THIS week’s High Flyer is Barry McIvor, sales executive for Fujitsu, covering the Northern Ireland public sector.
What was your first job?
I first cut my teeth in the technology sector with an internship at Andersons (now Accenture). Here I spent four months working with the applications team to gain practical web and applications development experience. When I joined Fujitsu in 2003, I continued down this technical route as a software developer before moving into bid development – the ideal role for me as I had a keen interest in business development as well as technical knowledge.
What qualifications do you have?
I gained a BTEC National Diploma in Business and Finance after leaving school. At that time computers were becoming more common in the workplace, so I decided a move towards technology and business academically would be the right move career-wise! I have a BA (Hons) degree in Business and Computing and an MSc in Business Computing both from the University of Ulster.
Why is what you do important?
My job is all about helping public sector organisations find the best way to deliver their services. When you think about how much our society has changed in the last decade – the advent of smartphones and connected devices for example – we need a public sector that is able to facilitate and enhance the opportunities that come from digital transformation, both in our personal and professional lives. One of my career highlights to date has been helping devise a roll out new infrastructure and services to support the enhanced use of ICT in Libraries NI.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
Ambitious, outgoing and approachable. When you’re working in bid development and sales, you need to be a good communicator and these traits have stood me in good stead as I spend a lot of time out meeting new customers, partners and colleagues.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
Helping drive growth across our public sector offering means I get to work with a wide range of teams across Fujitsu including people from our technical, sales, marketing and product development departments. As we bring together multiple skill sets, experience and dynamics, it’s essential to empower people to own and manage their element of the bid or contract. Identifying people’s strengths is key to this, as is giving them the security – through structure, proper briefings and support – but freedom to apply their own creativity and expertise to a project.
What do you attribute your success to?
Not much surpasses hard work when it comes to getting what you want. If you are passionate about what you do, thankfully hard work comes easy.
Teamwork has also been an important part of my career development, you need to be able to learn from others, appreciate differing points of views and be able to delegate to get the best results.
What website or app could you not do without?
The podcast app. Audio books and podcast are great way of learning new things.
What was the last book you read?
The last audio book I listened to was the ‘War of Art’ by Steven Pressfield. It’s a great motivational read on how to make the most of your creative potential. I would also highly recommend ‘Extreme Ownership’ by Jocko Willinks – a retired Seal who shares stories from his time in the navy that that translate into lessons for business and life.
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I do a mean Scooby-Do impression! It’s a great hit with my three children.
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
I love nature and being outside – thankfully Northern Ireland is a treasure trove of beautiful landscapes coastlines, so I go for runs and hikes as often as I can.