Meet the Team
Peter Davis – Founder
Tell us about you, Peter! I graduated in Journalism and developed a career in China over seven years. I helped grow an education business to become a much larger entity with franchises in Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand before returning to the UK. I’ve since worked in the field of career coaching for international students.
What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago about your career? Don’t turn down an opportunity because you are scared of the outcome; your career is triple the time you spend in education so you have plenty of time to make mistakes.
Tell us a fun fact about you! You can have two…the most famous person in my phone book is former England Football Team Manager, Sven-Göran Eriksson (long story), and I have cetaphobia – Google it!
Dr Patrick Reid – Career Coach and Commercial Awareness Specialist
Tell us about you, Patrick! I trained as a Biochemist at the University of Manchester, but quickly became involved in technology. I worked in a number of Director-level roles in international pharmaceuticals across information technology, e-marketing and innovation. I attained an MBA from Manchester Business School and I continue to work in executive education. I have established my own consultancy and I operate across industry and with a number of European and UK-based business schools.
What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago about your career? Learn to enjoy the journey as well as the destination. We underestimate the value of experiences we have throughout life and the interaction with the people we meet along the way.
Tell us a fun fact about you! I attended the first Google Zeitgeist in Europe in 2006 at the Grove Hotel at the same time as the then England football team!
Jess Slater – CV and Career Coach
Tell us about you, Jess! I have lots of experience in the world of English-Language Teaching (CELTA and DELTA qualified), having worked as a teacher in China and as an Academic Manager back in the UK. I used to run international summer programmes and recruited around 150 members of staff each year, so I have read a lot of CV’s and I know what helps you stand out from the crowd.
What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago about your career? Focus on passions as opposed to positions. I have total job satisfaction now because I play to my strengths and do what I love. This is easier said than done, though, and it took me a lot of soul searching to get right.
Tell us a fun fact about you! When I’m not working with our clients on their CV’s, I am a pre-school swimming teacher. I help babies and young children (and their parents) develop life-long water confidence, which is fun and rewarding!
Michael Foster – Career Coach
Tell us about you, Michael! I’m a communications professional and have spent most of my career working across financial and professional services for large global organisations. I have experience in a variety of different settings; at country, regional and global level, and with a diverse range of stakeholders, from frontline staff to executive leadership.
My academic background is in film, which fortunately does sometimes come in useful when coordinating corporate videos. I have a passion for public speaking, having coached students for many years, and a few years ago published a book on the subject – Everything You Never Knew About Public Speaking – available on Amazon.
What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago about your career? Don’t panic about achieving specific milestones by a certain age. Your professional career is a marathon rather than a sprint, so just focus on getting the right balance between constantly pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and taking on challenges that are realistic for your experience and skillset.
Tell us a fun fact about you! I once took part in and won a television game show called Wild Things, where you had to undertake a series of games with a partner – one of you couldn’t see anything and the other person had to guide you.
Magda Mos – Career Coach
Tell us about you, Magda! I have over 20 years experience between industry and academia and split my time between the UK and Spain. I started working at Glaxo Smithkline (GSK) very early on in my career. This led me to do my Ph.D. and I then joined a research team at University of Warwick. I am a member of Warwick Manufacturing Group where I support MSc students on their journey and I supervise postgraduate students in various management-related disciplines across the UK and EU.
What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago about your career? Be bold. Use your transferable skills and don’t be afraid of changes. Those can only make you grow. Work hard…not only in your professional life but also in your private one, you need a good balance between those to excel. Build a support network and help each other….you will have greater job satisfaction when achieving as a team.
Tell us a fun fact about you! I teach yoga and spin classes, my friends call me superwoman because I juggle a lot and cannot imagine my life being any different.
Dr Georgios Kapogiannis – Career Coach
Tell us about you, Georgios! An international and outside the box thinker, my last role was Head of Thought Leadership at Glodon, I have a passion for digitalisation and innovation in engineering enterprises and projects. I possess a PhD in Construction and Project at the University of Salford (THINKlab in Greater Manchester). I was born in Greece, but I used to live and work in the coldest (Finland) and one of the warmest (Qatar) places in the world.
What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago about your career? Do not follow the crowd; follow you heart and enjoy every second of your life. Even when you make mistakes. It is part of the learning curve!
Tell us a fun fact about you! I like traveling and exploring new things. I have lived in Finland, 13 years in the United Kingdom, 4 years in China and currently in Qatar. I like to “talk/expresses myself” through my academic papers/articles; but I enjoy mostly when I interact with my students and professionals.
