Nicki Pritchard

Nicki Pritchard

Managing Partner, Anderson Quigley, London
Graduate Diploma in Business
Bachelor of Business in Advertising and Marketing

Growing a business is hugely rewarding and challenging in equal measure, says business alumna Nicki Pritchard who now lives and works in London and is a managing partner at Anderson Quigley, which specialises in senior-level recruitment for education, healthcare, charities and government.

“Anderson Quigley will be five years old in early 2022 and has developed a reputation as one of the leading public sector search firms in the UK. We started around a kitchen table and through hard work, good decision making and welcoming into our team people who are talented, dedicated to their work and have a shared passion for our goals, we are where we are today.”

She enjoys being involved in most aspects of the firm’s development outside of direct client delivery.

“Shaping the business’ strategic direction and helping to grow the team are the most exciting parts of my work. I previously worked in some very large companies where you only see a tiny fraction of the business and how it operates, and that often felt limiting to me. I like to see the bigger picture which for me supports better decision making for the business as a whole. I get to work with such a talented team who are experts in their fields, and work on important projects that support social development.”

Well-prepared for a business career
She has always been interested in a career in business, says Nicki who graduated from AUT in 2002.

“I became interested in marketing and advertising in my teens and decided I wanted to pursue a career in business. I was attracted to AUT’s Bachelor of Business as I wanted the smaller class sizes and access to lecturers who had come from the business world with practical experience and insights. Studying at a university offering a more traditional lecture theatre learning approach just didn’t appeal to me.  The practical workplace experience in my final year was also a huge plus to round out my degree.”

Almost two decades later, Nicki still has fond memories of her time at AUT.

“The brand management classes I took inspired me to pursue roles with big household brand names, and sparked this enthusiasm for brand strategy and development. They’re learnings and skills that I have used throughout my career and none more so than now within the business I helped to found and run.

“In the second half of my studies I also worked full-time as a secretary for one of the big six accounting firms and studied in the evenings. That opened me up to a whole different group of mature students who helped me learn and grow at a quicker pace.  Many of these mature students were in roles I aspired to, so the networking and mentoring from them was invaluable. The flexibility of AUT’s classes meant I could work and study and it had a hugely positive impact on my career progression.”

Advice for other students
Nicki’s advice for other students is simple: don’t be concerned if you don’t know now what you want to do for the rest of your career.

“Being fixed on one particular career path may close you off to the opportunities that could present themselves if you look laterally. The cliché of falling into your career is true for many people and I count myself among them.

“Keep your networks and your minds open to opportunities that will shape and mould your professional life as you don’t need to have all the answers now.  And just remember, some of the jobs students graduating today will be doing in their future careers haven’t even been developed yet!”

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