Rising Star Awards: What happened next for Hannah John

Hannah John

WeAreTheCity’s Rising Star Awards are now in their tenth year.

The Rising Star Awards are the first to focus on the achievements of women below Senior Management or Director level – representing the female talent pipeline and the next generation of future leaders.

In this ongoing series, we speak to our winners about life after winning a Rising Star award.

We spoke to Hannah John, who won a Rising Star Award in Charity, in 2022.

Hannah John is a dynamic project manager, strategist, and producer currently serving as the Deputy Director at Black Cultural Archives. Her experience in the charity sector and adept project management skills have positioned her to spearhead operational excellence within organisations. Combining a strategic mindset with a passion for fostering connections, Hannah thrives at the intersection of people and strategy, seamlessly bridging these fields. Her innovative approach and adept troubleshooting abilities have resulted in a proven track record of conceptualising and executing impactful initiatives. With a Master’s Degree In Business Administration, PRINCE2 qualification, and Chartered Manager status, Hannah possesses a robust skill set essential for effectively steering complex projects, change and teams. Her commitment to effecting positive change transcends borders, having worked in global landscapes such as South Africa and Sierra Leone. Hannah’s ethos revolves around a people-centric, values-led, and celebratory approach in her practice, ensuring that her endeavours leave a meaningful impact.

How did winning a Rising Star award influence your perception of your own achievements and potential?

Winning a Rising Star award was incredibly affirming and motivating. It’s like a spotlight shining on your efforts and capabilities, acknowledging your potential for growth and success. It validated my work and gave confidence to continue pushing my boundaries. Even on the night, was the first time I openly spoke about consulting and on that night got myself a client.

Have there been specific opportunities or doors that opened for you as a result of receiving the award?

I was lucky enough to sit next to Adele Bates who won in the Education and Academia section. As fate would have it, I was about to begin consulting and she was looking for support. Over the past year we’ve not only worked together but become incredible friends. There has been an interesting overlap in our work with me becoming a school governor, the development in my career and also able to support her business.

How has winning the award affected your professional network and relationships within your industry?

The validation and confidence the award gave me and the people I have met have continued to allow me to develop. I went from Resilience Manager to Deputy Director. I’ve set up my business and I’m working with Adele who is incredible in the educational sector and I’ve gained confidence in establishing myself as a producer.

Have you had the chance to mentor or inspire others based on your experience?

The award shone light on my experience  and trajectory and I had Akua reach out and ask for advice.For me, it was an honour and surprising as I saw her as well established, so for her to think I have wisdom to share and could support was lovely. It has also given me confidence in my professional sphere to support those I manage and actually share more personal insights.

What advice would you give to someone else thinking of nominating themselves or others for the awards?

Go for it! whether it’s the network or the confidence it gives you it’s worth it. Very often you go through work not necessarily looking for validation, but when you get it, it can serve as a boost and inspire you to continue on your journey.

What advice do you have for individuals aspiring to achieve success in their careers?

Keep going and be authentic, no two paths are the same. Success can look different at different times, and also success can feel different from what you expect- but that doesn’t make it any less. Its  continuous journey, be ready to keep learning, make meaningful relationships, ask for help, be flexible, and celebrate small wins as well as big ones, because it won’t always be easy.

What is next for you?

Working with Adele to take over the education sector. Jumping two feet into production of exhibitions, seeking funding for Black Global Trust and continuing to be Deputy Director at Black Cultural Archives.

Where can others follow you?



@wynservices on instagram

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