Interview
18 September 2019

ULIP recent graduate and former SU Vice President, Charles Wade, also found time during his final year to become involved with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI)’s Future Leaders campaign. CMI helps young professionals with their employability skills and offers them support in order to access the senior management roles they aspire to. Charles was recently interviewed by Chair of CMI Future Leader, Reetu Kansal, about his formative undergraduate experience, his thoughts on career prospects and life opportunities since graduating from ULIP. Read Reetu Kansal's piece below.

The CMI Future Leaders campaign is an initiative close to my heart and profession. I have had the privilege to be involved with it right from the start as Chair. I am proud of how far we have come in terms of building the Future Leaders community, supporting its members and creating credibility of management as a profession.

One of the joys of my involvement with CMI Future Leaders is the amazing people I meet. Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with and celebrating the success of one of the members of my panel, Charles Wade. Charles is based in Paris and I remember the day I met Charles for the first time during a meeting at the University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP). I knew that he is someone exceptionally talented and that he would be great for the CMI Future Leaders Advisory Panel.

Here I am in conversation with Charles about his journey and achievements as a Future Leader, challenges of balancing various commitments and the rewards of paying it forward. It is no surprise to me that he received the Guenther Prize for the highest mark in 2019, having achieved a first-class degree in BA (Hons) French Studies and a distinction in spoken French. My conversation with Charles acknowledges and highlights his invaluable contribution to CMI Future Leaders beyond borders.

Charles, thank you for your time to speak with me. Why Paris?

I chose Paris as, wanting to learn French, doing so in France made the most sense, as well as the course looking great. I also had the desire to explore a different culture and to immerse myself in a different world. Not always easy, but so worth it. I read French Studies, and loved it, as it had such a wide scope of study and discussion. As part of my course, for example, I ended up not only doing literature, history and translation modules but also International Relations, cinema, politics and linguistics.

Wow! Looks like you had a busy schedule on your programme. Yet you chose to put yourself forward as the Vice President of the ULIP Student Union. What motivated you to go for this role?

I thought hard about going for the role as I knew it would be tough but having really enjoyed my first two years and appreciated all the Student Union had done, I felt strongly about giving back what I could and trying to keep building on previous work and improving the experience for all our students. I knew also that it would be a challenge that would help me improve all sorts of skills and develop my personal character too, something it certainly has done.

And then you agreed to join the CMI Future Leaders Advisory Panel. How did this role, interaction with other panel members and CMI resources help/impact your student journey? 

Being part of the panel added a really fascinating dimension to my last year of study as it opened my eyes more to the professional world and gave me the opportunity to interact with young and experienced professionals, develop my understanding of Future Leaders and CMI and also write a blog for the first time. There were times when I did struggle to balance all I had on and did question whether I could really do it but everyone was always so encouraging and understanding so it was never too much and helped me to learn too how to prioritise and be more organised.

What is next for your career?

(Great question, still a work in progress 😉) Current plan = I'll be staying in Paris where, as well as working, I'll be doing a part time course in Church Leadership and Theology as well as applying for a Masters in Translation and Interpretation. As part of this, I will be learning Spanish and German on the side, as well as traveling a little. I hope to pursue a career in Translation and Interpretation as well as working with and for the Church in Europe.

You are staying on the CMI panel. This is great! What are you looking forward to most with CMI in terms of your career journey?

Now that I am more familiar with the panel and Future Leaders, I am excited to write some more blog posts, develop friendships with those involved and attend some events too. I am looking forward as well to our meetings and initiatives to continually improve the offer we give to our Future Leaders to maximise their potential.