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When I was 19..


I needed a summer job. I was ready to do anything. And that’s what I did. I was sent to work in the canteen at my old high school. After the embarrassment of bumping into my old teachers at lunchtime, I got down to scrubbing the deep fat fryer! While I was working, I listened to my colleagues’ conversations and they were frustrated. They’d been given new orders by management and nobody had thought to ask their opinion. The rules imposed made no sense to those who were supposed to apply them.

I was an anthropology student at the time, so I observed this group as a micro-culture within the wider school culture. If the management had taken a moment to live in their shoes and listen to them, they might have had a motivated team, rather than the one I saw.

And so my passion for helping people and teams began! I thought HR would be a good place to start and after university the Tate Gallery offered me my first job. It was a great experience, learning all aspects of human resources – and modern art!

During my degree, I studied many different cultures around the world, which gave me the travel bug! So, four years later, I moved to Australia and immersed myself in Sydney culture.

After a year, I wanted to bring a little bit of that happy, relaxed culture back to the UK. And so,  Merienda Café was born in the Lake District. After 4 years of working on my latte art, managing my own team and juggling all the other aspects of running a business, the travel bug returned. After being named one of the top 50 coffee shops in the UK, it was time to sell Merienda and come to France.

Here, the opportunity to work as an English language trainer allowed me to re-enter the corporate world in a variety of sectors. I worked with employees at all levels and especially in mixed groups. My style was (and still is) to create fun and interactive learning experiences, but also to use the real work experiences of the participants. Again, it gradually became clear that these employees were having the same discussions that I had heard in my school canteen all those years ago.

So, after 7 enjoyable years, I wanted to develop further. I followed training in coaching, mediation, intercultural communication and DiSC and I’m now putting all these skills to good use through Ameliore.

All this time, I’ve been struggling to find my place and my new identity in France. Learning a new language, dealing with culture shock, wanting to belong, has been a long road. But a rich one. I’m now lucky enough to work with clients in France, the UK and India. That’s helping with the travel bug!

The person I was at 19 is still in there somewhere, wanting to create experiences that really help managers and teams stay motivated, fulfilled and happy.

Have a look at what I’ve been up to: Kay Watson | LinkedIn


  • Coaching
  • Facilitation
  • Intercultural competency
  • Diversity et Inclusion
  • Mediation
  • Interpersonal skills


  • Digital scale-ups
  • Companies
  • Manufacturers
  • Universities
  • Business Schools
  • Associations


  • France
  • UK
  • India