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Sameera Simjee

Partner, UK

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Sameera Simjee

Partner, UK

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1 What’s different about Berkeley for you?

How we work with our clients is a key Berkeley differentiator for me. It’s incredibly rewarding to work in highly impactful roles where I get to operate at the most senior levels within my clients' organizations, but also help in developing their teams to achieve in their own roles.  

I think trust is a key factor in being able to work this way and it’s great to develop long standing and deep relationships because for me, the motivating factor is doing the right thing for my clients and that’s what forms the basis for trusting professional partnerships that endure.

2 What’s been your favorite piece of work and why?

It’s hard to choose an absolute favorite piece work, but a real standout engagement for me was the Program Director role I led at Burberry.  There are so many aspects to why I enjoyed this role, but paramount was the team. I had the privilege of working with such a great group; both across the program team I was managing (who were a motivated, fun, and talented bunch) but also the leadership team in IT and supply chain whose executives were both challenging and supportive in equal measure.  

I learnt a huge amount on this multi-year engagement from Board manoeuvring and the importance of bringing stakeholders on the journey to people management, recognizing the wins, and celebrating them as well as supporting through the more difficult periods. 

It was a challenging role at times; dealing with transforming a complex legacy IT landscape and delivering a new operating model for supply chain was not without some lows but also so many highs too. One of which was working in luxury fashion which was a dream for me. Being able to learn about the heritage and craftmanship of the brand and the creative passion, offered an environment which was a joy to work in.

3 What are your values and how have they informed your career?

I’m first generation British Asian. My parents came to the UK in the 1970s separately; they both had family here so made the move, met in the UK and were married. They are the bastions of hard work and commitment and instilled those core values in their three children. It didn’t matter if we were different, if we worked hard and treated everyone fairly, we’d achieve. That was the mantra I grew up with and it’s the foundation really to everything I did, whether at school, with friends or at work these values have endured and have led me to achieve my goals.

Now I’m raising a family of my own in a more integrated and aware society, but some challenges remain. I hope the same values of hard work, commitment and fairness will resonate with them too and inform their own personal and professional pathways.