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The Hoggett Bowers 2-Minute Interview: Carol Muldoon

Carol Muldoon 2 minute interview starbucks
Carol Muldoon, VP Partner Resources, EMEA, Starbucks

Carol is VP Partner Resources EMEA and has direct responsibility for all people across company owned and licensed partners in 43 countries. She also plays an integral role with Starbuck’s business globally and is a member of the global HR board. By the time you read this, Starbucks “to go” will have re-opened in the UK!

What challenge did you tackle and overcome in your business this week?

May has been a pivotal time across all 43 different markets, keeping up to speed with ever changing government regulations, grants and pay arrangements country by country has been a challenge. We try wherever possible to be as aligned as we can be across the globe. Trying to explain and rationalise these changes back to my US colleagues this week has been a challenge – it works a little differently there and it is not always understandable! We launched a charitable foundation a few weeks ago and culturally in some markets, they have been too proud to accept the grants but this week I got another over the line so I am really pleased.

Which ongoing business challenge is occupying your thoughts this week/month?

I have really been channeling efforts in working more on the long term Covid recovery or the “new forever” as I am calling it, not the new normal. Thinking how we can apply the learnings to make the workplace better in the future than it ever has been.

Best thing about working from home/remotely?

No early starts – my alarm time very often starts with a 4 as it is quite usual to be getting an early morning flight somewhere. It’s nice not to have to rush around in the early mornings and have time to gather thoughts and plans and have a couple more hours in bed!

Worst thing about working from home/remotely?

Lack of connectivity – I am a people person and I miss being physically in the different markets. I like to be up and active and not just sitting in front of a screen as has become the norm!

What is the most significant change to the way you work as a consequence of the lockdown?

Ironically work life balance is better, I am investing some of my commute time in fresh air and walking. My sleep pattern has improved knowing I don’t have to leap out of bed and I even get to go to bed later!

What change are you most likely to keep and what will you definitely not continue, post lockdown

I will aim to keep more personal time even when back in an office and make time for exercise in a day. I will also try really hard to have more face to face meetings and less digital ones!

Who or what has inspired you this week? (They don’t need to be famous)

Dido Harding. I worked with Dido at Sainsbury’s and she has recently been appointed by the government to lead the ‘Test, Track and Trace’ programme. I know the way she works and she is an inspiration, relentless in her dedication. I am super proud of her.

Best programme/film you watched on TV/streaming this week?

Killing Eve is the clear winner for me but also, I have started to revisit some old classics that I had never had the opportunity to see before and watched ‘Out of Africa’ and ‘Dances with Wolves’ for the first time recently.

Are you doing more or less exercise than a typical week when you commute and if more, what?

Definitely more exercise – I have two bouncing Labradors Freddie and Bertie. We go for our one hour walk at 6.30am and then a mid-morning stroll and again in the evening. The problem is the more exercise you give them, the more they expect and they are now very excitable and have become a feature of conference calls. Bertie’s latest party piece was to appear on camera with a toilet roll in his mouth.

Any words of wisdom?

Really think about what you are missing now so that when you get it back, you cherish it!