Mike Coney / Director Marketing Americas

What British Council behaviour(s) do you feel more identified with?

Making it Happen, Making it Happen and Making it Happen. You have to leave the place in a better state than when you arrived.

What would you like to share about your work, area and/or yourself?

About myself -  In August I will leave the British Council after 30 years and 10 months with the organisation. I’ve worked in Colombia (twice), Spain, Jordan, the UAE, Egypt and the UK.

About Marketing - We (in Marketing) do a lot of work that a lot of people don’t realise is taking place and actually you would really, really miss us if we weren’t around (and the same is true of other support functions like HR, Finance, Office Support etc,).

What would you like for external people to know about the British Council's EDI policy?

That’s it’s not a nice-to-have, it is embedded into strategy and a driver for our decision making.

What is the benefit that you like or enjoy the most within our organization?

The opportunities for self development and learning. I have taken every opportunity I could for self development and I’ve really benefitted from this. This has included teaching certificates and diplomas, management and marketing postgraduate qualifications, and most recently a course on data analysis. And because of this, while I have been with the organisation for a long time, I’ve been able to move between different jobs and SBUs. 

What do you hope to develop personally or professionally in the next year?

I am going to work on finding out how and where to catch fish in the Cantabria-Asturias border area, and then cook them. I would also like to develop my data and analytics skills.

If you could thank a team or a person from the British Council through a message, to whom would you send it to and what would you like to say?

Robert Sykes, the Director when I worked in Abu Dhabi. Robert came from a British Council that has largely disappeared now – he travelled to his first overseas posting by boat from Liverpool – but he taught me a lot about the organisation and what it means to  work for it. And when I messed a job interview up he consoled me by saying that he was sure the organisation would find a place for my particular talents and skills – and he was right. Unfortunately Robert is no longer with us so I can’t tell him that, but I think about him a lot.

What have been the most significant achievements or learnings for you during these years?

Things that I set up and that are now being used by the organisation around the World, like the online teaching satisfaction survey. That feels like a legacy to me.

On a personal level my partner and I have brought up 4 children and they are all doing very well, so I must have done something right along the way.

Name 3 to 5 words that better represent your experience at the British Council.

Global. Varied. Learning.

What will you miss the most about the Americas Region?

Where do I start? You are never bored because you never know what is going to happen next! The vibrancy, warmth and diversity of the people, the food, the culture, the landscapes. The music - a night in a Colombian club is a thing of wonder.