00:00:03 My name is Nick B, I’m a Associate Director with Halcrow, and I work as part of a contract and procurement team. Clients cannot have a bridge built, or a road laid, or a dam constructed, without procuring some form of services. The first stage of procurement is bringing on board a Designer. The next stage of the procurement will actually bring on board a Contractor to actually build the infrastructure. So procurement underpins absolutely everything in the construction industry, and in fact everything that you and I do, we procure each week when we go to Tescos. We weigh up the two options – do we go for own brand, or do we go for a branded product – and we are effectively undertaking our own procurement. So yeah, it underpins absolutely everything that we do.
00:01:44 Finding a particular career was very, very difficult. I didn’t want to progress further with my education, and really wanted to get into the – the working environment, but had absolutely no idea what job I wanted to do. But had decided within myself that I was going to leave school and get a job. As it happened, a Careers Officer from the local Job Centre had visited the school I was at, and at the time they had just introduced what was state of the arts – the BBC microcomputer – with a new bit of software that would help determine careers. The careers it was showing were plumber, carpenter, electrician, bricklayer, etcetera. But what they did have was a couple of careers – one with Railtrack as it was, now Network Rail, and one with Halcrow, where you’d be a trainee technician, with a focus on engineering. And I liked the look of this, it was a full-time job, there was an annual salary, there was paid holidays. So – I’d never had a job interview in my life, but they arranged it immediately, and I came down and had an interview with Halcrow, and have been with Halcrow now for 18 years.
00:02:14 Whilst working with Halcrow, I’d be playing non-league football where I’d be travelling to various parts of the south, either on a Tuesday night or a Saturday afternoon. And I unfortunately broke my leg and ankle, which rather curtailed my footballing career. But I had an opportunity to do a football coaching qualification. So on the back of working with Halcrow as my day job, I was doing a football coaching role working with kids, which was absolutely tremendous. The skills I learnt about dealing with people, communicating, were – were absolutely first class. But it did get to the stage where it was impacting on my working career, taking up a lot of my weekends. Well football was always a hobby, nothing more than that, it was never going to be a career, so turned all my energies and focus into developing a career with Halcrow.
00:03:15 What has been a great achievement for me personally is becoming Associate Director with Halcrow. That’s something that never in my wildest dreams did I think that that would happen at the age I am now. Certainly coming from the background that I have, without going through a traditional engineering-type route, I’m very proud of my own achievements from that perspective. Outside of work, my biggest achievement must be putting a ponytail in my daughter’s hair before she goes to Nursery. That is the most difficult thing on this planet to do. And when I take her to Nursery they go – Oh, Daddy did her hair this morning! So being able to do one good ponytail, and I’ll be fine.