Jigsaw puzzles
Carol-Ann Adams

By Carol-Ann, Business Engagement Executive at Interface 

Just over a year ago, Carol-Ann Adams joined Interface as a Business Engagement Executive in the Highlands and Islands. Here she reflects on how the presentation she gave during her interview applies in her every day work, connecting businesses to the wealth of academic expertise across Scotland’s universities and research institutions…

As part of the interview, I was asked to prepare a presentation on how I would raise the profile of Interface to engage with more businesses in the Highlands and Islands. I decided to take each letter of Interface to drive home the nine key elements which I felt the role required. This is what I said:

I is for Interaction – I will base myself in the Highlands and Islands Enterprise area offices which I cover for a few days each month, to allow increased interaction with colleagues there and make myself accessible to them.

N is for Network – I will develop new points of contact at academic institutions, building a good range of stakeholders who can help increase my chances of making successful introductions to businesses. Also, I will pick up on existing relationships with businesses and strengthen them.

T is for Trusted – I will establish myself as the “go-to” point of contact. In my previous role as Relationship Manager for a major bank I was the point of contact for the entire organisation, no matter what the customer was seeking help with, so I was adept at finding the right person to assist them. I want to become a trusted advisor for businesses, academic partners and stakeholders.

E is for Engage – I will take the time to understand the business’ needs. Only by fully understanding can you involve the right people and help provide the right solution. I will ask a lot of questions to ensure I get it right.

R is for Relationships – I am accustomed to managing business relationships and understanding the importance of nurturing new ones, whilst preserving existing relationships. I never underestimate the importance of working with people to make things happen.

F is for Follow up – to ensure no opportunities are lost. I will re-visit every referral to seek feedback – was it successful or not? If not, why not? I will identify training issues and share new knowledge and best practice. This will help maximise each opportunity.

A is for Attendance – at events, seminars, roadshows and university open days, to increase my profile in the community.

C is for Conduct – as a Chartered Banker I am governed by strict codes of conduct, therefore it is second nature for me to act in a professional manner at all times.

E is for Enthusiasm – I will enter this role with a strong desire to do well and enjoy the new challenge. Being keen and eager to learn makes people more willing to open up and share their ideas and challenges. Carol-Ann can be contacted on 01463 244 240 or via email carol-ann.adams@interface-online.org.uk

07 April 2016