Annette Andrews is the Founder of the Coaching and Consulting business, Acaria.

“IT’S very simple for me – I know that I would not have achieved everything I have, if I hadn’t have gone to King’s Ely. I joined the Junior School at the age of 10 and then stayed there all the way through to A Levels – eight very formative years of my life.

“During my time at King’s Ely, I became Head of Junior School, and then Head of House and a School Prefect in Senior School; all early positions of responsibility, with very active involvement in the well-being and development of others. I was also in the school Hockey Team, learned to play the flute and piano, and participated in the equivalent of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. I also had the right balance of structure and independence that developed as I grew through the school. All of this experience giving me, without realising it at the time, a great foundation for my future career, and providing my first people management roles.

“I first discovered my flair for business whilst at school. I just loved it; not realising at the time that combining that love of business, with people, would be my niche. Also, what I had learnt about building relationships and developing others would be pivotal to this.

“After leaving school, I went to Liverpool University to do a joint honours degree in Sports Science and History, before joining the graduate scheme at Ford Motor Company, developing a rewarding career in Human Resources. After 18 years at Ford, I then went to work at Lloyds Banking Group in senior roles both in the UK and US, and then most recently I was the Chief People Officer at Lloyd’s of London, the Global Specialist Insurance Market.

“During my career I have lived and worked all over the world, done an MBA and am also a qualified Executive Coach and Mediator. I am due to be the Master of the Guild of Human Resources Professionals in London this year. Also, I have just set up my own company, ‘Acaria’, which focuses on Coaching and Consulting – to help individuals and organisations achieve their full potential. This circles back to what King’s Ely did for me!

“My thanks will always go to a couple of my teachers who made a real difference at key points in my education and personal development – they supported and believed in me, gave me confidence and they cared. It’s scary to think that it is over 30 years ago since I left school, but amazing that I am still friends with people that I was at school with and that there is an active Old Eleans’ community.”

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