27 Apr A conversation with Roz Bird
Written by Omonigho and Eve, Year 7 student reporters
On Friday 23rd March, many lucky students got the opportunity to meet Roz Bird, Commercial Director of Silverstone Park, where the British Formula One racing takes place!
The opportunity was given to us by the educational charity ‘Speakers for Schools’. For your information, the charity was founded by the popular journalist Robert Peston, who used to work as the Business Editor for the BBC.
At 11 am, Roz started her talk in the Auditorium. She spoke passionately about her job and what life was like at Silverstone Park, explaining that she had responsibility for the land in front of Silverstone race track, and more than 2.1 million square feet of land around Silverstone Park! Roz makes sure the land and its surroundings impress hundreds of thousands of people who visit Silverstone every year. Wow! That’s a lot of responsibility.
Roz continued to explain that there are currently 70 companies based in Silverstone Park, with around 750 people working. These companies are involved in designing some of the most advanced technical equipment in the world, including mobile apps, medical facilities, and aerospace equipment.
We were then taken down Roz’s memory lane from her childhood. She explained that she found it hard to fit in at primary school, but at secondary school, she grew in confidence and was very motivated to do well in lessons. She struggled with English and spelling, so was placed in the lower set of her form group. Despite this, she was determined to improve.
One of her favourite subjects was Geography, despite not being brilliant at it, and although she didn’t get the greatest grades at school, Roz never gave up on her dreams. Roz said that she “..would just try and do as much as I possibly could.”
With help from her teachers, Roz began to concentrate on her weaknesses, and put her effort into reading and spelling. With support from her parents at home, things got better for Roz.
At school, Roz had many friends and achievements. One of those achievements was winning a debating competition. She was thrilled to have done this, as she didn’t expect to win such a challenging opportunity. In her spare time Roz took part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award which taught her life skills including getting fit, reading maps, and learning about society and the communities around her. She explained that the biggest difference between her childhood and ours is social media, and she was glad not to have it, which some of us found shocking!
At 12 pm, in the second part of her time with us, five fortunate year 7 student reporters got to interview Roz, and ask her some very intelligent questions. One of our reporters asked her how she would describe her job at Silverstone in 3 words and she answered with three comical words: “I’m in charge”.
Roz made us all feel comfortable and at ease to put more questions to her (even though she was put completely on the spot). Her aspiration as a child was to be the Prime Minister, but she says that she is quite fulfilled with her job now.
In a question about the most embarrassing thing she had ever done during school days, Roz talked to us about a Duke of Edinburgh Award exhibition. The whole group was trekking in the countryside, in the middle of nowhere, when Roz decided to put her foot into a heap of cattle dung! She had no other choice but to wear a big bag over her leg in order to keep walking with the group!
The following were some of our ‘quick fire ‘ questions towards the end of our talk with Roz:
Q: What do you think of the use of social media?
A: I’m so glad I didn’t have it when I was younger.
Q: Cats or dogs?
Q: Early bird or night owl?
A: Night owl definitely.
Q: What is your ‘guilty pleasure’?
A: Peanut butter.
Q: What was your least favourite subject?
A: Maths really, because I wasn’t very good at it, but that didn’t stop me trying.
Roz taught us that you should never give up on your dreams, even if it doesn’t feel like it’s going your way.
We realised Roz spends more than 60 hours per week at work, and wants to do her best for the company. We have been inspired to learn that at a young age Roz’s Grandad told her, ‘If the job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well!’
Thank you for reading our blog and we hope you are as inspired as we are to ‘be the best that you can be’.