Fantastic Fact File
Give an example of something positive you’ve learned from working in IT.
IT is often seen as a career for people with technical skills, but soft skills are incredibly important too. I’m a of a bit of a chatty person and some years ago had started a new job in London. After a couple of weeks, they said they were thrilled with how I was settling in and could I take over as team lead. I sometimes speak in schools about my engineering / IT career to encourage more children to consider STEM subjects and always tell that story, so they understand that working in IT isn’t about sitting at a computer by yourself but working with people, working out problems, finding solutions – it’s very varied and lots of skills are appreciated.
One of my favourite things about working in IT is that you can work with many types of people, young and not so young, people who have had very different careers or educational backgrounds. Someone with 20 years’ work experience can learn from someone who’s only just starting out, and vice versa.
What’s your favourite film in the whole world and why?
My favourite film ever is Cinema Paradiso. It’s the story of a film maker who’s lost touch with his roots but gets called back home to Sicily and starts to remember how childhood and teenage years, which centred around the local cinema. It covers about 10 years after World War 2 in a village in Sicily, based around the main character, who’s a little rascal, and the local cinema. In the days before television, cinema was a major part of life. My mother used to tell me that, as a child, she went to the cinema every week and the crowd would shout and laugh and clap – just like what happens in Cinema Paradiso. It’s just a lovely film about a different time. I think what makes it my favourite all time film, though, is the soundtrack because it is so beautiful and works so well with the film.
What makes you laugh heartily every time and why?
I enjoy lots of comedy shows, like Parks and Recreation or Friends, both of which I could watch over and over again, but there’s particular a YouTube clip of a little girl in a church Nativity Play singing ‘The Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy”. It pops up every Christmas and makes me cry it’s so funny. She’s singing her heart out – not in the least bit self-conscious. Apparently her mum told her “sing up now so we can hear you in the back” so she did!
If you had a whole week out to do something you really wanted and were given £1000 gratis to do it, what would you do and why?
I’d love to go to Easter Island – I’ve always been fascinated with the statues there and wanted to visit. I’m fascinated by the things people do and why or how they might have done it. So, I think I’d just love to be there, looking at the statues wondering about those people.
Tell us something that you personally aim to achieve inside the next 5 years.
Within the next 5 years I’d like to have walked at least part of the Camino de Santiago. I’ve wanted to do it since seeing ‘The Way’ in the cinema. When I was 21, a did a trekking holiday in Nepal, carrying my rucksack and bunking in bunkhouses along the way and I’ve always wanted to do something like that again.
Give us one reason that you wanted to work with GM…
I particularly like working in Grant McGregor because, being a small organisation, I work with everyone in the business which is great. I personally work in IT Security, but that’s a subarea of IT so it’s great to work with the other IT guys. It also means I can draw on their real-world experience if I need to bounce things off someone.