Sue Carroll is a highly professional AV Technical Service and Maintenance Engineer, with over 20 years’ experience in the industry.

Sue CarrollSue started her career studying Engineering at Leeds College of Technology before graduating and securing her first position at Visavvi, part of the Saville Group. She has just celebrated 20 years of service at the company.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I left school during an economic recession and was faced with few career options. I’ve worked in a variety of jobs, from supermarket worker, to car valet and cleaner before deciding that I needed to get an education and try my hand at something a bit more challenging. I’ve always been fascinated by the way that things are put together and this led me to enrol on an electronics workshop course. From there I secured a place at Leeds College of Technology to study Engineering. When I graduated I was lucky to land a job at Visavvi part of the Saville Group and have worked as an AV Service Engineer ever since. This year I celebrated 20 years at the company!

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I never really planned my career. Becoming an AV Engineer happened by chance. I was made redundant from my car valeting job and knew that I couldn’t keep on doing cleaning jobs. I wanted something more, so I went back to college to get an education.

A friend of mine was studying carpentry at East Leeds Women’s Workshop, but her course was full, so I enrolled on the electronics course. This was partly funded by Leeds University and Leeds Council. Enrolling on the course gave me the confidence to go into mainstream education, so when I finished there, I got a place at Leeds College of Technology and went on to join the Saville Group straight out of college.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

The biggest challenge I faced when I was younger was trying to find out what I wanted to do as a career, and as I mentioned, it’s only by chance that I started working in Engineering. I suppose if I hadn’t been made redundant from my car valeting job then I might never have enrolled in college and found my passion for AV Engineering.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Currently, people seem to switch jobs and employers every few years, but I think that working for a company for over 20 years is an incredible achievement and I’m proud of this. This is a real reflection on Saville Group as an employer and shows that they care about and nurture their employees.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

There are a few different factors. Firstly, my tutor at East Leeds Women’s Workshop saw potential in my abilities and encouraged me to enrol on the course at college. Secondly, it comes down to the environment that you work in and your employers.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I think that mentoring is fantastic. It’s thanks to people early on in my career that I’m where I am now. I haven’t had the opportunity to mentor anyone yet, but when I joined Saville Group, I shadowed a colleague who showed me the ropes of the job. From there, I worked in the repairs workshop then out in the field, before working independently.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?

Gender Parity is a big issue, particularly in Engineering and AV. Personally, I want women to believe in themselves a little more. There are a lot of exciting opportunities for women now compared to when I started in this industry 20 years ago. Women have achieved some incredible breakthroughs, particularly in Science and Engineering, and I think the key for anyone considering a career in STEM is to just give it a go and see if you enjoy it!

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

You’re never too old to learn. I messed about at school and wish that I had worked harder and tried more. I didn’t realise the opportunities that were presented to me on a plate and I took these for granted. However, it wasn’t until my late 20s that I knew that I needed to get some form of education and it was by accident that I fell into AV Engineering.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

In terms of my next challenge, every day comes differently, and I never know what is in the pipeline. But I love that about my job. You learn something new everyday and this is true in AV. One of the main challenges is that technology is evolving daily. At the weekends I’m always reading about the latest technology and trying to stay ahead of the curb.

I’ve just celebrated 20 years with the Saville Group and I’m looking forward to many more to come!