After Heriot’s Blog

Next up on the blog we have Chris Sibbald who shares his valuable words of advice for current pupils at Heriot’s.

Please get in touch if you wish to share your story ‘after Heriot’s’.

Chris Sibbald, Class of 2008

What is your current role?

Managing Director at Finsbury Glover Hering – a world leading consultancy in strategy and communications. I lead the Financial Services team out of the UK and also specialise in transformation and change, helping companies of all shapes and sizes implement new strategies.

What was your journey to get there?

I’ve been at the firm for two years. I joined from Tesco Bank where I used to run the communications team and before that I was part of the founding team at Charlotte Street Partners, a strategy consultancy based in Edinburgh. I’ve also been involved in politics north and south of the border – I started my career as a research in the House of Commons and I’ve had a couple of spells supporting the Scottish Government.

What are your achievements?

Outside of my main work, I am very privileged to be a trustee at the National Galleries of Scotland as the organisation seeks to broaden its appeal to people from all backgrounds, stages of life and right across the country. The national galleries an incredible institution for the country and I think arts and culture more broadly play a hugely important role to greater economic and social inclusion. It’s a fascinating experience!

I’m also very proud to play a small role in the brilliant work of the Prince’s Trust in Scotland. I sit on the Scotland Council working with a few others to help the Director and her leadership team, and I also run the Financial & Business Lunch – which brings together around 350 people every year to raise money and introduce corporate partnerships to help disadvantaged young people into employment.

Tell us two abiding memory of Heriot’s:

I was there from nursery to senior six – there are so many!

The first thing that comes to mind was the enduring spirit of giving that stuck with everyone from young to teenage years, whether it was making shoe-boxes of gifts, visiting the local nursing homes at Easter and Christmas, or the personal challenges pupils undertook to raise money – I always think of Heriot’s as a very generous school. It has a real sense of community, which I guess comes from its purpose of distributing chearfullie!

The second thing would be the great joy I had of being School Captain in my final year – from getting to spend so much time with pupils of all ages to doing the speech at June Day – it was an amazing year for someone who loves the school and I felt very lucky.

And two ‘takeaways’ from Heriot’s days?

Firstly, that effort is the most important quality when it comes to work and that by working hard you will usually get good and satisfying results. I’ve always had to work hard to get results, so this Heriot’s taught attitude has been really important for me as I’ve progressed through my career.

Secondly, that diversity of thought and background is essential for a balanced culture. The integrity of the foundation and Heriot’s maintaining support for foundationers is vital to it retaining its ethos, values and making sure that people don’t think the world revolves simply around money and success. The inclusive tapestry of backgrounds amongst the pupils is its most redeeming feature.

Any top tips for current pupils when planning their future?

Always retain perspective particularly when things don’t go as planned, and always have a range of interests at the same time – everyone needs a hinterland.