People are at the heart of everything we do, which is why we enjoy getting to know more about those who make Hazlewoods. This time, we spoke to Alastair Main, Manager in the Corporate Services team.
Firstly, what do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Well, in the summer months, you'll find me playing a lot of cricket - I fill most of my Saturdays and occasional evenings with it. I also play for the Hazlewoods cricket team, with some great social games taking place.
Then, for the rest of my time, I enjoy hiking with my dog – a large lurcher called Otto – and my partner.
You mentioned our cricket team - how do you find the social life at Hazlewoods?
It's great because, having been with Hazlewoods for a number of years since joining as a trainee, you use the social side to build up a peer group and strengthen relationships. There's plenty of social activities to get involved in across teams and sectors, which helps to develop your internal network.
I like to get involved in lots of activities across the business, so as well as 'socials', there are community initiatives as well, including fundraising for our charity of the year.
Last year we managed to purchase a new service motorbike for Severn Freewheelers and this year we're trying to have a similar impact for Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (GRASAC), through activities such as the Hazlewoods Cheltenham Three Peaks Challenge at the end of July.
Tell us more about the Hazlewoods Three Peaks Challenge
A group of 30 of us from the Corporate Services team are taking on a 20-mile hike around the three biggest hills in Cheltenham, to raise money for our charity of the year, GRASAC.
This challenge was inspired by the Welsh Three Peaks Challenge we did a few years ago, so I'm looking forward to bringing the team together again outside of work and strengthening team morale. We'll start early and finish late, so it will test endurance, but for a really good cause.
I'm hoping to catch some nice views whilst up there and not just staring down at my boots all the time! I'm also looking forward to better appreciating the local area in which we live.
What do you like about working in the Corporate Services team?
I like that we've recently joined together as one large team, so there is always someone to bounce ideas off or share knowledge and specific skills. I feel being in a larger team improves how we work both personally and technically, through a sense of comradery.
I specialise in audit, which is great, as it provides the opportunity to see inside a business. You get to really understand how it operates and the key drivers within it, meaning you can then offer useful insights into enhancements and improvements.
Over the last year, we've been actively getting back out and visiting our clients in person. Meeting them face-to-face really helps develop that human connection and certainly enhances our understanding of them and their businesses.
How have you found your time at Hazlewoods since starting out as a trainee?
It's been a fascinating journey and process. It seems daunting at first, especially as a school leaver or graduate like I was, but there is a great support network here. There are really genuine and supportive people around the company who are happy to take the time to train and guide you.
I found the graduate scheme helped to build up my skillset naturally and enabled me to get a good grasp of how businesses work. It gave me a good technical base to then pursue a particular area of interest, which was auditing.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their career?
Very simple but put yourself out there and don’t be scared to ask questions.