Our staff interviews are back! Today we introduce you to Daniela Elstone, Office Co-Ordinator in our UK office.
What led you to your current role at Boydell & Brewer?
After working in the hospitality industry for over 30 years, I was looking for a new challenge in a totally different environment. I wanted to utilise my operational and organisational skills and the idea of working in a new sector of publishing, was just the challenge I was looking for.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a career in Business Service Department?
I had taken some time out from Hospitality before getting this role and as I was looking for an Office management role, I realised that companies weren’t concerned with the experience & skills that I had, they also need to see on paper some form of qualification in the area too. So, whilst looking for a suitable role, I started to study on-line for qualifications in Business and Administration and Lean Organisation Management techniques. I also once I started in the role, took qualifications in Customer service.
What is the absolute best part of your job?
I have to say the people! Corny, as it sounds, I love the eclectic mix of people that I work with and deal with on a day to day basis. People never fail to surprise and amaze me and long may that continue.
What’s the best day you’ve ever had at work?
I’ve been at Boydell 2 years at the beginning of August and I would say that the best day thus far was the day we gave something back to the community that our offices are based in. One day last September, a team of us went litter picking within a 1-mile radius of the office and by the end of the day we had collected over 41kg of rubbish. Items found ranged from an old mobile phone, to jerry cans, old events signs, full cans of cider and an alarming large number of discarded cigarette ends and filter tips found
Briefly outline a normal working day for you.
During lockdown my working day was a tad different to that of working in the office. In the office, my working day is peppered with visitors, staff requests and phone calls. But working from home is somewhat quieter and as I work in my conservatory, I’ve a lovely garden backdrop, which is worth getting over heated on the sunny days. My day will start answering all the email queries that have come in overnight and processing any requests for our distributors. Working in the Business Services department, my day can vary with the tasks that I have to do, it can be anything from collections or deliveries, to working on Health & Safety for the company, to testing the Fire Alarm. Thankfully, the latter was only on Friday when the offices were open much to the delight of some of the team (naming no names!) as it woke them from their Friday afternoon slumber.
What’s the view from your desk?
Whilst working from home I was practically working in an outdoor space and it was just perfect. And I’m very lucky in the office too, as I have a clear view with floor to ceiling windows of the outdoor world and see all the comings and goings of our business park.
What’s the best thing on your desk?
Probably have to say the best things isn’t on my desk but in it. I have a small stash of treats but I guess that I will have to find a different hiding place now as my colleagues will find out when we are all back in the office. But for now, I think I’m safe.
What are you currently reading?
I have two books that I’m reading now, a lighter read a book by Richard Read, the founder of Innocent Drinks called I Could Tell you just one thing. The book is a collection of pearls of wisdom from some to the most remarkable and inspiring people he has met in life. From Bill Clinton, Judy Dench, Bill Gates, Terry Waite to name a few.
And the other book is one of our titles; A Death Retold in Truth and Rumour, Kenya, Britain and the Julie Ward Murder, by Grace A. Musila. This story has always fascinated me as I was working in Bury St Edmunds at the time she went missing. Julie was from Bury St Edmunds. So I was excited to see what Grace had found out about this tragedy.
What’s your beverage of choice?
Coffee or peppermint tea at work. And usually a glass of wine or a G & T but I’ve given up alcohol until Christmas so wish me luck!
What’s one Boydell book that you’ve worked on?
Working in the Business Services department, I don’t get the privilege to work on any of the titles, I just make sure that the office is running smoothly so they can continue to produce the excellent publication that we are so very proud of at Boydell.
If you could choose a book for us to publish on ANY subject, what would it be?
The stories of my mum. My mum came from the north of Italy and her family history was fascinating. Living through the Second World War and then eventually coming to the UK in the fifties only having to return for a short while in the 1960’s after family were killed in the Vajont Dam disaster in the 1960’s. She led a very interesting and full life.
What’s your favourite historical novel, film or play?
I love to watch films and so I find this question a little difficult but if I have to choose it would be 12 Years a Slave.
You can choose up to four people from history to join your dinner party: who are they?
These are very random, and I make no excuses nor I will give no reasons for my guests: David Attenborough, Dave Grohl, Michelle Obama, Graham Norton.