My dad can take the credit for getting me on the path towards IT and cyber as he brought a computer home when I was young. This was back when they were unreliable and expensive so we were fortunate – like many young people do, I quickly became hooked on using it for gaming, but it started a lifelong fascination with technology and led to me studying Computer Science at university. I feel very lucky that I’ve been able to turn this passion into a career and cyber seems like such a natural fit, plus having a job in this constantly evolving industry is extremely satisfying.
I joined Nominet in May 2020 as the Head of Customer Success and Operations. The scope of this role is even longer than the job title, but basically gives me responsibility for the service delivery of critical solutions to high profile customers. This team’s remit covers everything from helping the team to onboard new organisations and ensuring good governance of the service, to coordinating our effort to keep improving the service. A large part of my team’s role is about relationship management, both inside the business with the different internal units and with external customers, acting as the conduit and translator between them all.
Having a technical background is key to the role because it means I can communicate more effectively with the customers about how the technology actually works to protect them, and ensures that I fully understand what the technical team is telling me about the functioning of the service. Whilst there are times when I miss being more hands on with the technical side of things, I get great satisfaction from seeing the engineers work with my team in providing the best solution to our customers.
A large part of the appeal when I applied for this role was the high level of focus on cyber security in the work. My job offers the chance to shape the customer success function and to combine my technical background with my management skills. Even just a few months in and I know the move to Nominet was the right one; there is a level of familiarity in my role already and my colleagues have been patient, supportive and generous with their time. At Nominet we have some incredible experts who are happy to fill in the gaps and I’ve learnt so much from the people around me. There is also a sense of dynamism which I relish; work shouldn’t be mundane.
In cyber, things are always changing and there’s always something new to learn. It’s so much more than just the underlying technology; how that power is used, and who is wielding it, is key. There are so many players in the space and those working within it, including me, need to make tough judgement calls at times, often based on limited information and within a condensed time. Being able to handle that responsibility and make decisions quickly but accurately is a key part of my role.
It’s clear that Nominet values and empowers its staff and it’s great to hear my colleagues speaking freely about how to make changes, such as in the service we are delivering. Service is clearly a priority and it’s reassuring that the company views change as an opportunity to be better. I’ve been very impressed by the way the organisation has supported and motivated staff during lockdown and made everyone feel included and part of something bigger. That’s no easy task but Nominet has handled a potentially isolating experience in a really positive way and helped keep us all connected.
This drive to support and protect can also be seen in the way Nominet aims to make a difference to the world around us. In addition to being critical national infrastructure, running the .UK internet namespace, we invest some of our profits in tech for good ventures that support those who are at risk of being left behind digitally. This commitment to operating for public benefit is at the core of the business, which sets the tone for the whole organisation. When I speak to people who have been with Nominet for many years (a good sign in itself) they always mention their pride in working for a truly ‘profit for purpose’ company. My impression is that Nominet is genuine and believes that the benefits of cyber and technology should be inclusive and acts accordingly. It’s a sentiment I agree with – technology is for everyone and we shouldn’t leave anyone behind.
To find out more about careers with Nominet, visit our recruitment page.