Four years on
Four years ago today, my family and I drove through the gates of Buckingham Palace to attend my MBE investiture ceremony. I was being honoured as a Member of the Order of the British Empire for my services to sustainability in the energy management sector and for promoting diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
My parents smiling from ear to ear and my husband beaming with pride, all whilst I sat there not quite believing that simply doing what I loved had presented me with this incredible opportunity.
Growing up I never imagined in my wildest dreams that this would be my future. I didn’t think things like this happened to people like me. But I’m so glad that it did. In the four years that have passed, I have been able to reach greater personal and professional heights and for that I am thankful.
With recognition comes confidence
I can’t put everything that has happened in these past 4 years down to the MBE, but what I can say is being recognised in this prestigious way had given me a huge confidence boost. My achievements had been validated, my contributions valued and my profile raised. Having an MBE turns heads, and a number of doors of opportunity were opened to me as a result. The thing is, it doesn’t always take external awards or grand gestures to boost confidence, often a simple ‘well done’ can also do incredible things!
Strive for growth
Soon after the MBE, I remember thinking what next? Being super ambitious, I wondered how I would top this. My hunger to continuously improve became very apparent and I found myself seeking opportunities that would continue to push and stretch me. My MBE had certainly helped to open doors, but I couldn’t simply rely on it to keep me in the room. I set out an annual personal development plan that would help to safeguard my personal and professional growth and I’ve stuck to it!
The role of role models
With this achievement also came a platform. A platform to share, to shine and to inspire. One of my greatest learnings from this experience has been the power of sharing one’s story. I’ve been inspired by so many people throughout my career and have been fortunate to have so many champions. I now see it as my duty to do the same for others. It’s not just about seeking out role models, it’s also about becoming one.
So as I reflect back on one of the happiest days in my career, I can’t help but feel gratitude, pride and hunger to achieve even more in the next 4 years.