Case Studies & Testimonials


Getting Successfully Hired

Here’s one researcher’s story in his own words:

“I was one of the six students who attended the "How to Win the Perfect Job" course taught by Sarah and Richard. This course was excellent and had a significant and tangible impact on my academic job search.

Just last Friday, I received a formal offer as a Lecturer at one of the top UK Russell Group Universities. This position was my number 1 choice out of 13 schools I had applied to this round. In short, I had a very successful academic job search and this was in a large part due to the help that Sarah and Richard provided.

My academic job search was not smooth before meeting Sarah and Richard. I had applied unsuccessfully for positions at 3 university departments. After each of the interviews, I was told that I lacked vision and experience. In some of the interviews I appeared arrogant and in others, too young and inexperienced.

Although my academic record is strong, I had struggled with the intangibles, and conveying a lot of information within the short time available during an interview. Sarah taught me several ways to relax during the interview process, which opened up my personality and made me a more approachable potential colleague. She taught me how to use voice and body language to convey confidence and communicate with the interviewers. Richard taught me how to view the interview process through the lens of the interviewer and choose my words and messages effectively. He has also helped me address the inexperience problem by showing enthusiasm and confidence, which was one of my major weaknesses.

Sarah and Richard's help has been critical to my attaining my dream job and I highly recommend that other students take their course. They provide advice that is catered to each individual to address their specific weakness and bring out their specific strengths in full colours. No book or other course can provide such a dynamic and adaptable attention to an individual."

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Oxford University’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering


Successful Presentations - Triaster Ltd

“Triaster delivers business process management, change management and process re-engineering. In late 2011 we began to develop our Triaster Community, engaging with our customers and anyone interested in business improvement far more frequently than previously. Virtually all Triaster staff, including technical and ‘back office’ staff, became routinely involved in a variety of events. To help those without presentation experience become comfortable in an unfamiliar environment, we hired Sarah McCloughry of Anrah Development Ltd.

From the start, the course exceeded my expectations. Sarah is a naturally talented facilitator combining warm enthusiasm, sound psychology and real world experience. She took time to understand our requirements before the course started and was responsive and adaptable to our needs during it. Over and above learning how to put together and deliver engaging and informative presentations, Sarah also encouraged us to enhance our personal brand and increase confidence in communication, both internally and externally. The results have been very positive, both in the area specifically targeted and in building on Triaster’s collaborative culture to strengthen the team’s mutual support of each other and effective teamwork.

Sarah practises what she preaches. She is a good listener, very knowledgeable and has a successful teaching style. It makes her training of lasting value because it’s memorable, appropriate and applicable. I have no hesitation in recommending her and will be inviting her back to deliver further training in future.”

Emma Harris Operations Director, Triaster Ltd


How to Win the Perfect Job

Doctoral students are high achievers in the academic field. However, applying and interviewing for a job calls upon new and unfamiliar skills. It is in the longer term interest of institutions to assist their students and post-docs to achieve the best career opportunities, since they will become the leaders of the next generation and advocates of those institutions in the future.

In the summer of 2012, we were asked by Professor Noble, now appointed Director of the IBME, to devise, design and deliver a programme for doctoral students and post-doc researchers. For "How To Win The Perfect Job" we were joined by a member of our team who is an experienced recruitment consultant who specialises in recruiting for engineering and logistics companies.

Participants were helped to put together an outline career plan, showing the direction they wish to follow. They were taken through the steps in recruitment, building awareness of their role in the successful outcome of job search. Encouraged to recognize their own strengths and transferable skills, they were helped to put together a well designed CV and covering letter, as well as develop persuasive and engaging phone and face-to-face interviewing skills. Mock interviews were carried out and videoed in order to give the participants feedback. Regular reviews are then held with them, to underpin the learning and ensure action leading to success.

"This course was excellent. When I signed up for it, I was expecting a generic tutorial on what to expect at an interview, how to write a CV etc, but I was in for a surprise. Sarah and Richard did much more than that. They helped us identify our key strengths, they helped us form a more long-term career plan, they put us in contact with key people in the industry and every time, they dedicated a lot of their personal time before and after the course to help us and answer our questions. I could not be happier for deciding to take this course, and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a job. Just as a final comment, I think next time it should be advertised a bit more."

A post-doctoral research engineer in feedback

"Very impressive combination of passionate, encouraging coaching and logical, critical thinking. Hope more PhD/post-docs can benefit from this fantastic course in the future."

A doctoral research engineer in feedback


Influential Networking

Doctoral students need to gain recognition for their research at symposia, conferences and industry events. They need to attract the attention of decision makers and influencers through skillful communication, in order to win funding, citation and collaboration and to build long lasting career opportunities for their future.

In 2012 we were asked by the then Director of the Centre For Doctoral Training at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Professor Noble, to devise, design and deliver a programme to the doctoral students to develop their business skills in their approach to presenting and networking.

The training was rated 8 and 9 out of 10 by the student participants, who learnt the importance of having clear objectives for presentations and networking. They discovered how to create influential first and lasting impressions and how to build engagement and rapport both one-to-one and with an audience. The participants were shown how to develop a relaxed and confident body language and vocal style, graceful connection and engagement in networking. They learnt how to win agreement and buy-in.

