90 seconds with… Mona Patel, Head of External Comms, Metro Bank

90 Seconds with Mona Patel

Kamillah Ansari, Associate Consultant at tml Partners, sat down with Mona Patel, Head of External Communications at Metro Bank to get her thoughts on career development, marketing and communications opportunities, and how to get the best out of hybrid working.

What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

A coach once told me to map out a 10-year plan and the small, incremental steps I needed to take to achieve the 10-year goal. This makes it feel much more achievable.

What future opportunities do you think marketing and communications will create over the next five years?

Authenticity has become an increasingly more common buzzword over the last few years. As has purpose. Take those together with reputation and you have a whole heap of opportunity right there. How can marketing and communications functions protect and enhance reputations through the lens of being purpose-led and truly authentic?

What has had the most influential impact on your leadership career and why?

Observing other leaders. Inevitably, the great ones stand out and the others by default demonstrate how not to lead. You can emulate a great leader but to truly understand how to lead you need to understand how not to lead.

How do you maximise hybrid working?

Using office days to connect with colleagues across the business. Lots of face to face chats to build and cement personal relationships. Having started this job in lockdown on maternity cover, and then going permanent, meant I had a lot of catching up to do once we got back to the office. 

How are you planning for 2023 and beyond?

Thinking about how to stand out in a crowded space – but not for the wrong reasons! On a personal level, continuing with my 10 year plan by thinking about the incremental steps I can take to progress my career. And then taking them of course!

What career advice would you now give to yourself 10 years ago?

Take a chance – after losing my job twice, both times after fairly long stints I’d say don’t be put off by a change of direction as you never know where it might take you. 

What’s the toughest interview question you’ve ever asked or been asked?

I find it hard to answer questions like how do you overcome obstacles / juggle a number of competing priorities / deal with difficult situations / manage a crisis. I don’t have a magic formula or the right answer. The answer is I just get on with it, whatever “it” is.  

Who is your business hero and why?

I am impressed and inspired by anyone who takes a punt and sets up their own business. I once tried to get my own shoe business off the ground but when it came to investing serious money I got cold feet (excuse the pun). I did end up with the only pair of “Mona Patels” so at least that’s something! 

Who are tml Partners?

tml Partners are marketing and corporate affairs recruitment specialists with access to a global network of marketing and communications leaders.

Our Corporate Affairs team work across senior roles in Investor Relations, External and Internal Communications, Public Affairs, Content and Brand on a permanent or interim basis.

To learn how tml Partners can help you, get in touch with Kamillah Ansari:

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