As several members of our invaluable Support team get ready to celebrate work anniversaries, we decided to catch up with the entire desk so you can get to know them a little better.
First off, who is on the team and what does their role look like?
Our head of Business Support, Jo Donlon, has worked at MERJE for the past five years and heads up the team. She also keeps the MERJE Manchester office running smoothly and makes sure that it’s a happy and healthy place to be.
Accountant Paige Oliver is marking her fifth anniversary at MERJE after joining in 2017 as a finance apprentice while studying for her Level 4 AAT. She now heads up our Finance function.
Our three Support Assistants are also celebrating anniversaries; Karen Buxton is recognising her sixth year of working at MERJE in September, Suzanne Modlin has been with us for three years, and Suzanne Copitch has worked been part of the team for just over a year.
Their busy days include everything from document creation to job advertising to contracts, timesheets and invoicing, not to mention constant discussions about food and who’s up-to-date with Coronation Street.
Meanwhile, London Office Manager Andriana Maniati has been at MERJE for three months and is in charge of keeping the London ship running day-to-day; supporting the team with documents, ordering supplies, diary management, keeping score on the ping pong table, even watering the plants!
Tell us about your team
Jo: One word, fab-u-lous! With almost 150 years of administration experience between five ladies, I guess you can say we are a pretty capable bunch.
Paige: Being the youngest on the team, I’m lucky to have four work mums, who are always ready with advice on cooking, cleaning, and the menopause.
Karen: We’re the dream team! Joking aside, I've never worked with a lovelier bunch of people who get on so well together and support each other - including our colleague Andriana in London. Plus, we have a really good laugh every day.
Suzanne M: A great group of menopausal women, apart from Paige and Andriana who are young breaths of fresh air! We are all very different but get along very well.
Suzanne C: The team are really friendly, we all get on well, have a laugh, enjoy our evenings out and help each other out as much as we can.
Andriana: Each member of my team is unique and has their own amazing personality that completes one another. We support and help each other and we always have a lot of fun when we socialise outside of work.
What does a typical day at MERJE look like?
Jo: Typical? No two days are ever the same!
Karen: There is no typical day at MERJE. You never know what to expect, we’re often busy but it’s always good fun and there’s usually a dog or two, or three, or more…
Suzanne M: Most days are filled with an office full of dogs barking, football being played and daily visits from our neighbour David Raines. No two days are the same, but we are always busy and at the same time have plenty of opportunities for office banter.
Suzanne C: I check the support inbox to see if there are any CVs to edit or job ads to place. It’s usually all systems go throughout the day.
What do you like best about working at MERJE?
Jo: Never having that ‘Monday morning feeling’. There isn’t a day that goes by without somebody making me smile.
Paige: We are all one big family, we’re always well looked after and treated to amazing incentives and summer/Christmas socials.
Karen:The people, the fun, friendly atmosphere, and the perks.
Suzanne M: The relaxed atmosphere, great people, flexibility and the work hard, play hard balance. Everyone is appreciated here too.
Suzanne C: It’s a lovely office to work in, everyone is very friendly, there’s a happy atmosphere where we generally have a laugh.
Andriana: I love the culture and the freedom to be yourself.
What’s your favourite MERJE memory?
Jo: Our summer social to Barcelona. Mucho Bueno!
Paige: Definitely Barcelona, it was fantastic.
Karen: It’s got to be Barcelona, it was absolutely amazing.
Suzanne C: When we had MERJE’s 10th birthday celebration at Rudding Park. It was a lovely day and evening being together. A gorgeous time was had by all!
Andriana: My best memory so far is when we went to Rudding Park in Harrogate to celebrate MERJE’s 10-year anniversary.
What's the MERJE culture like?
Jo: There’s a relaxed, trusting family vibe.
Paige: We definitely have a work hard, play hard approach.
Karen: Honest, professional, friendly and… that word again… FUN!
Suzanne M: Fabulous, very relaxed, yet everyone works hard. There is flexibility for family or personal commitments and an approachable management team.
