Vice President of Group Operations & “Always Delivers” Award Winner 2022
For a year and a half, Laura has been living the Connexin Culture Code and making sure we deliver on our promises. Whether it’s supporting Service Delivery, Network Ops or the People team, she puts her all into it to ensure everyone is equipped and empowered to deliver the things they set out to do.
It’s for this reason Laura is our 2022 ‘Always Delivers’ award winner!
After her win, we asked Laura a few questions to get to know her a little better, and here’s what she had to say…
Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Laura, I am a 30-something year old living in Barton upon Humber. I like eating nice food, running, watching films, and playing with my puppy.
How did you get to this stage in your career?
Hard graft and determination.
What is your history in the industry/job type?
My first ‘proper’ job after uni was working in the Highways department at York Council. I did a bit of everything here – including NRSWA Inspections, surveying road and footpath conditions, and raising works orders for repairs. I then moved into a more systems-based role – looking at how we could use technology to make processes more efficient through automation. I worked in IT for a number of years, particularly in project management and business analysis, before studying for an Executive MBA. Here I wrote my thesis on IoT and how this (at the time, fairly new!) technology was going to open up huge opportunities for the UK market to do things smarter. I then moved into more senior roles in digital transformation, operations and strategy. In summary I’ve done lots of different jobs… but all of them relate in some way to the work we do at Connexin.
What drives/motivates you?
Pushing myself out of my comfort zone (both in and out of work) and then realising that I can do something that previously would have terrified me. Also, the feeling of pride when I see other members of the team working hard / pushing themselves, and watching them achieve great things.
What are you most proud of in your career so far?
Getting through the first covid-19 lockdown when I worked at Ebuyer – I was responsible for enabling 200 people to work from home with very little notice, plus keeping the warehouse operational and safe as the numbers of orders we had to process went through the roof. This was a very testing time for me on many levels – but me and the team navigated through it successfully.
How long have you been at Connexin?
It feels like forever, in a good way… but 1.5 years.
How do you feel about winning your award?
It made me very proud! At first I thought they’d called out the wrong name… But when I look back at everything that me and my crew have delivered this year, I think we definitely deserve it and I’m proud to represent.
What does your job role entail?
A bit of everything really. In a nutshell, I’m responsible for making sure that our Service Delivery, Engineering, Network Ops, People, Software, Systems, Data and SHEQ teams are equipped and empowered to deliver the things they need to, to the best of their abilities. This means that I need to put processes, systems and tools in place that work well, and provide support when anything doesn’t go to plan. It also means that I am constantly reviewing how things are done, looking at ways to improve – then delivering that change.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is different. Today, for example, I have finalised and submitted a quarterly update to the Board on Operations, attended two daily software ‘standup’ calls, chaired a weekly Ops call, and caught up with James our SHEQ manager and JP our Head of Service Delivery on a few bits. I’ve also attended a meeting on the RGBVS project, chaired our weekly Change Approvals Board, met with our partners Calix to discuss an amazing mobile app that we are about to launch to customers. Next, I am due on a call with our supply chain partner, Anixter, to discuss some stock returns. My days are mostly meetings… but I try to keep Thursdays as free as I can to focus on actions agreed.
What do you like most about working at Connexin?
I feel like when I joined Connexin I “found my family”… I know it sounds cheesy but honestly it is so refreshing to work with like-minded people. We are all really driven and focused on the end goal – when the going gets tough, everyone rolls their sleeves up and helps to get things sorted. Working with your “family” has its downsides too – we sometimes do challenge each other in the same way that siblings do… however I find it very reassuring to know that I have the support and trust of a team of peers behind me if I need it.
Now the serious questions are out of the way, it’s time for something a little more fun…
Would you rather be the funniest or smartest person in a room?
What fashion trend do you regret?
Having a perm in the 90s
What is the weirdest fact you know?
Art used to be an Olympic sport
Would you rather meet your ancestors or descendants?
Which three people would you want on your zombie apocalypse team? (Two work colleagues and a celebrity)
Emily Halsey, Will Kebbell and Andy McNab
What clothing item would make you walk out on a date if someone wore it?
My other half wore a pair of wellies on our first date… I nearly binned her off. 12years later, I’m glad I didn’t!
What is your most used emoji?
What skill do you think everyone should have?
The ability to listen – like, really listen and take onboard what someone is saying, before reacting.
And that’s all from Laura, well done again for winning the Connexin 2022 Always Delivers Award!
Keep your eyes peeled for more of our upcoming people profiles and get to know some of our amazing team!
Fancy joining the Connexin team? Head to https://jobs.connexin.co.uk to check out our latest vacancies!