Who am I?

My name is Jackie Fitzgerald and for the past few years as I’ve been working as an executive and business coach in London, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.Jackie Fitzgerald

You may be asking what gives me the right to do that.  Fair question, so here I am in my own words: you can make your own mind up about whether or not you think I have the right to get involved with your business and career.

I grew up in Liverpool, the oldest of 6 kids and I was the first person in my family to go to university.  I studied French and Spanish at King’s College London, graduating with a 2:1, lots of foreign books, a slight Gauloise and red wine habit and a rather pretentious interest in Latin American literature and maudlin French poetry.  All of these things have faded over the years, but I do still have the books, my degree certificate and some fluency in both languages.

I then completely changed direction and started training to be an accountant, passing my CIMA exams first time in 1989.  I worked my way through all of the usual junior finance roles and ended up as Finance Director of a very small bit of a plc (Cable & Wireless if you’re interested) in my early 30s.

That small bit was however very interesting, we looked after C&W’s investments in submarine cable and satellite systems so I travelled the world working on some really big projects (each costing around $500 million), without which it would be very hard for any of us to use the internet or make international phone calls.  For finance geeks, I was on the first ever team to project finance a submarine cable system on a non-recourse basis: we raised $320 million from a syndicate of banks.  I also sat on the Finance Committees of several international NGO’s.  That all taught me how to decide whether or not an investment is good, plan and manage things and people and make sure stuff gets done when it needs to.

It had all gone so well that I ended up as Managing Director of a company that provided infrastructure to major phone companies.  As a joint venture with a rather dysfunctional Board, I learned a lot there about how to run a business with both hands tied behind my back.  I also did some of the biggest deals ever in the industry at the time, something of which I am quite proud.

I got out of the corporate world in 2009, when I took a year off to decide what to do next.  I love working with people and, having seen how unhappy many people are, bogged down in “stuff” and not enjoying their working lives I wanted to do something to help.  So I trained as a coach.  I love it so much that in 2014 I completed a MA in Coaching and Mentoring Practice at Oxford Brookes University where I wrote my dissertation on male self-confidence (yes, honestly, men have confidence issues too).

I now work primarily with professionals and knowledge-based businesses – lawyers, accountants, surveyors and consultants.  Sometimes I help them develop and implement strategies for their firms, often I work with teams and individuals helping to develop their leadership and communication skills.  Confidence is a particular interest of mine and I often speak at conferences and run workshops aimed at helping you achieve your full potential (see the Events tab for more info on this.

So that’s me!  If you think we would get on and I could help you give me a ring on 01235 838 641 or email me at jackie@alchemybusinesscoaching.biz and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.