Shreya Vohora (2009)

Shreya tells us about working in Interiors and her time at school.

After graduating from UCL with a degree in anthropology in 2013, I joined my family business ‘Interiors With Art’, a luxury Design & Build firm specialising in high-end residential properties both in London and globally. I started 'on the shop floor' and over the past 5 years I have worked my way up to Head of Operations, overseeing the construction department in London.
What I love most about my job is how ever-changing and dynamic it is. I relish being able to interact with a variety of people from such different backgrounds and understanding the best ways to communicate and motivate them.
I spend a fair proportion of my time working closely with my director to analyse and find methods by which we as a company can improve our systems & processes. I love to see the direct impact a small improvement or change has on a team’s morale and productivity! 
During my primary years, I attended a few different schools but my time at St James is amongst my fondest (and not just because of the lasting friendships!). The school's welcoming and accepting atmosphere has translated into my life and work today. By giving me the confidence to be 'who I am' in any situation, it has encouraged me to be mindful of others and in turn encourage them to feel comfortable. St James taught us to share our interests and to listen and care about others’ passions. I have yet to come across a person who I can't speak to! 
An important skill that I learnt in school, which I often use to cope with the stresses of daily life, is the importance of taking the time to pause and reflect (not something I understood or appreciated the significance of at the time!). In the era of mindfulness, I know people who spend hours struggling to sit still and reflect, whereas I am fortunate that this comes more naturally to me as, from the age of 11, it was an integral part of our daily routine.
For students, my advice would be: don’t worry if you don’t know exactly what you want to do but instead be open to possibilities and learning new skills! It does not often matter what you studied at university or in previous jobs, but it is the skills that you collect and the excitement of continuous learning that is most important!