Catherine had her first phone when she was 11. That’s not too unusual these days but in the late 1980s it was something special. Her father was a senior military officer posted overseas and he bought the Technophone Excel M1 so that she could keep in touch from her boarding school. It made her something of a celebrity and ever since she’s been hooked on mobiles.
Her first job in the industry was as a student working in the One-2-One call centre in Borehamwood just after the launch. The free phone calls promotion meant that they couldn’t cope with demand and a friend’s mother who worked at One-2-One roped her in.
The excitement was something special and she knew that it was her destiny. With good exam results she studied electrical and electronic engineering at a University dominated by men. And found that being a woman in a man’s world suited her. This led to some senior engineering roles and then an MBA.
In the hype of the 3G auctions she landed an executive strategy position at a bidding but failed applicant for several licences. It was something of a baptism of fire in the world of big finance and commerce. This led to a job with a major firm of analysts and she was poached by the handset manufacturer they were consulting for. Assigned to ‘futurology’ she bought a crystal ball for her desk. She describes the futurology work as stretching and interesting but not real. Not really changing the everyday lives of people and has since moved into corporate social responsibility to make the world a better place by making mobiles more accessible. She still has the crystal ball though and it is a centrepiece in her office.
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