My Story – Part 5

Meanwhile . . .

Parallel Activities

1979 – 1981 BSAC Merseyside – Diving Officer

Appointed Diving Officer responsible for safety and operations for the Merseyside branch of the British Sub Aqua Club after gaining qualification as Advanced Instructor. Held this post before becoming Vice President of the club and setting up my own Scuba business.

1984 – 1994 Manchester Scuba School – Director

Having gained the qualification of Open Water Scuba Instructor from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) later upgraded to Master Scuba Diver Trainer, I set up in association with a local dive equipment shop owner a recreational diver training school based in Manchester and training students in pools in Knutsford and Manchester prior to open water training in Anglesey and Leicestershire and later taking groups to Malta to gain their qualifications instead of the murky and freezing waters around in in the UK. This consumed most weekends over the ten year period.

1992 – 2022 Warwick Business School, University of Warwick – MBA Tutor

Having gained my MBA qualification at Warwick they asked if I would stay on to become a part time distance learning MBA tutor to assist incoming students in dealing with their assignments in Marketing, Information Management, Business Start Up and Organisational Behaviour. Many of the students were executive level managers who had little experience of the academic environment, others were immediate postgraduates from Batchelors degrees who had little experience of applying their knowledge to a problem rather than simply regurgitating it. I was able to help both groups through the process and only stopped when it became apparent that a large volume of the assignments, especially those from overseas, were being ‘enhanced’ by wholesale ‘cut and paste’ from sources such as Google. This placed a ‘double the time’ overhead on marking assignments to check sources for which tutors weren’t paid. This period gave me excellent experience of dealing with senior managers and helping them to understand what was going on in their businesses.

2003 – 2011 Business Referral Exchange – Area Partner

Co-ordinator for a business networking group in the North West. Organising meetings, forming new groups and finding venues.

2006 – 2007 Davenham Parish Council – Chairman

Was persuaded to take the role of Chairman of the local Parish Council, an experience quite new to me which gave me a whole set of new skills in chairing meetings of people who all wanted to do all the talking and none of the listening! Represented the Council at the local Borough Council mainly on issues of planning and traffic management, learned how to make a point in three minutes or less! Also instrumental in introducing the first PCSO to the area when this role was established by Cheshire Police.

2011 – 2022 Business Focus Group – Secretary and Treasurer

When BRX (above) closed down we set up our own existing group and I took the role of managing the membership, collecting the fees and paying the bills to and negotiating with the venue. This face to face group of around 20 business owners persisted until lockdown.

2013 – 2015 BNI Vale Royal – Vice President

Meanwhile I was also a member of another networking group, the local chapter of BNI, where I was appointed Vice President responsible for maintaining the membership records and reporting the innumerable statistics they collect weekly to the central system. BNI didn’t really work for me as a Network Marketer at the time so I departed after a couple of years.

2017 – 2018 Warrington Toastmasters – Sergeant at Arms

I joined Toastmasters to improve my public speaking skills and soon took on the role of ‘Sergeant at Arms’ responsible for managing the meetings, working with the venue and making sure the room was correctly set up before each meeting, also for dealing with any ‘glitches’ arising during the meeting. This role proved quite onerous and I’m not sure they found anyone else to do it after I left.