What was your first job? Advertising account executive at Woollams Moira Gaskin O'Malley, working on RAC and Mercury One to One.

Give us a quick run down on your career to date. I spent eight years as a 'suit' in advertising, working on accounts such as P&G and Bacardi. To the horror of my colleagues, I then switched to the client side, joining General Mills to run Green Giant and Old El Paso.

How did you get where you are today? To varying degrees, with imagination, perseverance and self-belief.

Has your career followed a logical path? Marketing and advertising are kindred spirits, but one doesn't involve working weekends and late nights.

What part has luck played in your career? You make your own luck.

Have you ever worked outside the grocery industry? Mostly in it. I love the competition.

What's the best decision you have made in your career? Jumping from marketing to advertising helped me realise and utilise my creativity.

What was the worst? I once took on a financial services account. My advice would be to follow your passions.

Who do you most admire in the grocery industry? Walkers - a monstrously successful heavyweight brand.

Do you have a mentor and how have they helped you? General Mills' personal development programme. GM has a very progressive outlook.

What is the most important thing you've ever been told? Believe in yourself, don't give up and nothing will be impossible.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Strategy, ideas and enabling success in others.

What is the least rewarding? The commute.

If you could start again, what would you do differently? Less midweek drinking. Always fun, but counter-productive.

Any advice for someone starting out in the industry? Know what you want and learn from your successes and failures.

How many hours a week do you work? 45, give or take 10.

Are you good at managing work-life balance? Yes, now I am.

Where do you hope to be in five years' time? Marketing director of a business I'm passionate about.