Features - A Day In The Life

Claire Wheaton

Claire Wheaton

Posted 01 May 2016

New York Programme

September 2009 Intake


Claire Wheaton (New York, September 2009), a graduate of Nottingham University, currently works as an HR Business Partner for the online genealogy brand called www.findmypast.co.uk/. Claire's role is to ensure that the company attracts and retains the best talent and to help create and drive a culture of high performance and success. Claire
says "what I love about HR is no day is the same. Today I've been working with our design team preparing our marketing collateral for a jobs fair we are attending, interviewing candidates, editing our company video that is currently being produced, and meeting potential suppliers about a new HR system we are looking to implement".

How did you get into this line of business?
Before Mountbatten I worked as a recruitment consultant for three years in London. Whilst I liked the people side of recruitment, I didn't enjoy the sales aspect. I decided I wanted to move into HR so that I could see the whole employee life cycle. I applied for Mountbatten and got placed as an HR Assistant as UBS Global Asset Management. Supporting the US Asset Management business. When I returned to the UK I took a 6 month contract at the BBC as an HR Advisor, mainly supporting the Technology and News divisions and ended up staying there for 4 years! I then got itchy feet again to move abroad and moved to Sydney where I worked at Fairfax Media, Australia's biggest media company, supporting from an HR perspective a number of change programmes within their rural newspapers division.

It was great experience but I also got to see a lot of rural Australia that I would never have seen on my own! I came back in January from Australia and wanted to stay in HR but move to a smaller company where there is more opportunity to make an impact. The position with Findmypast came up and I was excited about it as it's an innovative global company and from an HR perspective there are lots of projects and initiatives to implement.

Let's talk about a typical day. What time do you get up?
I generally get up about 7am, unless I have my weekly personal training session, in which case it's a 5.45am start. I get to the office about 9am and have my breakfast. What I love about HR is no day is the same. Today I've been working with our design team preparing our marketing collateral for a jobs fair we are attending, interviewing candidates, editing our company video that is currently being produced, and meeting potential suppliers about a new HR system we are looking to implement.

Where do you have your lunch?
I try very hard to be healthy so normally I take my lunch into work. However, we have a few keen bakers here at Findmypast so I usually I end up ruining it all with cake!

What time do you normally leave your workplace at the end of the working day?
I usually leave about 6 and try and meet friends after work for drinks or dinner.

How often do you travel for work?
We are a global company and have offices in Salt Lake City, New York, Dundee, Dublin and also a presence in Australia. I'm off to Dundee in the next couple of weeks to run some workshops for our team there, and hopefully there will be an opportunity in the future to return to NY and visit our NYC office!

For friends who have never been to London what would you suggest they see and do?
Afternoon tea at the Wallace Collection, walk around the Southbank, go for a roast in a traditional London pub. And of course visit Brixton where I live, for some drinks in Brixton market and live music at the Academy!