Jo Ruston

Learning and Development Advisor

Jo’s focus is on creating an environment where people can learn, grow, and be the best version of themselves.

If you weren’t in this career, what would you be?

Although I already have many strings to my bow (English language teacher, barber, yoga teacher) I’ve always dreamt of being a red wine buyer, travelling around the world to beautiful wineries. I once took a trip to California centered around a visit to the Ruston Family Vineyard in the Napa Valley. Sadly the owner isn’t actually a relative, but he did give me a couple of yummy bottles as momentos!

What advice would you give your 20 year old self?

I’ve had an amazing life living by the mantra “I want to look back on my life and say ‘I can’t believe I did that!’, rather than ‘I wish I’d done that’”… that said, I do wish I had bought an investment property in my younger years.

Interesting fact that nobody knows about you?

I volunteered as an English teacher in Mcleod Ganj, northern India, teaching a class of Buddhist monks at the Dalai Lama’s monastery and doing one-to-one classes with a senior monk. It was an incredible experience for so many reasons, one in particular was getting almost front row seats at a teaching with the Dalai Lama himself!

Biggest career influence?

I worked for a change management consultancy that focused on mindset, encouraging people to challenge conventional thinking and be driven by possibility. The work resonated with me as I realised that I generally operate this way. Understanding that I was different because I was not conventional, and that organisations were paying a consultancy to encourage this different way of thinking, was incredibly reaffirming and confidence building. I now appreciate the value I can add.

Best book you’ve read?

At school I didn’t really enjoy the English Literature syllabus texts so my teacher recommended Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. As a 14 year old I absolutely loved the world I was transported in to.

As an adult I find myself generally reading autobiographies, travel books, or psychology-based reading material. Richard Branson’s first autobiography Losing My Virginity was very insightful about the mind of possibility-driven entrepreneur, challenging conventional thinking, which I love doing myself!