Pleased to meet you - James and Joanna

Pleased to meet you - James and Joanna

We speak to Change Manager James Nolan about how his career has developed since he joined Group HR on a two week temporary contract.

James Nolan 175x210 - imageMy role is incredibly varied, and no two days are the same. As a Change Manager I am responsible for assisting in the transformation of HR systems and processes. On a day-to-day level this could entail requirements gathering, impact analysis, UAT planning and execution, communication and training planning, to name but a few activities.

I initially joined the Group in 2006 on a two-week temp contract within HR. I had spoken with an agency about wanting to get into HR as a career and the next day I started! To be honest I didn’t know much about Cambridge Assessment before joining; it was only after starting that I realised how well known the Group is, and that most of my friends locally had temped here as well at some point.

I’ve been fortunate to have been able to move around a fair bit since joining. I’ve been in six roles in three different departments. There is lots of scope for development within the Group, and sometimes it takes a sideways move to open up new opportunities and gain experience. The rate of technological change within Cambridge Assessment means that everyone’s role develops on a regular basis. Looking now at roles I used to be in, the systems and processes are much more refined.

The thing I like best about working for Cambridge Assessment is the fact that there is always something new on the horizon. There is a general enthusiasm to improve how we do our work which means that things never get too static. Never being more than two minutes from a pub in the central Cambridge offices is also a definite bonus!

I’m looking forward to the move to Triangle, as I feel all the business units being under one roof will definitely improve the levels of collaboration across the Group.

James Nolan
Change Manager, Group Human Resources

We speak to OCR Events Manager Joanna Ball about her rise from starting out as an administrator in Group Public Affairs to managing a team running over 90 events a year.

Joanna Ball 175x210 - imageWorking with three business units, there have been plenty of chances for me to gain valuable experience in roles across the business that have led me to my current role as Events Manager.

I manage a team of two staff and an events calendar of about 90+ events per year. My daily activity involves ensuring events in the calendar are delegated to the team and new opportunities are followed up and recorded. Working closely with the marketing team and other internal stakeholders, I ensure that our events deliver OCR’s strategic messages, on time and on budget.

I first joined Cambridge Assessment in 2008 as an administrator in Group Public Affairs on a fixed term contract. I was attracted to the structure of the organisation and the opportunities this offered to progress a career in marketing and events. I had come from a visual arts background and my job prior to this involved organising public art commissions, artist training and launch events. I was able to bring these skills to the role at Cambridge Assessment by assisting with the delivery of events and to develop them further working in a couple of marketing and events roles at Cambridge English for three years. I started working as an Events Executive at OCR in 2012 and then moved into the post of Events Manager.

I’ve got to know a lot of people since I joined Cambridge Assessment, so there are lots of friendly and familiar faces here. I’ve worked with some great staff who have encouraged and supported me to reach my goals - and continue to do so.

In the future I hope to build my professional career in events and marketing, perhaps eventually specialising in a particular area in a more senior role.

Joanna Ball
Events Manager, OCR

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