Careers City Rising Star, Sandie Small is an IT Global Customer Relationship Manager at Aviva Investors. She works in their main City building in London.
Tell us a little bit about a day in the life of a manager in Aviva Investors?
I am a Global Customer Relationship Manager at Aviva Investors responsible for all the IT Services delivered to end users based across the globe. I represent the services provided by Aviva Technical Shared Services department as part of a Business Aligned Service Delivery team.
No two days are ever the same, I could be in participating and helping deliver a major programme of work, redefining our customer service levels or managing an escalation about a printer. It is a very varied role. The biggest focus for me is protecting service and ensuring our customers are satisfied with the IT service we provide.
What did you study or what experience did you obtain in order to get in to your current role?
I left school at 17 with GCSE’s and a Pitmann Secretarial qualification and took my father’s advice to go into IT, as there was a niche market for woman. I went straight into IT as contractor on the Service Desk. I spent 8 years contracting in a variety of operational IT roles gaining IT and Management qualifications whilst working. I became responsible for all IT Customer facing teams globally for the worlds biggest Futures and Option Broker. I was then head hunted by the current CTO of Aviva Investors as a Support Service Delivery Manager. I have worked for Aviva Investors for 4 years and have held a variety of Management roles.
This role gives me the opportunity to get really close to the customer’s and the people that make the money for our business
What do you most enjoy about your role?
I enjoy the variety of my role and having to think outside of the box to solve a problem or incident. I love people and the customer engagement is very important to me. This role gives me the opportunity to get really close to the customer and the people that make the money for our business. I also like making IT more real and fun . I am also passionate about developing new talent and get a particular buzz helping people build a career in this industry
Can you tell us a little bit about what is great about working at Aviva Investors
Aviva Investors is a global Asset management with over £274 billion pounds under management , however, it is still small enough to really feel that I am making a difference. I work with a passionate delivery focused team and without their support I would be unable to succeed.
Although Aviva Investors is a small ship it is part of the larger Aviva family which means you get the feeling of working with a middle size business within a large Corporate entity.
I also work for approachable and collaborative senior leaders that are open minded and supportive.
Do you network either internal or externally?
I have maintained my external network and have attended key industry events ie SDI, ITIL etc. I also support the Hackney Schools mentoring team and Coaching Squared. I do not currently attend any formal Aviva or Aviva Investors networking events but plan to do so as part of my 2013 resolutions. This will be necessary to succeed in my role.
Tell us about your own career aspirations?
I have held large number of managerial roles since my early 20’s for a variety of FTSE 100 businesses. I have also held operational roles so have a good technical understating of IT Services and how they should be delivered in an ideal world. I enjoy a challenge and making an impact ultimately I would like to be a consultant \ trouble shooter working with various businesses, helping them to review their ways of working, their processes and develop their talent. I am passionate about talent and the future people pipeline. I like the buzz of mentoring and helping develop others careers.
What advice would you give to someone wanting a career in your profession?
You have to have a passion for people, technology and delivery. It is not just about IT, you need to find your niche or unique selling point. IT is standard practice but you need to work out what you can offer that is different and what will you be known for. I would advise someone too try a variety of roles understand where your strengths and weaknesses are, and most importantly what you enjoy. Get strong business mentors\supports and use their skills to enhance you own. Do be prepared make mistakes as they will make you stronger.
I live by the Charles Darwin quote” it is not the most intelligent of species that survive it is those that are most adaptable to change”
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