Sunday 30 June 2024

Success is not just winning

 The UKOUG Annual Awards were held last week and I attended with the unbelievable honour of being shortlisted in 3 community categories, Woman in Technology, Inspiring Individual and Best Speaker.

When the short list came out the one I was most proud of was best speaker. This list is simply the 3 best scores for speakers at the last UKOUG event. My presentation that scored so high was 'All You Need To Know About Oracle', a session I put together many years ago for new colleagues as a whistle stop tour around the Oracle world. I believe it is funny, irreverent and educational. It is always being updated but I had never given it publicly. 

The event was held at the very impressive Oracle Red Bull Racing HQ in Milton Keynes.

Last summer at KSCOPE I was doing the newbie orientation session and one delegate said afterwards he had hoped the session was about Oracle rather than just first time attendees. I told him about my session and offered to do it as a webcast just for him if he would give me feedback, and then I might do it externally. He loved it so I submitted it for UKOUG and they accepted it. The room was packed, many existing Oracle people who wanted to get a broader picture and many new to our world delegates. I was a bit nervous to see Jen Nicholson who keeps all the ACEs in check in the room, but her feedback was great. So to achieve a top 3 score for the entire event was real confirmation that it was a good session. I have since gone on to deliver this at other events and it is on the  agenda for this year's KSCOPE in just a few weeks. With Jen's encouragement I also presented it to an intake of Oracle's graduate program in their Austin HQ earlier this year. 

The other speakers on the shortlist were Connor McDonald and Chris Saxon, both from the Oracle Ask Tom team. I have known Connor for ever and Chris for a long time, and there is no doubt they are top presenters. I knew Connor would win, his presentations are beyond great. To be on the list with him was a real box ticked.

For the Woman in technology category I was shortlisted with Lydia Maksoud and Michelle MacDonagh. I had never met Michelle before but was sat next to her in the awards dinner and want to stay in touch. I have posted before about my love of mentoring, and the payback when a mentee has succeeds in their field. Last year I posted about Lydia Maksoud, one of 4 new ACE Associates I had the privilege of mentoring through the process, giving them the self belief in what they do. So when Lydia won the award it was amazing a young woman at the early part of her career is recognised for her contribution, and like a proud mum I felt a tiny little bit of that was my encouragement.

The final category I was short listed for was Inspiring Individual, I was nominated here by Abi Giles- Haigh, who herself was shortlisted and Philippa Clifford Davies. Both ladies are amazing WIT advocates and leaders in their field, so I was super proud to win the category. I took the opportunity to thank everyone, especially my employer who sees the value of what I do, encourages and support me. 

My manager, Fiona Martin is also a very dear long time friend and I couldn't have been more pleased when she was recognised with joint  Leader award at the end of the evening. 

We aren't always recognised for what we do, but when we are it is a great feeling. Take the time to recognise those around you, encourage them and watch them flourish.

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