It is with great sadness (and a lot of tears) that I (Anna Davies) write this. After over nine years, it is time for me to leave Atlas and move on to the next chapter of my career. I have loved working for Atlas and it was a hard decision to leave but one that I feel is right for my family (as many of you know I have two young daughters). My last day will be Thursday 19th December.
I started working at Atlas when I was 24. It had always been my dream to work in London – it seemed so glamorous! So when Clare offered me the position of Project Manager I was over the moon. Not only would I be working in London but I would be right in the centre of Covent Garden! – Wow! (my 24 year old self thought!) I will be mingling with film and music stars on my lunch break! Unfortunately there weren’t many film stars hanging around the local Tesco! (mainly just tourists and giant mice! http://now-here-this.timeout.com/2013/07/19/supermouse-closes-tesco-metro-covent-garden/). Clare, Marianna and I did once see Victoria Beckham though which was very exciting!
Anyway, I digress! When I started at Atlas I had about a year’s experience of working in a translation company but was very eager to learn and keen to work on bigger projects. I loved the team I had joined and am still in touch with the other PM’s now – Marianna, Nadia and Francesca. We were the dream team in our eyes! Able to mix work and fun together. Happy, happy memories.
Not long after I started at Atlas, London was shaken by the dreadful 7/7 bombings. It was a difficult time to work in central London. I remember the road our office was on was cordoned off by the police at one point and we were told to stay away from the windows (where our PC’s were). So we were all sitting on the floor in the reception area, feeling pretty scared when a client phoned asking where his translation was. We explained about the bombs and not being able to get to our PC’s as they were near the windows. He was not happy! Apparently even a bomb threat isn’t enough of an excuse for a late delivery for some people!
During my time I have been lucky enough to work with some of our very high profile clients and have enjoyed the challenges that has brought with it (although 2am phone calls from Qatar during the Asian Games may have pushed my patience a little!) I have genuinely enjoyed working with all of our clients (some more demanding than others!) and I really love the variety of the daily life as a Project Manager.
I’m proud that I worked my way up from Project Manager, to Senior Project Manager and then on to Office Manager and more than anything I’m proud of the friendships I’ve made with other members of staff and our wonderful suppliers.
I have worked closely with our Work Placements and truly believe that the placement scheme we offer is second to none – some of our placements have gone on to do wonderful things which I hope is partly due to the training we gave them.
Some of the other things I’ve enjoyed over the years have been; achieving and continuing to achieve our quality awards, meeting numerous clients, visiting schools and universities to promote the importance of language learning, attending exhibitions to promote Atlas, and most of all meeting some of our suppliers – many of whom I’ve worked with since I started in 2004, at our Supplier Open Days.
Atlas has changed a great deal since I first started, not only are we now in new premises but I believe the company as a whole has grown and adapted to the changing requirements of our clients.
Throughout all of this there has been one constant – Clare (cue more blubbing!).
Clare has not only been a fantastic boss but over the years she has become a really good friend to me. She attended my wedding and came to visit when both of my babies were born (as I visited her when her babies were born). Clare is a very fair boss and has a great way of dealing with us all – staff, clients and suppliers. I can honestly say that she has taught me a great deal about business and about managing people. She is strong, focused and wants what is best for Atlas and its staff (including suppliers). She is good fun and a great friend and Atlas would not be the same without her. I have loved working with Clare and she is the reason I have not looked for another job before and why I am finding it so hard to say goodbye to the company now!
The current team at Atlas are fantastic – another ‘dream team’ I believe. Sian, Jim, Gabi and Chloe are all great Project Managers and all seem to have ‘got’ the Atlas ethos. I know that they will all go on to be very successful and hopefully follow in my footsteps and stay with Atlas for many, many years. I love Atlas and believe the future for Atlas is bright (green) and look forward to hearing about how it’s all adapting and changing in the years to come.
I have truly enjoyed all the contact I’ve had with our fabulous suppliers and wonderful clients. I know I have not met all of you in person but I will remember you and look back on working with you with fond memories.
My Atlas buddy has pride of place on my desk (hope you all have one too!) and every time I look at him I will remember the great decade I spent with Atlas.
Thank you all for making me the person I am today, I will miss you and wish you all well.
Lots of love