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News > Alumnae Interviews > 10 Questions with... Michelle Allen

10 Questions with... Michelle Allen

This month we caught up with Michelle Allen. She talked to us about her love for the theatre when she was at school and how she developed some of her core values during her time at Roedean.
31 Jan 2024
Written by Sian Ellis
Alumnae Interviews

Michelle Allen (No.4, 1995-97) is currently living in Sydney, Australia. Having spent 8 years in the travel and technology space working in France, Spain, and Australia, she now works for Google, and is currently Head of Media, Entertainment, Tech, and Telco. Aside from her incredible career, Michelle has a passion for travel and her bucket list includes travelling to as many countries as she possibly can, ticking off all the places on her list.

 

1. What is your favourite memory of Roedean?

Definitely the time I spent in the theatre. I loved all the productions we did and the one I remember most fondly is: The House of Bernarda Alba by Frederico Garcia Lorca. Not only is the Roedean theatre a beautiful space, I thoroughly enjoyed the time I was able to spend with my friends in rehearsals, the camaraderie and the excitement pre and post-performance. I remember those times as full of fun, laughter, and creativity.

 

2. What was the best piece of advice you were given whilst at School?

It was more the overall culture rather than one piece of advice. At Roedean we were always taught and shown how we could be independent, strong and confident women with successful careers. It was at Roedean I developed some of my core values, like independence, having a strong work ethic, striving for excellence and the fact I could and can be anything I set my mind to.

 

3. When you were at Roedean, what did you want to be when you ‘grew-up’?

An actress, this was definitely one of my strongest passions during my school years.

 

4. What are you now you’ve grown up?

I work at Google in Sydney, Australia as a commercial / sales leader.

 

5. What does your job involve?

My job involves leading commercial teams of Sales Managers and Account Managers. I am currently leading the Technology, Telecommunications, Media, and Entertainment industries for Google in Australia. I have been at Google for 12 years now (having worked previously in the travel and technology space in Spain, France, and Australia for 8 years). I am still able to use a lot of my skills developed from my time in the theatre through public speaking and presentations, which I love. One of my favourite subjects at Roedean was Business Studies, so I am in a place where I can combine two great passions into my career.

 

6. What have you done that you are most proud of?

I think it is probably over the last 9 years, where I have successfully managed a full-time career and children. I now have 3 beautiful (if a little boisterous at times) children aged 9, 6 and 2. Juggling the two is definitely not easy, but if you have the drive and will it is definitely possible. 


7. What are the three objects you would take with you to a desert island?

  1. I am not sure if it is considered an item, but Brienne of Tarth (from Game of Thrones) - she would definitely know how to survive on a desert island and would be a good companion.
  2. My kindle, so I can pass the time reading books on the beach under a palm tree.
  3. A power charger with unlimited power supply, so my kindle can stay charged.

 

8. What books have had a significant influence on you and why?

My favourite book of all time is The Physician by Noah Gordon. It is set in the 11th century and is the most incredible story of strength through adversity. It is a story about the journey that life takes you on and overcoming challenges and the adventure that comes with it. It is a story about goals and achieving your life goals even though it is not easy. It is also a beautiful piece of literature that propels you back in time to a different era where you can envisage what life would have been like centuries ago. 


9. What is on your bucket list?

Travel is one of my life's passions and so the main items on my bucket list are around travelling and travelling to as many countries as I possibly can. Some of my more adventurous highlights to date include travelling overland across India in 2007 and an overland from west to east in Cuba in 2014. Most recently I have been ticking off the south pacific islands and next on my bucket list are: Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, which I am planning to do this year. 


10. If you had one year and unlimited funds, what would you do?

Travel! I would travel the world and try to hit my goal of 100 countries visited.

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