May 08, 2018
Valtech’s people are the best and brightest innovators in the world. They hail from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and industries, but are connected by a shared passion to make things better and to make better things.
This month we are highlighting Chris and getting to know more about his ideal work environment, his go-to media outlets, and his favourite drink.
Q: Tell me about how you got into your line of work?
A: A career change and a lot of luck! Meeting the right people at the right time, and somehow having the right mix of hard and soft skills to be able to do something that's worth something to a company.
Q: What are your current day to day responsibilities?
A: I support marketing, sales, and delivery with CMS technology expertise. I spend a lot of time writing and pitching.
Q: What does success look like for what you do?
A: Winning business and delivering what clients really need, not just what they ask for.
Q: What is your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?
A: Recently, my biggest failure is us not winning a major client upgrade project in 2016. I learned that we should never over-assume on a client relationship.
Q: What would be your ideal working environment?
A: Somewhere with a gym and great coffee!
Q: What do you look for in terms of culture -- structured or entrepreneurial?
A: I like a bit of both, a mix is stronger than either on its own.
Q: Who is your mentor? What advice have they shared with you?
A: I’m sadly without a mentor right now, but I actually think you can learn a lot from almost anybody - we all have our own strengths and talents that others can learn from, and our own weaknesses to address. My last mentor taught me so much, and continues to challenge me to lean in and compete hard.
Even with a busy schedule, Chris always finds time to hang out with the guys.
Q: Describe the current state of your industry?
A: It's in flux in so many ways, and not for the faint of heart.
Q: What tool or utility helps you do your job more efficiently?
A: Skype. Talking is better than emailing, and seeing people is so much better than just a voice call.
Q: What are your three go-to media outlets?
A: BBC news website, The Guardian, and Radio 4 today programme.
Q: What is your most poignant professional moment?
A: Changing career from university science research to IT. It was a huge leap of faith.
Q: What was the inflection point in your career that led you to your current role?
A: I realized my passion for software development and decided to become a developer!
Chris has a passion for fitness as well!
Q: What is the most interesting thing about your job?
A: I'd have to say it's getting into the new and different business challenges when meeting so many different kinds of customers.
Q: What is the best advice for those about to enter your field?
A: Never stop learning, and never stop challenging yourself.
Q: What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?
A: Nothing is more important than family and happiness.
Q: If you could do anything different now career wise, what would you do? Why?
A: I would work every day with my best friends. When you’re having fun, it doesn’t feel like work.
Q: What is the last book you read?
A: 2312, by Kim Stanley Robinson. I think people underestimate what you can learn from fiction.
Q: What is your ideal vacation?
A: A luxury beach, the Maldives was a perfect holiday.
Q: What is your favourite drink of choice?
A: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
Q: Favourite meal of choice?
A: A full English breakfast!
Q: What volunteer groups are you associated with?
A: NSPCC - The UK's leading children's charity, preventing abuse and helping those affected to recover.
Q: Who are the three people you’d invite to dinner?
A: Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, and Barack Obama
Q: For your great great grandchildren reading this years from now: is there any wisdom you’d want to pass on to them? What would you want them to know?
A: The world is not fair, and it doesn't owe you anything. Be brave, follow your passion and make your own way. Give something back whenever you can.