Meet the Team: Ela Tabbernor
Hey Ela, could you tell us about how you ended up working at Speakers Corner?
Well, starting right back at the beginning, I was born and raised in Canada. I went to university there before moving to Cardiff to complete my Masters in Ancient History (the course actually had an annoyingly long title, but I just call it Ancient History). For a long time, I wanted to work in academia but I found it to be quite a mean industry and so I did what every other graduate does and started working in a coffee shop! I then moved onto being an office manager for a VR company but after a while found working life a little lonely in Cardiff. I knew some people living in London through my Polish circles and decided to move to the capital. I found this job with Speakers Corner through a recruitment agency and never looked back. The move was scary at first, but I’m very happy with my life decisions.
You’ve definitely made some big decisions so far in your life, but glad they led you here. Another big decision you made recently was to step up to be Head of Logistics, how has the new role been going so far?
I’ve really enjoyed it. Growing up in a family with a military background, I’ve lived with a lot of structure in my life. I think this has helped in my role here as the formulaic structure of logistics feels so familiar.
But I also love the day-to-day chaos of problem solving. Things can go wrong – cars may not show up and flights can be cancelled – but it’s so satisfying to stop and look at all the available options and find the best solution to the problem. On my first ever event, an international flight was cancelled at the last minute, so I had to learn this side of the job very quickly!
Keep up the good work Ela!
What was the strangest thing about coming to the UK from Canada? What differences were hardest to get used to?
Life in the UK can be so different from Winnipeg. It’s all the small things. I remember one of my first times shopping and I had to actually leave the store to call a friend and ask whether an aubergine was the same thing as an eggplant!
Thank goodness you didn’t have to buy courgettes…
It’s also little things at work too. Like the differences in spelling. Is it program or programme?
Who is your favourite speaker that you’ve seen so far?
I love Sam Conniff . As an historian I adore his references to historical pirates that he uses in his presentations, I find it so interesting. Plus, his marketing and social media for his new book is on point. He just seems like a complete package as a speaker for me.
A great choice – he certainly wowed us at our Knowledge Guild showcase.
We read in your bio that you love to be creative, and particularly love making your own clothes. What’s the most ambitious thing you’ve made with your sewing machine?
I like to make clothes and I once made myself a strapless dress with boning in the bodice. I hand-finished and it was a real challenge.
Boning in the bodice – we’ll have to google that one.
Apart from your sewing, what else do you like to get up to outside of the office?
Well I have an old soul so love plants (hence the growing forest on my desk) and I recently took a trip to Kew Gardens which was lovely.
I also enjoy dancing from modern, couples dancing – to the traditional Polish Polka!
Well, can’t wait for you to teach us all to Polka!
Thanks so much for speaking with us Ela.
For further information or to book a speaker, call us on +44 (0)20 7607 7070
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