As part of our new ‘World of Work’ series, our in-house writer Holly Pigache interviews members of the EdTech Lobby community to find out about different professional pathways. Here, she interviews the MD of Felser and the PAGS® Profile, Feliciea Jibson.
What was the path to you becoming Managing Director of Felser and the PAGS® Profile?
I’d say it was different from most people. Before opening Felser, I had been the Head of Post-16 and -19 provision for students with specific learning and physical disabilities. I absolutely loved the job, people, school’s ethos and values. I was conducting research in cognitive development and applied those findings in practice, all the time searching for new methods of teaching and learning. I’m proud to say, that we were ahead of many schools in the region. Throughout my career, I have also noticed that more experienced and resourceful teachers can still find it a challenge to meet the needs of individuals and their families as they evolve over time.
My personal life changed and I moved to Belgium, so here I started to work on the PAGS® concept with professionals from the UK and Belgium. Over the last three years, creating the PAGS® framework, I have collaborated with a large group of professionals, pooling a wealth of knowledge and experience. The information PAGS® provides is used to set targets for developing skills that prepare the learners for adulthood. PAGS® is the best assessment tool and completely bespoke; you can say I am biased, but this is the truth. As an EdTech start-up at the Bett Show in London 2020, we had lots of interest and worldwide visitors from education backgrounds, parents, teachers and from different organisations. We have a super network of affiliated partners, and it’s great to know and work with them. Our operational team is getting stronger and stronger.
What is the most interesting part of your job?
Meeting people, making new connections, learning from their experiences and their cultural backgrounds. I love interacting and meeting new people and developing a sustainable company. The buzz of something different happening every day.
What is something that surprises you about your work?
Every day there is something new to learn either how to use a piece of software, make a digital design, doing a presentation, a demo, or learning more words in a new language, French or Dutch.
Have there been any key turning points in determining your career progression?
A couple I would say. Changing countries would be one, studying and learning in a new educational system would be another. Being passionate about special needs education, I feel that we, meaning globally, have to do everything we can to empower SEN learners to lead a fulfilling and less-dependent life. 21st Century skills is a hot topic, to be skilled in doing jobs that currently do not exist; that is looking into the future.
Describe your career journey in three words.
#passionate #risky #commited
Do you have an ultimate career goal? If so, what is it?
To develop further the product and add the PAGS® profile to the development of 21st Century skills – the global learner transcending the borders, as in fact PAGS® can help all children. Knowing your strengths and areas of development is such skill, knowing where to start developing them is another.
Would you do anything differently if you could start your career again?
I think I will be doing the same thing. I’m glad I have an educational background and am happy to be an entrepreneur. Hence, my determination to create a platform that is unique, accessible and that brings the most innovative approaches to the teachers, parents and professionals.
If you could do any job in the world, what would it be?
That would be the same as I do today. This is a very rewarding job, stimulates my creativity and fuels the passion.
What’s the main piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to reach MD level in business?
Work hard and never give up! Find a great mentor, be ready to lead every day with confidence.