Gary Clarke, MCL Fire
Gary Clarke discusses his career as integrated systems project manager with MCL Fire.
What does a typical day look like for you?
We are currently working on implementing a new software system into the company. We have 20-25 mobile users of the system; they will be out in the field doing repairs and maintenance work on fire extinguishers, fire suppression systems and fire alarms. We need a way to record the progress that they’re making in the field and a way to capture costs and accumulate charges to keep track of our business.
What are the main skills you need to be successful in your roles?
The ability to listen. In my role you’re exposed to all parts of the business; from purchasing, to sales, to management and the day-to-day activities of the engineers. You need to be able to listen and interpret what each different role means for the business and how that connects with the software system. You need to be able to make the software work for everybody in their individual roles.
Attention to detail is also important. Each role entails many different processes you need to be able to encapsulate in a system that works.
What was your career break?
A friend of mine who had been through the programme recommended it to me. Luckily, the skills that I had developed through college and work matched MCL’s requirements. I haven’t looked back since.
What advice would you give to a student?
I would recommend looking at the career boost and keeping an eye on what Intertrade Ireland and similar bodies have available. Because of the range of different jobs that are available through that programme, there’s something for everybody. There are engineering, technical, practical and customer-facing roles. You get great exposure to all elements of the business.
What do you like about your job?
What I love most about the job is that no two days are the same. There’s a lot of problem solving and trying to work out the best way to do a certain. The days feel really short, but I like that about my job.
When you resolve a problem and see the end users benefitting from the improvements, it’s very satisfying.
How have you adjusted to working from home?
MCL Fire has been very flexible in terms of working from home. I have been provided with equipment and access to everything I need to be able to perform my duties from home. It’s also very easy for me to get access to the people I need.