07 September 2016 | Focus Articles | thomas thomas
What is your most memorable interview experience? (as the interviewer)
Probably the interview I remember most was the one where I was asked by the applicant “So how long do you expect me to work for FM Global before I move on?” Obviously that interview didn’t go particularly well from that point on. However the prize for the most unusual question goes to the applicant who asked “Do you have somewhere that I can meditate at lunchtimes?” I honestly didn’t know how to respond to that!
Which person dead or alive inspires you?
JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books inspires me. Her story is well known; she had a dream, and didn’t let poverty, depression and being an impossibly low situation take her faith in that dream away, even when her first book was rejected over and over again. Her magical stories inspired both of my children to become avid readers, and then further inspired their love of movies as the books were faithfully made into films under her close scrutiny. She is a strong role model and demonstrates that despite all the obstacles, you should never give up striving to get to where you want to be; hers is a great and important story for any child growing up.
What is the best piece of advice given to you about your career?
The best piece of advice that I was given about my career was to never be afraid to take a risk. As someone who is quite risk averse and tends not to be spontaneous, this is a challenge for me, but I can safely say that I would not have had some of the great career defining experiences that I have had, if I had not taken a risk.
What do you like most about working for FM Global?
The thing I like most about working for FM Global is the great partnerships and friendships that I have developed, both with clients and also with FM Global colleagues in the various areas of the business all around the world. We have a large number of loyal clients who share our belief that the majority of property loss is preventable, and work very closely with our field engineers, account engineers and the wider client service team to ensure that their key facilities are resilient to losses. I also love the fact that we never stand still and are always working hard to do what we do even better, whether it’s research into a new fire protection solution, developing new tools or training materials to help our clients understand their exposures, or modifying our internal processes to make them more efficient.
What has been your most memorable project at FM Global?
My most memorable project at FM Global was moving my family, including two children, halfway around the world to South Africa for 3 years, to develop the engineering team in the region. During the posting I was responsible for supporting our clients in the region, helping them to improve the resilience of their existing facilities as well as build well protected new ones. However a major part of my role was recruiting, mentoring and training up two local engineers to replace me in the region. It was an extremely busy and challenging period both on a personal and professional front, but I learned a lot about myself as well as getting to know an awesome part of the world and giving my family some experiences that will stay with us for ever.