How I got here - Stephanie Crouch

A former British Champion in gymnastics, Stephanie Crouch is now head of special events at iBid Events. In the past 12 months she has worked on more than 150 events and helped raise £14.5m for charities including Great Ormond Street Hospital, Cancer Research UK, NSPCC and the Peter Jones Foundation. She chatted to Event about hard work, determination and perfectionism.

Stephanie Crouch
Stephanie Crouch

What do you do and how long have you been in your current role?

I’m head of special events at iBid and I’ve been here almost five years now.

Where was your first job? What was the most important thing you learnt there?

I was a gymnast from the age of four, so the natural progression was to coach. From the age of 13 I was allowed to be an assistant for the recreational squads. The most important thing I learnt was that you should always have a passion for what you do. It makes it fun, not work.

How did you get from there to where you are now?

A long and windy road. I had quite a few jobs growing up. I like learning new skills and taking chances. After deciding I didn’t want to head to university, I was offered a job in at an accountants. Then I took my qualifications to be a primary school teaching assistant and worked in hospitality at British Touring Cars, before hearing about a job in the stunt show at Legoland so I thought I’d take a chance. That led me nicely into training to be a stunt woman, and then offered a full time role at iBid after doing some freelance work. I’ve not looked back since.

Did you expect your career path to take the course it has?

Not at all. I believe you have to take an opportunity when it arises. You don’t want to look back on your life and say 'what if?' so you have to jump at chances. I have always loved events though. I was always the one to organise the holidays and nights out for my friends. In sixth form I was social rep, so I organised all the nights out and the end of year prom. Back then I don’t think I’d realised a job such as mine existed – our school careers advisor definitely didn’t.

Would you do anything differently?

I really don’t think I would. I’ve enjoyed the varied career history I’ve had and all my jobs have shaped me into the person I am now, loving the job that I think was made for me.

Who has inspired you along the way?

In a business sense, I’m inspired by self-made entrepreneurs like Alan Sugar, Theo Paphitis and Richard Branson. They taught me that university isn’t the only option in life to become successful in business. Common sense and a lot of determination go a long way too. Growing up though it was probably the gymnast Nadia Comaneci. I always strived for perfection.

Have you ever had a job interview that went particularly well or spectacularly wrong?

My interview for Legoland involved me high-diving from a 10m board. I’d never dived in my life and turned up in a bikini. Not a good move. There were a fair few dodgy dives and I was covered in bruises for a couple of weeks, but the ones that went right must have impressed as they offered me the job.

Is there a piece of career advice you’ve ever been told that has stuck with you?

Never give up on your dreams. If you want something enough, you can make it happen.

What career advice would you give to your 21-year-old self?

Don’t worry about what other people think so much. Go for what you want and learn along the way if you need to.

How do you wind down and relax after a hectic day?

I’ve just found an aerial hoop class in Battersea. London is amazing for circus skill classes.

Want to share your career story with us as part of the Women in Events campaignEmail news editor Samantha Edwards to feature in a future How I Got Here.

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