From Intern to Associate Director: Celebrating 10 years at WPG

2 pictures of Charlotte, a white woman in her thirties with blonde hair and blue eyes taken 10 years apart.

Associate Director, Charlotte Lambert, joined the Work Psychology Group team in September 2013, fresh out of her master’s in occupational psychology. Starting as an Intern, Charlotte has continued to progress in her career, and we hope she’ll continue to do so for many more years to come. 

We asked Charlotte to look back over the last 10 years. 

Taking things back a little further, why did you do a postgraduate in occupational psychology? 

When I did my undergraduate degree I did a module on occupational psychology, and it was the one module I did that made me think “I could maybe do this as a job”. 

When I left school I didn’t necessarily know what I wanted to do, and I pursued psychology because I thought it was interesting. I’d also studied economics at A Level and I was interested in the world of business, so when I discovered occupational psychology it just made sense. I liked how you could apply psychology to the world of work and business. 

After the university module, I looked into what a career would look like and realised that you can’t come into this career without a postgraduate degree so that’s what I did. 

Throughout university, I’d spent a lot of time working in the hospitality industry and took a year out between my undergraduate and my master’s to help set up a friend’s tea rooms. I enjoyed working with people and getting to know what made them tick, and that was the same thing that appealed to me about occupational psychology. 

What was life like as an intern at WPG? 

I learned an incredible amount when I first joined WPG. Both how to apply what I had learned throughout my studies, but also how to work in a consultancy environment and be successful. When I was doing my master’s we had a consultancy session but nothing prepares you for what this looks like in reality. 

The other main part of my role was learning how to interact with clients and colleagues and developing key skills like negotiation, collaboration and influence. 

All in all, it was a huge learning curve, but something I really enjoyed. I loved the variety, which has always been a big attraction to working at WPG. I was involved in lots of different projects and used to travel for workshops and client meetings – no two days are ever the same.  

What did WPG look like 10 years ago? 

The main difference is that at the time many of us were office-based in Derby. Whilst we’ve always offered the opportunity for home and flexible working, this has further expanded over recent years. We still love the opportunity to meet up as a team and do so for team events or key meetings.

When I joined, WPG definitely knew it’s USP working with high-stakes professions on assessment design and evaluation, but over the 10 years since there’s been a lot of evolution in terms of how we approach projects and how we work together. The work we’re doing has developed in terms of the impact that it’s having, both within the UK and internationally. Our focus as a business on fairness within assessment and diversity, equity and inclusion more broadly has become more prominent and is often central to the work that we’re delivering. 

What’s been nice though, is that a lot of people are still here, so even though we’ve expanded and grown which is so exciting, it’s nice that the business still feels familiar. 

What do you think has made you want to spend a decade of your career at WPG? 

I think there’s a few different reasons. Firstly, the people and the relationships I’ve built across the business. The support that I’ve had throughout my time at WPG has been invaluable and helped me develop the knowledge and skills for the role I have now. It’s been fantastic to be able to build those relationships within a business and feel like you’re part of the organisation.

The second reason is the culture within WPG. The team is really inclusive and I had my voice heard from pretty much day one by the people making the decisions and that’s something I hugely value. Now I’ve grown in my role, I’m able to support creating this culture too!

Finally, the work we do. I can see the impact of our work with our clients. I see so much value in the work we do here. It feels meaningful, relevant and current in society and it’s a job I feel really proud of. 

What have your proudest achievements been? 

A few years ago I led a big piece of work with the Royal College of Veterinary Students, to look at the support that was provided to veterinary graduates as they transitioned from being students to working in practice. The work was nominated for an ABP Award and I was so proud that we won the award – it was great to see the work we were doing recognised by our peers. 

I’ve recently been working on a couple of projects looking at how changes can be made to end-to-end assessment processes to promote fairness for all applicants. These have centred around ensuring equal opportunity for all, in how they access materials or support to guide their preparation. Being able to provide practical recommendations to clients that I know will make a difference to so many going through these processes really demonstrates the impact I’m able to have in my role at WPG.   

There have also been some huge personal milestones. I was due to get married in 2020, and after I think eight dates we finally had our wedding day in August 2021. Having everyone there for our wedding felt amazing, especially after the Covid whirlwind. 

Where do you think you’ll be in another 10 years? 

Life at WPG has been the longest period of anything in my life so it’s hard to anticipate what life will look like in 2033. 

I imagine I’ll still be working in occupational psychology. It’s really important to me to continue working on projects that are meaningful and having such an impact at a policy level.  

I’m also growing my family, and expecting my first child later this year, so I’ll be working out how to balance my family and my career.