Sophie Attwood, founder and CEO of SA Communications

In our regular series, big cheeses remember when their cheeses were still small


Hi Sophie! Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Sophie Attwood and I’m a public relations consultant and author. I founded my public relations consultancy business SA Communications in 2017 and now have a curated global portfolio of exceptional brands within the health, beauty and wellness industries. I was recently listed within Management Today’s 35 Women under 35 List, which was a huge achievement.

What was your #MyFirstMcJob?

Working as a French and English tutor while at university.

How did you get the job?

I applied to teach virtually through an online platform, even though I had very little experience as I was only in my second year of university. Before I knew it, I was teaching English lessons on everything from ordering food to the history of the US government, and giving lessons to business leaders and big corporations in France.

What did you have to do?

Wake up at 7am, which as a student was on a par with getting up in the middle of the night! I’d log bleary-eyed in to the portal and begin my first lesson of the day. A presentation would be prepared for me and I’d simply ad lib – in either English or French – for the 45-minute session.

How long did you work there?

The whole duration of university.

What did you spend your first pay cheque on?

Sadly nothing too exciting - rent and an extravagant Aldi shop!

What were the perks of the job?

Definitely being given the opportunity to go and work in Paris for eight months after university. I met new people and realised there was a much bigger world available to me if I wanted it, which of course, I did.

What's the funniest thing that happened?

When I arrived in Paris, two men were chatting about me in French, assuming that I was unable to understand. I let them continue for at least ten minutes before swiftly responding to their comments in French. They went on to become good friends, but I’ve never let them forget it.

What skills did you learn that you still use now?

Creativity and relationship building.

Are you still in contact with any of your old colleagues?

Yes, I’ve stayed in touch with a few.

Why are alumni so important to you?

Life changes in the blink of an eye. Alumni reiterates that all-important starting point. As important as it is to look forward, it’s also sometimes necessary to pause and take a second to look back at the journey and the people who got you to where you are.

What would happen if you tried to do your old job today?

I'd hope that I'd approach it with greater self-confidence. It was incredibly daunting liaising with CEOs in my teenage years – especially men. I would hope that I'd approach it with the same level of tenacity and willingness to learn that I had back then, as it's that that's pushed me to get to where I am now.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?

I would say: “Realise your worth. Note the value you’re bringing instead of chasing perfection and worrying about the others. Once you see that, you can’t unsee it, and you’ll only grow from there.”




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