Suzanne C: A relaxed atmosphere but everyone works hard and to their full capacity.
Andriana: It’s an environment where everyone’s opinion is respected, where everyone encourages collaboration and asks for help when needed and, most importantly, your initiative and hard work is always recognised and rewarded.
What are the development opportunities like?
Jo: With great support from the Management team, the world is truly your oyster at MERJE.
Paige: There is always room for development at MERJE. Since starting with the company as an Accounts Apprentice at 19, I have worked my way up to become an Accountant.
Karen: Brilliant. Everyone who starts here is able to work their way up if they show dedication and are willing to try.
Suzanne C: There’s still a lot for me to learn but MERJE will always help when you want to develop your skills and try new tasks.
What's next on the horizon career wise?
Paige: I’d love to become a Finance Director.
Karen: I’m not 100% sure but I definitely would like to be here until I retire.
Suzanne C: Keep doing what I’m doing. I’m also eager to learn new aspects of the job, maybe win the lottery one day!
What direction do you see MERJE heading in?
Jo: The only way is up!
Paige: Expanding year on year.
Karen: Continuing to do better, year after year.
Suzanne M: Growing and becoming more successful.
Suzanne C: I see MERJE growing and going from strength to strength.
Andriana: I can see MERJE being the leading recruitment agency in the UK.
What would you say to someone who is thinking of joining MERJE?
Jo: Just do it, this is recruitment but not as you know it.
Paige: Definitely do it, you won’t regret it!
Suzanne M: Go for it, I really can’t find any faults.
Suzanne C: I would say it’s a great company to work for with lovely people. The management team really look after the employees and appreciate what you do.
What benefits or perks do you appreciate the most?
Jo: The fabulous incentive days and summer socials.
Karen: The summer and Christmas socials, where we get together as a full business. I also appreciate having the ability to work at home when needed and being trusted to do so.
Suzanne M: The social events and team nights out.
Suzanne C: I love the incentives we get, they’re always fun. I also have access to the Hidden Gym community, which I get as a perk. I love doing the workouts and feel fit at the moment as a result.
Andriana: Good question! I appreciate every little thing that MERJE provides, but I would say that my favourite benefit is working from home twice a week.
And on a more light-hearted note…
Who is your dream celebrity dinner date?
Jo: Tom Hardy.
Paige: It has to be David Beckham.
Karen: Jason Momoa.
Suzanne C: I would love to have dinner with George Clooney or David Beckham. I’m not sure who to pick between the two of them!
Andriana: Ariana Grande because she’s my favourite singer.
Who would you choose from MERJE to buddy up with for the TV show Hunted and why?
Jo: Ellie Sykes, she’s got the winning combo of fitness to outrun the Hunters and the brains to outwit them!
Karen: Any of them as long as they didn’t talk about Love Island!
Andriana: I would choose Ed Manson. His mind is brilliant! He can answer a question of mine while replying to an email while listening and participating in a random office conversation. He never misses a thing!
What would be your Mastermind specialist subject?
Jo: French bulldogs.
Paige: Love Island probably!
Suzanne C: Cooking.
Andriana: Action and fantasy movies as I watch at least one film every day.
What would be your last supper?
Jo: Moules marinière and frites.
Paige: Seabass with a large glass of white wine.
Karen: Lots of sushi with a large glass of Pinot Grigio.
Suzanne C: Salted sea bass with roasted vegetables followed by Crepes Suzette.
Andriana: Pizza and wine is hard to beat.
What's on repeat on your Spotify?
Jo: Chicago House.
Paige: I have varied tastes, which range from Queen to Bob Marley. Although in winter it will be Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas on repeat.
Karen: I don’t have Spotify but I have such a wide range of music tastes. If I had to choose one, it would be Pink Floyd.
Suzanne C: Ed Sheeran and Alicia Keys.
At MERJE, we represent the culmination of outstanding industry expertise, a drive to be different, an ambition to be better and a commitment to valuing our people. Find out more about a career with us here.