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Loyalty is the epitome of nobility, and a 20-year milestone in demonstrating it is a remarkable accomplishment. Such longevity in loyalty reflects a strong sense of dedication, trust, and commitment, and is a cause for celebration.
Jenny McDonald started her career with Ambition as a Receptionist and the face of the company; twenty years and six managers later, Jenny continues to grace Ambition with her expertise as Office Coordinator. We couldn't let this momentous occasion slip by without a catch-up with Jenny to see how her time has been.
How does it feel to have been with Ambition for 20 years?
I honestly did not see it coming. I remember when I first started, I didn’t come in with the goal of staying here for 20 years. I was planning to just see how it went and ended up never wanting to leave. I still remember my first day, well it wasn’t even my first day really. I was starting on a Monday but the Friday before was the Ambition Christmas party. What a way to start with a new company.
I think the reason I didn’t see 20 years coming is that although I’ve been with the same company through this time, it has felt like I’ve had many different jobs, with different iterations of the company. What I mean by that is that the culture has shifted and of course, in 20 years I’ve seen people come and go, so there have been different versions of the company I have worked for. This has also shifted the demands of my role, and I feel like I have had different responsibilities to keep me on my toes for the time I’ve been here.
What is one of your fondest memories of being at Ambition?
That’s a hard thing to zone in on after 20 years of memories! There have been so many. When I first started, although Ambition and Accountability were part of the same group, they very much operated separately. We were in separate buildings, then when Accountability moved over, we were on different floors. However, eventually, we were all working under the same roof, collaborating and sharing many more moments together. This would definitely be a highlight of my time here at Ambition.
The biggest career highlight would have to be having won the Chairman’s award in the second half of last year. It got me a spot on the Dream Team trip for 2022. We’re leaving for Hawaii in just a few weeks. Just goes to show that after 20 years there’s still always something great to look forward to.
The company has changed so much over time, what has been one of the biggest changes you have seen, and that has directly impacted you?
Within my time here, I think one of the biggest and probably most important changes has been with leadership. It goes through its ups and downs and over the years we have had some great leaders. At the moment, however, the leadership team is the best I’ve seen it. In contrast to a few years ago, the culture is so much stronger, and the leaders here have such a good influence on the team.
Over my time so far, I can definitely say that one thing that hasn’t changed is working with such amazing and talented colleagues. It sounds cheesy but I’ve worked with many different characters that have become lifelong friends. It’s a perk that isn’t necessarily advertised as part of the job but it is definitely a major highlight over the last 20 years.
A few of Jenny's colleagues and friends have shared some of their fond memories and well wishes for Jenny on this momentous occasion.
“I remember walking nervously through the doors of Ambition over 10 years ago to my interview and being greeted by the lovely Jenny McDonald at reception. She was warm, welcoming, and made me feel at ease instantly. From that moment, I knew Ambition was the place I wanted to be.
Over the 20 years that Jen has worked for Ambition, you would find it hard to come across anybody that has crossed paths with her that doesn’t class Jen as a friend. She is loved by everyone, kind, fun, caring, and a hard worker. I don’t know what we would do without you Jen…. here’s to the next 20 years!”
- Linda McEvilly, People & Culture Manager
"When I first joined Ambition in 2013, Jenny was the first person that I met in the business. I still remember how well I was treated and how relaxed she made me feel as I waited to be interviewed. This was a big part in me joining Ambition, as I know it was with many others too.
Jenny must have met thousands of people who have come through the doors over the years; from consultants to clients to candidates - to delivery men dropping off that week's alcohol order...something that we are very grateful that you are always on top of Jen. Never a dry fridge in the house.
For the past 20 years Jenny has been the face of Ambition, she lives and breathes our company values. I can't imagine the business without her.
Here is to another 20 Jen 😉"
- Chris Crolla, Client Engagement Director
"Having worked with Jenny for the past 4 years, it has been such a pleasure getting to know her. As the ‘face of Ambition,’ I can see why everyone speaks so highly of her. She is so kind and welcoming to everyone and is genuinely just a top-notch person! She has such a warm and inviting personality and I can always count on her for a good giggle or a tale. Having a role that has evolved a fair bit over the last couple of years, she has taken everything on board and has been such a massive help. Thank you for all your hard work over the years Jenny, I don’t know what I (and Ambition) would do without you!"
- Sophie Hirst, Operations Manager
"Jenny, I’ve known you for a long time now, and even though we don’t see each other that often you’re always somebody who I want to speak to, partly because I love hearing a little bit more about some of your shenanigans in your previous life, but mainly because you’re just an all-round good egg who is warm, funny and a little bit mischievous. Congratulations on the 20 years and, assuming that you have no plans to retire any time soon, good luck for the next 20!"
- Julian Soames, Associate Director, Finance - Banking & Financial Services
"I have 100 stories I could tell about times with Jenny but unfortunately most of them are not suitable for publishing! From our girls trip to Woy Woy one year, to various Award ceremonies and Christmas parties to our creation of The Arms. What tells you everything you need to know about Jenny is that every single candidate and client who has been to our office and every single person who has ever worked at Ambition or AccountAbility asks about Jenny as a first port of call. She is seriously our Director of First Impressions, a friend to many a lonely soul away from their home country and big sister to all. We love you Jenny!"
- Yseult d'Estelle Roe, Director, AccountAbility & Ambition Finance
Thank you, Jenny, for all of your hard work and dedication to Ambition over the last 20 years. We hope that you enjoy your well-deserved Dream Team trip to Hawaii, and we look forward to the next 20 years.
If you're interested in a career at Ambition and are wondering what it would be like to work for us, click here!
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