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Catching up with... Ann Brown

We catch up with Ann Brown, the UK director of human resources of global IT services company Capgemini.

Ann BrownWhen were you at Kingston and what degree did you do?

I took a BA in Modern Arts from 1979–82, and then joined the Business School part-time from 1984–87 for my IPM (Institute of Personnel Management) qualification.

Why did you choose Kingston?

I liked the look of the course. The main subject was English, which was my passion, and I liked the fact it was set in a modern social and economic context. We covered politics, history, and history of art among other topics, so it was a broad degree, and I enjoyed it hugely.

Sum up your memories of your time at Kingston in two or three words.

Warmth, fun, fondness.

What did you expect to do after graduating? Are you still doing that now?

I expected to have a career in business, so yes, that's what I'm doing. I was interested in the world of work, and workplace effectiveness, and I was lucky enough to get a HR job as a graduate trainee, in Hounslow.

What's your greatest achievement?

Being able to bring up my family and combine it with a career that I really enjoy. I have two teenagers.

What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Remember that learning is a lifelong experience – you don't just go to college, finish learning, and then go out to work. Aim to find a job where you will keep learning. Oh, and don't worry if you think you look fat! Celebrate how you look and feel right now!

What last made you laugh?

The previous question! Laughing is important. You have to have a good sense of humour when you're dealing with people.

What's your ideal weekend?

Family time – my daughters are growing up fast, so they won't be at home for very much longer.

Tell us something we would never guess about you.

I bake a mean banana cake.

You are to live out your final days on a desert island…

Who would you take with you any why? Mo Mowlam. I have huge admiration for her intellect. And David Beckham. I have huge admiration for his body!

What book would you take and why? Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. It has everything it in to keep me occupied, and it's long.

What food item would you take and why? Chocolate.

What movie would you take and why? Toy Story 3. It's just so heart-warming.

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