Brian Renwick – Career Coach
Tell us about you, Brian! I’ve enjoyed working in HR in six large corporates and in the six countries I have lived in. Understanding other cultures is a passion. Since 1995, I’ve founded and run several consulting ventures in Hong Kong and the UK. Among several other interests, I write a weekly blog named “The Reasonable Man”, focussing principally on Hong Kong and China but with other topics sprinkled in from time to time.
What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago about your career? Keep learning! It never stops. What you knew even five years ago is almost irrelevant five years later…and never ‘retire’!
Tell us a fun fact about you! I chair a small retail wine firm named Jaded Palates – we deal online as well as having two stores. And – I’ve done my bit to reduce potential labour shortages.
Tim Pedlar – Career Coach
Tell us about you, Tim! I have a broad background having worked in Real Estate, Computer Software and Logistics before moving into head hunting & recruitment, specialising in banking & finance and professional services.
I have recruited all around the world, including in Nigeria, Kenya, China and Russia. I hold Advanced Real Estate, Business Management and Marketing college qualifications and a Post Graduate Certificate in Coaching from the University of London, Birkbeck College. I pride myself in being able to explain the complex in simple terms and have delivered over 5000 hours of career coaching to people from a wide range of multicultural backgrounds.
What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago about your career? Money isn’t everything; life is more enjoyable when you love what you are doing.
Tell us a fun fact about you! I’ve met two Australian prime ministers!
Tim Hague – Career Coach & Public Speaking Specialist
Tell us about you, Tim! I originally graduated in History at Royal Holloway and I went on to work in finance in New York City for a $1 billion+ hedge fund. I spent over eight years as a TV presenter and journalist at the BBC and am an experienced business owner of several years.
What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago about your career? It’s never too late to start anything. The longer you wait to take on a challenge, the longer it will take to achieve your goals.
Tell us a fun fact about you! A video of me once went viral thanks to Sir Rod Stewart!
Bonnie Liu – Marketing Assistant
Tell us about you, Bonnie! I am a Master’s student in Global Strategy and Innovation Management at the University of Leeds. Previously, I held various marketing roles for an international sports brand. I love to explore and take on challenges.
What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago about your career? Be curious and brave. Whatever you want to do, do it now!
Tell us a fun fact about you! I enjoy action sports such as skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding.
James Hitchen – Sports Marketing
Tell us about you, James! A recent graduate in Motorsport Technology BSc from the University of Bolton, I’ve been involved in motorsport since I was 10 years old in a number of forms across various disciplines. I recently started my own small scale racing team who compete in both cars and karts.
What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago about your career? Don’t be afraid to take risks and do something different to others.
Tell us a fun fact about you! My moment of fame came after my student accommodation burnt down and the following day I was sent to collect my friend’s hamster who had been recovered from our flat by a fire crew.
Pitchaya Tangpornpaiboon – Marketing Assistant
Tell us about you, Pitchaya! My background is in International Business. I have two years of experience in business consulting, business development, and market research. I supported clients in the FMCG, IT, banking and telecommunications sectors. Now, I am studying MSc in Counselling at Bangor University. I am passionate in supporting people to be the best they can be whether it is through working in the career coaching field or becoming a counsellor which is my future goal.
What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago about your career? It is okay to not realise your passion yet. You can take your time to explore what is out there. Everything happens for a reason and you can learn from anything that happens in life, both good and bad.
Tell us a fun fact about you! I grew up in a house of 16 other family members.
Rachel Davis – Finance Manager
Tell us about you, Rachel! I have 13 years’ experience working in accountancy and taxation, specialising in tax. I spent 10 years working at two of the largest regional accounting firms in Sheffield, where I trained and qualified as a Chartered Tax Adviser and eventually worked as a tax manager. I set up my own accounting practice in 2018, and I started working with Birkdale Collective in 2021.
What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago about your career? It might seem like the chartered tax exams are a lot of effort but they really are worth all the hard work and hours of studying!
Tell us a fun fact about you! In my spare time, I love to crochet anything from blankets to stuffed toys.
Hannah Barnao – Marketing Consultant
Tell us about you, Hannah! I’m a self-taught designer, marketer and event manager, with over 10 years’ international experience in a variety of industries including financial services, hospitality and non-profit organisations.
What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago about your career? Focus on developing skills that you are passionate about, and grow your career from there. Your career path doesn’t have to be a straight line; it can adapt to your circumstances and evolving skills and interests.
Tell us a fun fact about you! I’m scared of cows.
Kevin Carpenter – Legal Advisor
Tell us about you, Kevin! I am a Lawyer and academic with an international reputation in regulation, dispute resolution and governance matters, particularly in the sports sector.
What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago about your career? Be bold but the grass isn’t always greener. Take a breath first before making any decisions.
Tell us a fun fact about you! At the age of 15 I was ranked second in England at discus.