Denise Griffiths (née Bone, Class of 1980)

Tell us what you do for a living?
I never know how to answer this question. In a sentence, I spend my time trying to bring value to everything that touches my life.
Since leaving school I have travelled, gained a degree at university, sold life insurance, worked in the buying office of a well known clothing retailer, trained as an accountant, worked for a large American bank, become the mother of two, studied at the London College of Fashion, run my own wedding dress business, overseen the building of a number of properties, run the family farm and fundraise.  I’m still not sure what I do for a living, but I’m very, very busy!!
Are you doing what you thought you’d be doing after you left school?
Here’s a question I can answer with the word, NO.
What’s been your inspiration – what’s pulled you forwards and into your current role?
Doing everything to the best of my ability. You are never too old to learn about something new. (I never thought I’d know as much about running a farm as I do now when I left school)!!
What would you say is your biggest achievement to date, the thing you’re most proud of? Professionally or personally!
Well this depends on how you judge an achievement. In financial terms my biggest achievement is the capital uplift achieved through property development. Personally what am I most proud of, my 32-year marriage and my two wonderful children.
Was there a particular teacher, or a moment at school that particularly inspired you?
The most memorable teachers that made learning fun for me were Mr Newton and Mr Grimsdale, but did they particularly inspire me? Perhaps not as much as a brief conversation I had in the corridor outside the staff room with Mrs Capel one lunchtime.  I won’t say what she said but the message was not to doubt my ability, to aim high and if you don’t try something you’ll never know. Thank you.
How important do you think your school days were in shaping who you are today?
Absolutely the most important influence in who I am today.  I had started my senior education in a very large comprehensive school elsewhere. It was not cool to want to learn.  I came to the Royal Latin and it was just a very different atmosphere. If I had not changed schools, I would not have gone to university, I would not have met my husband and I would not have the life I have today.
What’s your work:life balance like? How important is that to you?
I don’t think about my work life balance. So long as I am enjoying what I am doing or there is good reason for doing the dutiful jobs, I never ‘compartmentalise’ whether it’s work or play.
What advice would you give to today’s students who may be struggling to choose which path to take beyond school?Think about what you might like to do, don’t worry if the answer is not as simple as I want to be a doctor, a professional sports player or a business person etc. Take the opportunities that come your way, explore and if that does not seem right it will lead you on to the next. It’s never too late to try something different.  You have all your life to decide what you want to be when you grow up.  I’m clearly still deciding! 
Finally, do you have a favourite quote, expression or mantra which inspires you to keep going?
Always remember our lives are just such a short moment in time, we are passing through this world, so make the most of it. Remember you have nothing without your health, so look after yourself physically and mentally, find what makes you happy and always take time to look out for others.

Application to Sixth Form 2023

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The Sixth Form Open Evening will be held on 17th November 2022.

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