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Meet the Team

Gillian Hilton – Quality Control Analyst

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We’re back with our Meet the Team Series! This week we feature one of John Hogg’s longest serving team members in the labs, our Quality Control Analyst, Gill Hilton! Gill discusses her journey from her first employment, up to her current term at John Hogg, whilst winning a few darts competitions along the way…

 

 

Tell us a bit about your Job role?

My Job role is Senior Lab Technician, which is a little bit hybrid and is a position that has been specifically created. As you get older, you just can’t stand in the lab for 8 hours anymore! My job role is to complete the admin tasks which took over from some of the old manager’s roles. Although this got me out of the labs for the most part, I still enjoy working in a lab environment because I’ve done it for 40 years, and I really enjoy the ‘hands on’ approach.

I’d also like to mention Nick Wood (R.I.P) as he was a big part of my John Hogg life throughout my time here so far. Nick taught me pretty much everything I know about the testing and machinery involved. I would like to remember Nick as my ‘partner in crime’, where we used to work on everything as a brilliant team. He is still missed dearly by myself and others. I do miss our laughs, pranks, jokes… I even miss him cadging a lift or getting me to take him to McDonalds.

How long have you been a part of the John Hogg team?

I joined on September 29th, 2008. This year will be my 16th year at John Hogg!

What was your first job, and did you enjoy it?

The first job I had was at a local company called Sterling Varnish, where I learnt QC, R&D, Paints & Coatings, Power Coatings and much more. It was really good, and I came away with a Higher National Certificate (HNC) at the end of it, but I knew I didn’t want to go further into University. So instead, I went to Johnstones paints, where I worked for about 12 years in a Quality control role.

What hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing outside of work?

From the age of 19 I really got into darts, and successfully played well up until about 4/5 years ago. When I was younger, I actually beat a few county players when travelling across the UK for competitions! It was always a really fun laugh when we went out to play darts, even if some of my friends couldn’t play well… we still had a laugh.

But for the most part I used to play all sorts of sports. I was in the lady’s winning team of indoor cricket at Bowlers and was also part of a Ladies Rugby team for 5 minutes before I managed to get a bad knee injury. These days I am more comfortable curling up with a good book.

Do you have a favourite sports team?

Being raised in Stretford, I’ve always been a Manchester United fan as they’re my local team. I’ve had so many memories with the club whether it’s getting the bus past the stadium each day, to meeting the class of 92 in the fans lounge before they were famous! It also helped that I had a friend who worked in the ticket office, who used to give us cut price tickets to the home games.

I also love Rugby Union and am a Sale Sharks fan, having seen them win the premiership in 2006 at a very rainy Twickenham… My favourite players were Charlie Hodgson, Jason Robinson, Mark Cueto and the wonderful Sebastien Chabal.

Do you have an accomplishment that you are proud of?

I think a lot of parents will answer this about their child. I have been a single parent for my daughter for the last 30 years, being a mother, father, confidante, taxi driver, you name it… It’s been a rollercoaster but seeing the woman she has become has made me feel extremely accomplished as a parent. Plus, she is my best friend.

If you could travel to any place in the world, where would it be and why?

The Grand Canyon in the US… I went last year as a part of my 60th birthday USA trip and I would love to go again… It was just absolutely stunning, and totally breath taking. It was always high up on my bucket list and it did not disappoint.

Which book or a movie has left a lasting impact on you and why?

I’m a really big fan of Sci-Fi movies, but I’m going to have to go with Star Wars here. In 1978 I fell in love with Luke Skywalker, and as I’ve grown up that love has shifted to Han Solo… You can’t get better than the original series, and even the second part of the series is really good (if you remove all evidence of Jar Jar Binks).

If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I’m going to have to say chocolate…

What is your greatest fear?

I would say losing someone close to you. You know that it’s going to happen but fear the day that it actually does.

If you could have dinner with anyone, living or deceased, who would it be?

Because this death really hit me hard, I would say Heath Ledger. I loved him in all the films that he played in, I think that he passed on far too early. I was driving to work when I found out through the radio that he had passed on, and I was just crying for the entire journey…

If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?

Patient (to a point), Confidante, chatty

What’s the best thing about your job?

I think the best thing is the people. I’ve met some fantastic people at John Hogg, and it’s one of the companies where you can make lifelong friends. It’s also a really interesting environment to work in, as even though I’m working in QC, my job is never the same each day.

What’s an important lesson you’ve learned while working at John Hogg?

For QC, you have to make sure that you have not made any mistakes with your work. I think sometimes if you’re not concentrating and end up making little mistakes, they can turn into big mistakes very quickly.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to new team members to succeed within our company culture?

What I would say is if you have an interest in something, absolutely go for it! I have seen how successful new starters at John Hogg have become, and that’s because we saw the commitment even in the recruitment stage. You really stand out when you show a passion in what you want to do.

Finally; In your opinion, what sets John Hogg apart as an employer?

I think the openness of the management, and the fact that they listen to all employees at John hogg. The directors at John Hogg have always been approachable, which is something I haven’t seen in any other company I have worked for. I think it stems down to our company values, where everybody tries their best to incorporate the same values as one another.

 

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