Michael Sleight (Class of 1980)

Tell us what you do for a living?
I’m currently working as a marketing manager for a Japanese medical device company, which manufactures and supplies devices to treat cardiovascular disease and liver cancer.
Are you doing what you thought you’d be doing after you left school?
On leaving school, plan A was the Royal Navy, however my eyesight put paid to that. I did badly in my A-Levels and ended up at Trent Polytechnic (by default, no other options) studying for an HND in Production Engineering. My father died of cancer half way through, I didn’t cope well and ended up working in a bar for a couple of years.
Thanks to the influence of some friends at the time, at the age of 24 I started studying to be a radiographer. In so doing I found my niche in life, and the academic education I had had at the RLS really paid dividends. I qualified in 1986, and worked for the NHS for 13 years before moving into the healthcare industry.
I’ve taken  post graduate Business and Marketing diplomas (again thank you RLS, I used some of the things you taught me, so well I now realise) to advance my career, and in addition to my current role, was for 3 years Vice Chair of the Vascular Section of the Association of British Healthcare Industries.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the world with my job, attached is a photo of me in Kazakhstan last summer.
What’s been your inspiration – what’s pulled you forwards and into your current role?
One of the guiding principles of the company I work for is “Contributing to Society through Healthcare”. Having a clinical background, and many friends and family members affected by serious illness, it’s extremely motivational to work in an organisation and industry that on a  daily basis  affects patients in a positive manner.
What would you say is your biggest achievement to date, the thing you’re most proud of? Professionally or personally!
Without doubt, training and qualifying as a radiographer. This genuinely turned my life around and has opened do many doors for me, both professionally and personally.
Was there a particular teacher, or a moment at school that particularly inspired you?
One of the teachers in 6th form in particular was an inspiration – Phil Mitchell, who taught physics (also known as “Philharmonic Mitchell” as he was a classical singer and ended up singing with one of the Oxbridge professional choirs). Rather than “talking at” his students, he absolutely got us to engage and think for ourselves. I still remember Ptolemaic and Copernicus theory!
How important do you think your school days were in shaping who you are today
Frankly, I had a very difficult time at school. I was bullied quite badly, socially awkward, and struggled academically as I am dyslexic. In those days there was little or no pastoral care.
Things got better in the 6th form. I was fairly competent at sport, and played for the Cricket and Rugby teams, making a few good friends in the process.  
What’s your work:life balance like? How important is that to you?
To be honest, I’m very luck in that I love my job, which is just as well as it involves long hours and lots of travel. Having interests outside it however is critical. I love travel and eating out, and also go to the gym. Previously I was a Rugby Union referee and had a starring role in one of the RFU instructional videos for new referees (what did he do wrong? . . . ), however had to stop due to a serious knee injury.
What advice would you give to today’s students who may be struggling to choose which path to take beyond school?
If you’re struggling at school, for whatever reason, or not sure what to do with your life, remember a) it’s not forever, b) qualifications are a gateway to freedom and making your own choices c) no matter what, things always work out, eventually.
Finally, do you have a favourite quote, expression or mantra which inspires you to keep going?
To be honest, I read a lot and listen to music. I’ll probably say the last thing I read heard, and then realise I should have chosen something else!

Application to Sixth Form 2023

Save the Date

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

Important announcement

We are open today, Tuesday 13th December. If the situation changes with the weather we will update the website and social media accordingly.