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Marianne Young

Marianne Young
After Warwick, Marianne Young (née Darch, BA English and Spanish American History 1990-3) became a journalist before joining the Foreign Office in 2001. Since June 2011 she has been British High Commissioner in Windhoek, Namibia.

When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A vet, then an anthropologist/explorer (which is kind of apt) and finally a journalist.

What was the best careers advice you were given?

Do something you enjoy, after all, you are at work most of your adult life.

Describe yourself in three words

Enthusiastic, curious, mother.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

The sheer breadth of it: from researching and writing speeches, briefing ministers, delivering difficult messages to foreign governments to promoting with British trade interests and assisting distressed Brits abroad – sometimes all in one day.

What have you done that you are most proud of?

Written for a Fleet Street paper and become an ambassador and mother to three small children before the age of 40 (just)

    What drives you?

    The endless possibilities of life – and the many things I still don't know or haven't yet seen.

    What single thing would most improve the quality of your life?

    More office staff (I am serving in a micro diplomatic mission).

    What three objects would you take with you to a desert island?

    Complete Works of Shakespeare, pen knife and India Hicks Island Living body lotion.

    Where do you hope to be in 10 years’ time?

    On a desert island with all of the above and preferably a nice embassy to serve in in case a cyclone hits.

    How would you like to be remembered?

    She did some good, treated others well and had lots of fun along the way.

    What are your favourite memories of your university years at Warwick?

    Being able to bury myself in the world's best literature for three years guilt-free and make some life-long friends to boot; the band nights (the Blonde concert was fantastic) and huge swimming pool were pretty great too.

    Do you have any advice for new graduates?

    Make sure you enjoy the whole package and don't get too hung up with work – it all goes so fast.

    Anything else you would like to add?

    To all your undergrads: take time out to enjoy the world a bit before you get too bogged down in a career – there is plenty of time for that...

    Marianne Young: the facts
    Age:
    40
    Lives:
    Windhoek, Namibia
    Education:
    • St Teresa's School in Effingham (O Levels)
    • Wellington College (A Levels)
    • Warwick (BA English and Spanish American History)
    • City University (Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism)
    Career: Graduate traineeship on The Times newspaper, trade reporter for Fairplay Maritime Information Group and then ran their Asian bureau in Singapore for three years, joined the Foreign Office in 2001 (served in Press Office, Africa Directorate, Engaging with Islamic World Unit, British High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa and am now British High Commissioner in Windhoek, Namibia (www.ukinnamibia.fco.gov.uk).
    Interests: Having adventures with my three small children and husband whilst exploring southern Africa, scuba diving, sailing, photography and writing.

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