Michelle Blunt, Consultant (Former Department Manager):
For many years I was the department manager of the IP group in London. I loved that job. Not least because it came with the responsibility (I would say privilege) of taking care of the wellbeing and performance of the 50+ people in my team. That’s a responsibility to be taken very seriously. Not only because it’s the right thing to do (which it is), but also because it makes good business sense. Our talented people are what drive our business forward, and if every member of our team isn’t able to perform at their best, then the service we provide to our clients suffers. It’s also much more fun to work in a team where most of us are working at the very top of our game on most days!
I personally think people perform at their best when they’re well supported physically, mentally and emotionally. When they have a good balance between work and non-work. When they understand their role clearly and how they contribute to the purpose of the Firm. And when they’re able to really feel comfortable being themselves in the office.
I learnt so much as a manager that I have decided to go back to uni and study neuroscience & psychology. That’s meant scaling back my work commitments and leaving the team in the good hands of other partners. The ethos remains the same: we encourage our people to be open and to talk to us about anything which might get in the way of them thriving at work. Whether that be a physical disability, mental health challenge, difficult short or long-term personal circumstances, anything. We’re all human, we all have a back-story, I know I have mine. Our role as leaders and managers is to do whatever we can to create a supportive environment, for each and everyone in the team.
Michelle now works as a part-time consultant at Baker McKenzie whilst also studying for a BSc in Neuroscience and Psychology at KCL.