Sector: PR and Marketing
After feeling “behind schedule” during the pandemic, Gina Buckle now works in a role she is really passionate about – Northern Power Women, an organisation which promotes gender equality and diversity in the north of England.
Where do you call home?
For me, home is a bit all over the place. My family is from the North-East but I was born in America, raised in the south of England and came back to the north to go to university. Now that I’ve graduated, I’ve moved back to my university city, Leeds.
Tell us about your role?
I’m the content executive for Northern Power Women, an organisation that promotes gender equality and diversity from the north of England.
How did you get to where you are today?
I graduated in the pandemic-defined year of 2020 with a degree in Spanish and Italian. After unsuccessfully applying for what felt like hundreds of jobs, I took a job making neon signs, which didn’t exactly feel like Plan A at the time. I was then introduced to the founder of Northern Power Women, Simone Roche MBE, who asked if I’d write a couple of blog posts for her organisation. She seemed to like what I wrote, because she asked me to work for 10 hours a week alongside my full-time neon sign job. Ten hours turned into two days, two days became full time for a couple of months. Then when those couple of months came to an end, I was offered a long-term, full-time contract. Now I’m in a role I love, working in a team of amazing people for a cause I’m truly passionate about.
What struggles or obstacles did you face along the way?
The biggest challenge I’ve experienced so far has been feeling like I’m “behind schedule” or “not where I’m supposed to be”. Seeing my peers landing spots on grad schemes, move into their own apartments or start qualification programmes felt miles away from the neon sign workshop I found myself in. Experiencing all of this during a global pandemic was particularly challenging, as there was very little I could do to take control and change the negative things about my situation.
Describe the moment you first got a feel for success?
I knew I was on the right track when things felt easier. Out of desperation to get any job at all, I was applying to all the wrong things and unsurprisingly getting rejected. Once I started to look for roles that played into my skills and passions, things started getting easier. I got better responses on job applications, and I get so much satisfaction out of the work I do now.
Do you have any advice for aspiring young females?
Trust your gut. It takes a while to understand what it’s telling you, but the more you use it, the easier it becomes to interpret and trust it.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t worry about things not making sense right now. Everything you do will get you exactly to where you need to be. It will all make sense in the rear-view mirror.
What three words inspire you and encourage a positive path?
Do it all.
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