Lesley Renteurs

HR Officer

I’ve been with Waterstons since 2000 when I moved from an IT Manager role in a manufacturing company. It was a big leap to say the least, joining as business consultant but one that I’m very pleased I made. I’ve done an awful lot of things in my, so far, 14 years at Waterstons and worked on many different projects for numerous clients. I’ve worked in all areas of the business too so have a really deep understanding of what we do and our ethos of 'people first' is key to all our development.

In the beginning

There was a role as business consultant, working on various system selections and implementations. Then a stint in managed services using my previously acquired technical skills to support our smaller clients with their IT needs. I also, for a short time, helped with the management of the managed services team coordinating their resourcing and support.

Then there was

The move to work full time on a client site to help manage their ERP system and eventual upgrading of that system as well as helping in the selection and implementation of a new warehouse management system for them. In all I worked onsite for over 2 years.

Another project saw me onsite assisting in an airport flight information system upgrade and new airport stand planning implementation – all really interesting stuff, I even got to sit in an Apache helicopter one day – with some rather lovely RAF pilots! I undertook a project management role with a local University to manage the implementation of a new student enrolment portal – very hard work but rewarding when eventually rolled out, replacing the paper based system used previously so speeding up the whole enrolment process for everyone concerned including students and administration staff.

Back in the fold

I was eventually let back into the office and worked on various projects usually as a project manager. I worked for several years as a PM within the software team and got involved with some really interesting projects including the design and development of an admissions management solution in higher education.

And now

In 2011 I became Waterstons HR Officer which was rather a change in direction but one I’ve really enjoyed. This sees me working very closely with all our Team Leaders, Department Heads and Directors, ensuring our ‘People First’ ethos is maintained and our people are well looked after.

I now hold a CIPD Level 5 Diploma and am an Associate Member of CIPD which has been an extremely useful learning curve having had no formal HR experience at all prior to taking on this role.

I love working closely with my colleagues to ensure their development needs are met and their careers blossom. I also get to meet loads of interesting people when doing our graduate recruitment each year; its really nice seeing the young people I talk to at a careers fair get through their interviews and development days to be taken on as a new recruit and to blossom in to very talented people.

Recreational madness

In my own time I have various hobbies and interests some more extreme than others. I have an allotment and am on the allotment committee and have dabbled with creating a website for that which is fun but very basic – it does the trick. I love horse riding and one day I may get to own my own horse. I ride a motorbike sometimes! But I’m best known currently for my love of extreme challenges, I’m not as addicted as some in the business but I’m very proud to say I’m an Everest explorer having hiked for 14 days to and from Everest Base Camp in 2013. I’ve also trekked 100km across Iceland and most recently hiked 26 miles along the toughest part of Hadrian’s Wall in just over 11 hours – poorly feet after that though! Nothing more planned so far, topping the Everest challenge will be difficult, but who knows. And they are all for a good cause and I’m most proud of raising over £10,000 so far for Macmillan Cancer Support.

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