Priya Farish

Global talent director, Costa Coffee, on spilt milk, building skills and knitting

priya farish costa coffee

What was your first ever job? I was a Saturday girl in my parents’ Post Office shop working on the till. I worked four hours for £1!

What’s been your worst job interview? As a research scientist, I once went to see a potential client for funding. I was so nervous I put my bag down and split milk all over the table and on the client’s clothes. The interview was in a warm room, and by the end it didn’t smell good.

What was the first music single you bought? Bon Jovi - Always.

How do you describe your job to your mates? I support people who are in job A to get to job B in order to get them ready for job C. Multiply this by 100s across the globe.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Knowing I’m helping a business be meaningful and successful through unlocking potential.

What is the least rewarding part? Diary co-ordination.

What is your motto in life? Do your bit for whatever community you choose to be a part of.

If you were allowed one dream perk, what would it be? A barista at home.

Do you have any phobias? Needles! I’m totally squeamish.

If you could change one thing in grocery, what would it be? Sometimes there can be a stigma attached to young people building a career in our industry. I know it’s a fabulous way to learn how to interact with customers and build skills.

What luxury would you have on a desert island? The real luxury would be time, so I’d take my knitting needles and a huge supply of yarn. Bliss!

What animal most reflects your personality? A wolf - hugely individualistic but at their happiest and best when running in packs.

What’s your favourite film and why? Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. I’m a sci-fi geek.

What has been the most embarrassing moment in your life? One that springs to mind is falling on to a gym ball that was on a bed. It bounced with me on top and I managed to get myself stuck upside down, wedged in by the ball between the wall and the bed. My husband had to rescue me!

Which celebrity would you most like to work with? Jamie Oliver. I have massive respect for the cultural change he is trying to achieve around health and families cooking together.