Any fundraiser is only as good as their last appeal. My biggest recent achievement has been to work through the financial difficulties at Children's Aid Direct. My appeals for assistance within the sector were answered with positive support.

What's your advice for people starting out in the sector? Every piece of experience counts. So volunteer willingly, work hard and hold true to why you are here.

Are there any other charities you support financially, or with time?I regularly support my local church both financially and with time. I sponsor a child in Zimbabwe and I'm also becoming a trustee of a local charity.

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