Career advice, insights & tips for HR professionals
Ashton Ward, managing director, Eton Bridge Partners 01/10/2012
Career interview by Ashton Ward, managing director, Eton Bridge Partners.
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Brief CV history
List your last four jobs:
- 2002 to 2010, director, Archer Mathieson (Windsor)
- 2000 to 2002, consultant, Wellington Consulting (London)
- 1997 to 2000, consultant, Robert Walters (London & Hong Kong)
Q & A interview questions
Q. When you were a kid, what was your career dream?
A. Royal Marines Commando
Q. How did you get to where you are now?
A. Being focussed and committed to achieving my goals, with a supportive wife, family and friends.
Q. Who inspired you along your career journey, and why?
A. My sporting hero Sir Steve Redgrave. For his tenacity, determination and strength of mind. On his worst day he could beat his competitors on their best day. Nothing got in the way of his goal.
Q. Why did you join your current organisation?
A. I co-founded Eton Bridge in 2010 with my business partner John Archer. We understand each other very well, we have complementary skills and it was a burning desire to create something new and independent, to take what we do for clients to the next level. It was a brave decision given the economic climate, but we had great faith and an entrepreneurial spirit which has served us well.
Q. Describe your typical day.
A. Most days start with a quick check of emails, followed by time with my wife, children and dogs. I am fortunate to live very close to my office, so am usually in the office by 7.45am. Eighty percent of my day is spent interviewing senior interim candidates, meeting clients or delivering on assignments. I try to go to the local gym most lunch times, which keeps me healthy and is good thinking time for planning future strategy. Recently I have been spending a lot of time planning our move to new, larger offices in Windsor as part of our recent expansion programme. Back home in the evenings, I bath the kids and tend to go through emails once more before unwinding by watching sport on telly.
Q. What’s your greatest achievement?
A. Starting Eton Bridge Partners and building an outstanding team. I couldn’t do what I do without them, from our finance department, admin support, research, experienced senior consultants and four partners, who help me to run the business and build for the future – I am proud of each of them.
Q. What are your biggest challenges?
A. Attracting high calibre consulting talent to Eton Bridge. Creating time to think and unwind.
Q. What career advice would you give someone aspiring to your role?
A.Treat people as you would like to be treated. Lead from the front. Enjoy the journey. Write a plan of where you want to achieve in life and how you are going to get there.
- Business book(s): What Leaders Really Do, Jeff Grout
- Website(s): BBC Sport
- Music: Coldplay, Bocelli
- TV programme/film: Top Gear, Jason Bourne films