Pocklington School Foundation’s Careers and Business Network is open to parents past and present, staff and supporters, and Old Pocklingtonians (OPs), with the aim of sharing advice and expertise to help each other thrive in a highly competitive world. The Network has been developed in conjunction with the Old Pocklingtonian Association, which has been offering careers and mentoring support to former pupils for a number of years.
OP Martin St Quinton, now a renowned businessman and Owner and Chairman of Gloucester Rugby Club, returned to the school for the launch and shared his thoughts on what has inspired him throughout his career.
Mark Ronan, Headmaster, said: “We are delighted that Martin has taken the time to help us launch the Careers and Business Network. We hope it will provide lifelong inspiration to the Pocklington School community, at every stage of their careers.
“The Network is something quite special because it brings together a community of incredible people, each with their own story to tell and their own paths to follow. The common thread which unites us is the Pocklington School Foundation.
“The PSF Careers and Business Network will help us all take forward the ‘Spirit of Pock’, building on our past achievements and making the most of future opportunities.”
Martin St Quinton and Simon Lunt at the launch of the PSF C&BN
Martin St Quinton, who attended Pocklington School from 1965-75, started a private office equipment company in 1980, not long after leaving Durham University. He sold it to Danka PLC in 1993 and served as CEO of Danka’s International Operations until 1999, acquiring over 50 companies in 30 countries over that time.
In 2000 he founded Azzurri Communications, which grew to 700 staff and an £150 million turnover. Martin was named Ernst and Young Technology Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003.
In 2008, he acquired a 40% stake in Gloucester Rugby, followed by the remaining 60% in 2016, taking over as Owner and Chairman. He also spearheaded the successful fundraising efforts for Cheltenham Racecourse’s £50m redevelopment.
A keen sportsman, Martin has also served on the board of Hull City FC and Epsom Downs Racecourse. In a question and answer session, he spoke about how much he’d enjoyed his career, how he’d advise people to try and persevere if you have a business idea you believe in, and to focus on working in a sector you are really interested in. He explained how he’d made mistakes along the way, but the most important thing was that he’d learned from them. He also stressed the importance of having a trusted business network, as a sounding board and source of advice.
Guests at the launch, which was held at Pocklington School, also heard from Julie Good, School Governor, Gillian Jones, the School’s Careers & University Advisor and Trevor Loten OP, the Old Pocklingtonian Associations’ newly-elected President.