Loughborough Alumni

Our alumni

Row Davies

Business Manager: Macildowie

Row graduated in 2007 with a BSc in Retail Management, and now works for Macildowie, which was voted 23rd in The Times "Best Small Companies To Work For" list in 2019.

Why did you choose to study Retail Management at Loughborough University?

My parents built their careers in retail and seeing their success gave me an idea that it would be a great industry to work in, and I was really impressed with the quality of the business school at Loughborough.

I also had a keen interest in sport from a young age, so the facilities, as well as the University’s reputation for sporting excellence, made it an easy choice!

How has Loughborough University inspired you and helped you to progress in your career?

Going into university, everyone tells you you’ll change and learn so much, but for me, it was the way in which I grew into a different person that took me by surprise.

Through my love of sport, I applied to become sport social secretary; a task which taught me some valuable skills that fed into my degree, and eventually, my career at Macildowie. 

The role really propelled me into being a motivated and driven person, which in turn helped me with my studies – I learned to both work alone, and well in a team, prioritise and juggle deadlines and dedicate myself to whatever I was working on at the time, whether that was HR, economics or finance.

Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students looking to study at Loughborough?

University life gives you great insight into working with people from different cultures and backgrounds, and it teaches you resilience.

Any degree is demanding, but it will teach you numerous transferable skills that could apply to almost any profession.

My advice for any student, whether you’re in your first or last year, is to get out and start a conversation with those around you; university is the perfect opportunity to test and improve your social skills, as well as expanding your interests. You’ll find these are useful skills in any job!

Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities during your studies?

There was no shortage of choice for entertainment on campus, with over 100 societies and over 50 sports clubs to choose from.

Although the university has its own Athletics Union, there are plenty of sporting activities where you can just have a casual kick-around with a ball. That relaxed, ‘give it a go’ culture really helped to create a great atmosphere amongst the students, taking their mind off deadlines and dissertations.

As part of my work as social secretary, I organised twice-weekly events, as well as a tour to Spain for over 60 people. So I was always busy meeting new people and planning the next big event.

Can you tell us about your career journey so far?

Once I’d graduated, I took some time out and combined my love of skiing with traveling, spending five months on the slopes in Val’disere, France, managing staff during the winter season. I came back to the UK with the purpose of getting into a profession and happened to fall into recruitment.

My career journey at Macildowie began in 2012, starting out as a HR Recruitment Consultant covering Leicestershire, Coventry and Warwickshire.

I loved the pressure and the team spirit in the office, all willing one another on to reach our targets.

As I worked my way up the ladder, to my position as business manager covering HR, I’ve been able to experience some amazing things.

From my day-to-day role getting out and about meeting and building great relationships with a range of customers, feeling connected to the executive team, making true long lasting friendships, to the reward scheme opportunities I’ve been lucky to achieve.

During my seven years at Macildowie, with thanks to the reward scheme, I have visited New York twice and Vegas five times with another planned in October, and I’ve had a trio of promotions.

It’s a really positive culture at Macildowie, with a supportive team, brilliant incentives and a company that really values its employees.

Can you tell us more about Macildowie and the recruitment work that it does?

Macildowie has been operating for 25 years, recruiting for a wide range of businesses including HR, Finance and Business Operations, Sales and Marketing, Warehouse and Logistics, both Blue-chip companies such as Boots, Next, Travis Perkins and Capital One, and SMEs.

We hold regular networking events to connect like-minded professionals, run sessions on how to utilise LinkedIn and how to build your brand in the market.

It’s a great place to work and the focus on our people is proven by our regular inclusion in The Times 100 Best Small Companies To Work For, where we placed 23rd in the prestigious list this year!

We also ranked third in the ‘Midlands Best Companies To Work For 2019’ and rated as the best recruitment agency to work for in the Midlands!


As an employer, what are the top attributes you look for in a potential candidate, and what should a candidate look for in an employer?

In my experience, candidates should be hungry to learn, passionate, embrace teamwork and challenges, but above all, arrive with energy and a ‘go at it’ spirit. Employers today will choose people with the above attribute over someone who has all the experience, so go and sell yourself!

If you’re new to the job market or are searching for your next role, consider this – do you need to choose a role based on salary, instant progression, a nice brand, rather company culture?

Employers are shifting the focus in their job adverts from salaries and pensions, to flexible working, inspirational office environments, incentives and the qualities of a great line manager – many aspects appear to have hooked the Gen Z workforce.

So, think about what you’re looking for in the long run when applying for that role and what will really make you both successful and importantly happy.

What is it like to work for one of the best companies in the Midlands?

Above all, it makes me feel proud. It is a great motivator to keep reaching for your goals, whatever they may be.

As a company, it reaffirms our outstanding reputation in the market as the ‘go-to brand’ in the market whether it’s to work with as a candidate or client, or for those wanting to potentially join us.

It is a reminder to not rest on your laurels, as you’ll be rewarded for staying at the top of your game.

What has been the best moment of your career so far?

For me, it was my first visit to Las Vegas, sitting on the edge of the Grand Canyon overlooking the floor beneath me and thinking ‘how have I got here?’

It seems a strange moment to pick out, but I kept thinking ‘this is my moment, I’ve worked so hard for this’. It was so nice to feel I had been recognised for my hard work and results.

What does the future hold for you?

More often than not, when we talk about the future, there can be an expectation to map out the next five – ten years’ of our lives.

Instead, I simply aspire to be in a role that is challenging; one that is constantly moving and keeping me on my toes.

Find out more about Macildowie

+44(0)1509 228497

Hazlerigg Building
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU  UK