Three Minute Squiz With… Alice Gibson

Alice Gibson has already packed in some incredible career experiences in her 28 years. She’s worked in some of the country’s highest political offices and has just returned to the family farm after a stint with premium retailer Harrods in London. Please welcome Alice to this week’s Three Minute Squiz. 

How and where do you Squiz?
When I was in London, I’d listen to the podcast whilst doing my make up in the morning for work, currently I listen to it as I check and feed the animals on the farm.

You’ve moved home from the London winter to a Goulburn, NSW winter. Are you a permanent ice block? 
At least I’m acclimatised! A few people asked why I’d move home to winter from a winter, but I moved over from Australian summer to European summer, so it wasn’t all bad.

What was it like working at Harrods? As fabulous as we imagine it to be?
It was an incredible experience with a lot of pinch-me moments. It’s another world where there are really no limits. If you want it, Harrods can make it happen, and there is no place like it! As one of the top tourist destinations in London, it was also incredibly fast-paced, which I loved!

What was your job there?
I was the PA to the boss of the food and beverage division – my boss was the head of the buying and supply team for all food and beverage products at Harrods. The quality and range of produce and products sourced by our buyers was incredible, and learning about the provenance of the products was what made it really special. It was an exciting time to be there as the food halls were being revamped for the first time in 30 years. Being able to witness how that logistically takes place while the rest of the store continued to run day-to-day with little disruption to customers was really interesting.

What should we do/see in the store next time we’re over there?
Harrods is going through a huge redevelopment called ‘Redefining Luxury’, so it’s safe to say that there will be something new to see since you last visited! The whole store is being revamped with a huge focus on experience, exclusivity and quality and there will be something for everyone, from tech-heads to beauty buffs. I’m a little biased but I think the food halls are the heart and soul of Harrods (it started as a grocer originally…) and the new halls are really beautiful. The design is contemporary, whilst still championing that iconic heritage Harrods is so known for. And don’t forget the Wine & Spirits rooms tucked away on the lower ground floor, they are breathtaking!

Retail is quite a change from working in politics. Did you miss not being involved in the recent federal and state elections?
When I returned home it was right in the middle of the election campaign and whist I did enjoy the hustle and bustle of a campaign, it was nice to be a spectator as I settled back in.

Would you recommend to other youngsters to do a stint overseas? 
Absolutely! Moving overseas had been something I’d talked about for a while before I bit the bullet and did it but I’m so glad I did. The experiences I had and the people I met made it 100% worth it. For anyone tossing it up I’d say give it a go, you have nothing to lose, you have the best country in the world to come home to if it’s not for you.

And you’ve gone from glamorous London to mustering sheep on the family farm. How’s the whiplash?
It’s definitely been a change of pace! I’m very lucky to have such a beautiful place to come back to though and I am really loving being back with my family after two years away. There’s no place like home.

Name four people – living or dead – you’d kill to sit down to dinner with.
Sir David Attenborough, Freddie Mercury, Paul Kelly & Stevie Nicks.

Your favourite book/writer?
I can’t choose a favourite! A book I have recently read, A Boy Made of Blocks* by Keith Stuart, is so beautifully written and I would highly recommend it.

The best piece of advice your mother/father/good friend gave you?
It costs nothing to be kind.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Righteousness – I think this can sometimes stop people from listening to, or trying to understand, other people’s views. I think we can always be better when we are able to consider different perspectives.

What’s your worst and best habit?
I think my best habit is seeing the best in situations and remaining positive. My worst could be that I’m a bit of a people pleaser and sometimes find it hard to say no!

What would you say is the most currently overlooked news story Australians should know about but don’t?
I’m not sure if it’s the most overlooked, but my brother recently showed me an article that explained that dogs specifically evolved their facial muscles as a way to communicate with humans and I just think that’s pretty great!

*Buy a book using this link and The Squiz may get a little commission. 

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