Horwich Farrelly at 50: Eloise Sochanik shares her #HFhighlight
This week, in the latest of our series celebrating the achievements of our people in our golden jubilee year, CSR Manager, Eloise Sochanik, shares her #HFhighlight.
CSR Manager, Eloise Sochanik
When did you start working at Horwich Farrelly?
I joined the firm in September 2015, after maternity leave when our twins were 11 months old.
Before joining the firm what was your most unusual job?
I’ve had a really varied career to date. Some of my past jobs have included a weekend job in a cheesecake shop, working on the reception desk at Jim Henson’s Muppets Studio in Camden, and checking in delegates at an advertising festival in Cannes.
I also temped in London while I studied so I had some great experiences. Arguably the best was being at the NFL headquarters in London on Thanksgiving; as well as being given pizza and pumpkin pie I got to hang out with all the footballers!
What does a typical day look like for you at Horwich Farrelly?
I get up at 5.30am, get myself ready, get the kids ready for school and nursery, sort breakfast, drop everyone off and then have an hour commute, getting into work for 10am. Horwich Farrelly offers flexible start times which really helps maintain a work/life balance although, as a part-timer, some people still have the cheek to comment on my ‘late’ start!
Once I’m in the office I’ll catch up on email, have a range of internal meetings – talking about communications or new CSR programmes – and perhaps some external meetings with suppliers or new charity partners. I’ll usually grab lunch at my desk and then spend time working on proposals or strategy documents, or communications and project plans.
At any one time I typically have about ten projects on the go which could be anything from submitting our carbon footprint to the Legal Sustainability Alliance, planning a volunteering day to makeover a care home garden with a client, organising a fundraising initiative with our charity of the year or launching our annual employee engagement survey.
How has your career progressed since joining the firm?
I initially joined as a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Coordinator, became CSR Manager in 2016, and recently the team has expanded with the addition of a CSR Administrator to help me with the volume of projects I’m managing at any one time.
Whilst Horwich Farrelly has always had a good reputation for helping charities, the wider area of CSR didn’t really exist at the firm before I joined. As a result I’ve had a lot of freedom to be able to shape our approach to giving back and I think CSR is now very much embedded in the firm’s culture.
What has been the biggest highlight of your time at Horwich Farrelly?
Horwich Farrelly’s fundraising for Mummy’s Star, the Alzheimer’s Society and Rethink Mental Illness has seen the firm nominated at the Better Society Awards for three consecutive years – an amazing achievement for a firm of our size.
In 2018 I was delighted to be able to attend the awards ceremony in London after we had raised £21,000 for Rethink Mental Illness and, in what I think was a first for a defendant law firm, trained colleagues from all our offices as Mental Health First Aiders.
Whilst we didn’t win, as a CSR professional, I was fully geeking out being able to rub shoulders with counterparts from other organisations, and to get some ideas from people who will inevitably have larger budgets and resources at their disposal. Also, to have our name up there alongside organisations like the Co-op, ITV, Sainsbury’s and Specsavers was incredibly rewarding for me.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and outside interests?
We have three children, Zach, five, and twins, Esme and Fraser, four, which keeps me busy as you can imagine! As a family we do lots of walking near where we live. I also like spending time with friends and family and am as happy pottering in the garden as I am clubbing until 5am. I guess I’m begrudgingly sliding into middle age.
What makes working at Horwich Farrelly different from other firms?
The people are really great and the flexibility I’ve been given to create a strategy and run a CSR programme from the very beginning has been amazing. I get a lot of recognition from peers, and from my professional mentors about what we’ve been able to achieve in a relatively short period of time and that makes me very proud.
What advice would you give to others starting out in their career with the firm?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, to get to know people and to make the most of opportunities. Join the committees, go to the ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions and jump on volunteering opportunities. We do so much extra stuff, all of which can be a great way of learning new skills, developing as a person and meeting new faces across the firm.
To see #HFhighlights from other Horwich Farrelly colleagues please click here.