This week we’re thrilled to welcome a new member of the Rin Hamburgh & Co team: Liz Leaman. Liz is a whiz when it comes to anything to do with admin, project management and business systems. But that's definitely not the most interesting thing about her. Read on to find out what she gets up to in her spare time, how she ended up in Bristol, and which Little Miss character she’d be.
Where are you from and how did you end up in Bristol?
I was born in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, a little town in Leicestershire, but I’ve lived all over the place - Cambridgeshire, Manchester. That’s where I met my husband Tim, at a friend’s 21st birthday party. He was from Bristol so, in 2001, I moved south.
What have you done in your career up to now?
I studied French and German Language Technology at university - it was a BSc which covered the languages but also things like linguistics and computer aided translation. The day after my final exam I started working at IBM, helping car dealerships in different countries install software into their systems. When I moved to Bristol I did a few random jobs working for the police and a housing association, before going to work for my family’s software company as operations manager in 2003.
What most excites you about starting a new job?
I really love learning new stuff, having new challenges and things to think about, finding solutions to problems and getting to know the people I’m working with.
What’s life like outside of work?
Insane! I have four children who are 12, 10, 8 and 7 - that pretty much fills up all my time. I wish that I did lots of artistic things, and rock climbing, and yoga. I have loads of expensive exercise equipment and a nice yoga mat and climbing shoes and a garage full of paint, but I never get to use them.
If you were given a week entirely to yourself, what would you do with it?
I can’t decide whether I’d want go to the city and spend hours in H&M or go to the forest and spend hours breathing in lots of oxygen. I’d love to go and visit some funky cities in Romania or Croatia. So probably a magical combination where I could combine shopping and nature and eating and drinking in one.
If you could choose a Little Miss character to describe you, what would it be?
Little Miss Enthusiastic!
What do people always find surprising about you?
The fact that I took my children on a 9,000km road trip through Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. It took 35 days and we sometimes ate bread and jam and sometimes ate steak. It was awesome.
What is your proudest achievement in your life so far?
I’m really proud of the fact that I managed to move my whole life and family to Mozambique to work for a charity, giving away all of our stuff in the process. And then coming back to the UK to renew our immigration and finding out we couldn’t, and having to give away everything we’d built up in Africa and make a new life back here. I’m pretty proud that we achieved that.
If you could do any job in the world for one day, what would it be?
When I was a child I always wanted to be a trader on the trading floor and just make loads of money! Through secondary school I always said I’m not going to get married, I’m going to be a stockbroker. It looks crazy when you see it on TV and movies, and I can’t understand it but I wish I could.
What book are you reading at the moment?
Paper Tigers by Toby Howden. He’s a colleague of mine from a previous job and he travelled in Japan with a friend and rather than being a tourist or a teacher, he ended up working in a paper factory and being trained in martial arts by a hard-drinking, Mr Miyagi kind of guy. It’s just been crowd funded and published. I wanted to read it because he’s a really nice guy.
What’s your favourite thing about Bristol?
I like that it’s a very liberal city and very welcoming and inclusive and forward thinking, in the main. There’s a lot of arts, a lot of music, diversity, culture and it’s very pretty as well. There’s something for everybody.
What’s your personal motto for life?
“Live the life you love” - that’s what I’m aspiring to do.