Employee Stories: A taste for networks
by Nick Naughton, UK Projects Director
Unlikely as it might sound, my first job as a chef would prove to be good preparation for my current role, teaching me to be a team player and how to create something from first principles. As it turned out, serving up fibre networks was much more rewarding than serving up food, and switching from Michelin stars to wireless masts was the best career move I’ve made.
I started as a wayleave officer and progressed to site planning, which opened my eyes to the more technical aspects of how customers are connected. It was the early days of fibre when we were all learning on the job. I was lucky to be surrounded by smart people who taught me things that I still help others with today. I was working on Metropolitan Area Networks, honing my CAD skills, and increasingly involved in project documentation because it suited my eye for detail. Then the dotcom bubble burst.
I was one of the lucky people to find work, creating an asset inventory and planning system. A move towards project management and completing Prince 2 set the course for the next step in my career. The next few years were another steep learning curve with spells working on fibre networks in Africa and heading up a design team, building a Geographical Information System (GIS) and planning fibre topology from scratch, reporting to C-level managers on a daily basis.
With most of the UK still dependant on copper, fibre is still a growing market. Finding smarter ways to support densification in order to support 5G will be key. GIS has been a real enabler for the speed of deployment, along with decentralised teams and cloud technology that support remote data capture –
Working in 4site
I joined 4site on January 1st, 2020 – New Year, new start! I heard great things about the company and loved the strategy, but what appealed to me most was a chance to step up to a more senior role and liaise with management. My job is less about production and more about engagement with the commercial and operational sides of the business.
The wireless element of the role has been a new and interesting challenge for me, and I’m working with some great people, like Stuart Kane, Anthony Stevens and Paul Dullaghan who all have loads of experience and are helping to steer me in the wireless world. The network technology has changed and so have the tools that I use on a daily basis; I’ve moved from CAD to Sage and from fixed-line calls to collaborating on Teams. I really enjoy it.
I find 4site very refreshing. Working in any environment can be intense; it’s how people communicate with each other that makes or breaks your day. There is a good working ethos and culture within the company that comes from the top down. CEO Ian Duggan has built a great team around him and the leadership style has percolated throughout the company. I know that in my own role I try and share the values with colleagues working in Ireland and the UK.
I like the challenge of the job, particularly the part I’m playing in building a Project Management Office and a new team. Even though I only joined the company at the start of 2020, I can already say with certainty that I would have no problem recommending 4site to prospective job candidates. It’s a great place to work.