Matthew Strode

When I was at DHSB I represented Plymouth, Devon and South West of England at schoolboy level football.

I was also a schoolboy with Plymouth Argyle and Chelsea Football Club. I played two seasons with England U18 Schoolboys and played against national teams including Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. We won the European Centenary Shield in 1997, beating Switzerland on penalties in the final.

I remember the surreal nature of the position I was in. Due to football I only came to school three and a half days a week, the rest of the time was spent in London with Chelsea. On a Wednesday I would be in a PE A level class, on Thursday I would be at training, cleaning Zola¹s boots!

On reflection I feel very lucky that DHSB did not make me choose between my education and football, the school was always incredibly supportive as I tried to manage my time commitments between the two.

What are you doing now?

After university I decided to remain in America as the opportunities appeared more prevalent. I initially got a job with the clothing company Abercrombie and Fitch in Human Resources, more specifically Recruitment and Talent Acquisition, located in Columbus, Ohio.

After five great years I moved to another retailer, J Crew. I am currently the Director of Corporate Recruitment for J Crew which means I manage a team that finds the talent for our 1000 strong office in New York City.

What made your time at DHSB great?

Since my time at school I have entered the field of talent acquisition and one thing that this has taught me has been that the majority of any organisation¹s value is its human capital, in short, its people. On reflection I think that this is where I truly got my DHSB experience. As a father I look back on what my parents instilled in me, that a good education was equally as important as any sporting success. I feel very grateful that I was able to spend seven of the most important years of my life in what I believe to be one of the best schools in the South West of England.

What makes DHSB the best is the human capital.