Meet the team – Introducing Head of Programme Management, Vikki Cunliffe

So, Vikki, tell us a bit about yourself:

So originally a ‘Smoggie’, I moved from what was then Cleveland in the North East over to Chester the day after my 18th birthday. Expecting a few weeks holiday before starting work again I was shocked to find myself working on the first Monday in the building we can all see from the Oxbury office in One City Place, The Queens Hotel where I started as a Temp on the phones answering calls with a script for a company called North West Securities. I remember the script was very prescriptive and it all fell apart when the customers asked questions which weren’t on the sheet of paper in front of me. I literally didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Somehow this led to a lifelong career in banking.

What is your role in Oxbury and when did you join?

My role is a little like a Jack of all trades and a master of none. Actually, this is not true as I am a qualified project practitioner, which is relevant as I manage the larger non IT projects as well as managing the MI and UAT team together as working closely with PwC, our internal auditors to ensure we are kept on the straight and narrow. 

I started on the 2nd of March 2020 and spent 2 weeks at my desk before being sent home to work.  Little did we all know that the Coronavirus would result in us being at home so long. A steep learning curve, in a new role but something I was very familiar with.  My primary task was to support Oxbury in mobilisation to achieve its banking licence within the set deadlines from the regulators. I’m proud to say we did this and did it well.

Tell us about your background and how that has led to you working at Oxbury and the role that you are in?

Having been accepted into nursing college when I was in the North East, I thought I would pursue this in Chester however, I needed to save for a home as I was living with my boyfriend’s parents at the time.  After a short stint working for a Private Investigator (a lot more glamorous than it was), I got a call from my previous manager at North West Securities asking me to return and work in a new credit card team (a British Rail revolving credit product called Travel Key). Whilst saving for a house deposit, there was a good opportunity for overtime, so I jumped at the chance and little did I know that this would result in staying with this company through the various buy outs / takeovers with my last role being a Project Manager in Lloyds Banking Group Corporate Division. 

How do your colleagues describe you in 3 words?

  • Approachable
  • Supportive
  • Honest

What do you like most in your current role?

I have a lot of variety as projects tend to be relatively short and this is good for someone who can get bored quickly.  My family refer to me as magpie, always looking for a new, shiny thing to grab my interest. But the most important thing to me is achieving. I know it can sound corny, however knowing that what I do makes a positive difference is my main motivator and therefore, the flip side of the coin is not achieving which is very demotivating for me. When working in one of the big 4 banks, I rarely got the opportunity to see a project come to fruition and see the results. At Oxbury, I see this every day and it genuinely makes me feel proud of how we all work together and strive to make this company something which has a positive impact on British farming and agriculture.

What is your proudest moment from working at Oxbury?

I’m going to take liberties and name two things, first is having a truly great team who live by the Oxbury values and demonstrate this daily, and who produce quality work which supports the day to day running of the business. The second, is seeing our first savings account opened having achieved our banking licence.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself or an interesting, yet unhelpful fact that you know?

I have taken control and flown a Cessna light aircraft at the age of 8 (my dad was on dual controls!)

Thanks Vikki!