“Sarah has a deep understanding of all things related to inter-personal communication. She has provided the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Oxford with first class training in presentation, networking and interviewing skills and the postgraduate students and post-doctoral researchers who have attended her courses are now achieving new levels of confidence and competence. She has genuinely introduced them to some skills for professional life that will help them throughout their careers. She faced a tricky task - training early career researchers can be challenging. I was particularly impressed by the support she provided for her participants through pre-work and follow up calls. It is clear that she invests considerable time getting to know her participants and organisations that she works with - this effort is proven by the fantastic results that are achieved."

Alison Noble, Technikos Professor and Director of Oxford University’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering

Stockholm Environment Institute

Whilst working with Dr Ruth Butterfield, Director of the Stockholm Environment Institute (Oxford Centre), Sarah McCloughry was asked to work with her team. As scientific researchers, the SEI team needed to develop confidence and ability with new experience in facilitation. They had set up 2 day workshop training events with multiple stakeholders such as fishermen, agriculturalists and government officers in parts of sub-Saharan Africa to win agreement over diminishing water supplies. Members of the team identified a specific need to help overcome a problem with tension and vocal strain, complaining of loss of voice by the end of the first day.

This topic aroused passions – intense and emotional and likely to be noisy and explosive. The workshop designed was to develop and evolve as things progressed – so facilitators were out of their comfort zone trying to support the on-going flow of discussion. Most of the team were unused to facilitating workshops which meant therefore that stress levels were raised and consequent problems experienced such as loss of voice, tension and exhaustion, dehydration, leading to possible discouragement and loss of confidence.

A programme was devised for the team so they learnt:

  • Vocal exercises to reduce risk of vocal strain, particularly in air conditioned or high humidity conditions
  • Relaxation and confidence boosting exercises to raise morale
  • How to command authority and attention
  • Techniques of persuasion and influence
  • Workshop management to facilitate agreement


After Anrah’s programme, team members reported a very satisfactory outcome. They reported no more vocal strain and they found their voices sustained themselves throughout the 2 day facilitation. They also fed back that there was an enhanced sense of purpose and confidence in delivery of facilitation leading to agreements and understandings between stakeholders.

Sarah McCloughry continues to deliver one-to-one leadership coaching to Dr Butterfield.

“Sarah McCloughry and Anrah Development Ltd was hired to help myself and my team develop our communication and leadership skills to address new and significant challenges in facilitation and presentation at conferences and training events globally. Sarah helped us with well structured and importantly tailored advice to different personalities, to deliver a clear message to our audience. After coaching from Sarah, the team now have the confidence to increase engagement with audiences and partners and get their messages delivered powerfully and effectively.”

Ruth Butterfield Director, Stockholm Environment Institute Oxford Centre



What Clients Say…

Delivering Successful Presentations

"I can’t thank you enough for all your help! I did the presentation this morning and it went down a storm. I had a standing ovation at the end with comments such as:

“Angela, that has to be the best presentation we’ve had all year”

“What a brilliant way to illustrate what you do!”

Angela Rhodes Managing Director, Crispin Rhodes

“The feedback that I got multiple times was that I was clear, concise and powerful. And dearest Sarah, that result I put down to you entirely. So thank you for sorting out my speaking brain, your training has been massively rewarding for me.Thank you.”

Sophie Breslin Managing Director, Athensis Thinking Systems

Influential Networking

“Thanks for working with me this past year, and now with our team in the Stockholm Environment Institute. I have much to learn, still. But I thought of you this Wednesday and wanted to say thank you! I presented a report to Ministers in Kenya (on the economics of climate change, a rather specialized area). After the meeting I received an invitation from the Prime Minister to attend their next ministerial retreat. Not my usual crowd! Presence, voice, listening well, connecting...”

Dr Tom Downing Former Director of Stockholm Environment Institute and Nobel Prize Winner

Getting Successfully Hired For Universities

“I could not be happier for deciding to take this course, and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a job. Just as a final comment, I think next time it should be advertised a bit more."

Postdoctoral Researcher at Oxford University’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering from an email to Professor Noble

“Very impressive combination of passionate, encouraging coaching and logical, critical thinking. Hope more PhD/post-docs can benefit from this fantastic course in the future."

Doctoral Researcher at Oxford University’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering

“I think the walkthrough of the whole experience has been very helpful. I do feel more prepared for the upcoming application hurdles.”

Doctoral Researcher at Oxford University’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering

Marketing Your Personal Brand

For Individuals

"An invaluable service to those in - or aiming to be in - senior management and executive positions. Thoroughly recommended."

Emily Towers Communications Manager The Secretariat for the Committee On Climate Change

“I have very much enjoyed working with Sarah. She has naturally aligned with my need for a very practical approach and the results have been excellent.”

Emma Harris Operations Director Triaster

We also work with men too!

“The event went really well as did my speech - no nerves at all and no straining of the vocal chords! Thanks again - its amazing what one can achieve!”

Ian Workman Area Corporate Director Barclays Bank

“I would have not been able to progress my career at the pace and to the level I wanted without Sarah’s challenge and steer.”

Matt Tudor, Operations Director, Tribal Group

"I found Sarah's mentoring and guidance key in adapting to and making a success of my management role."

Martin Casey, Manager of Regulatory Affairs, Siemens Magnets


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