Business Development Manager, Sam Theophilus, talks about his journey, so far, here at GEL
Sharing what it's like to work at GEL with insights, highlights and challenges and his memorable (professional) facepalm moment...
Sam, what is your role at GEL?
Business development and Bid Manager.
When did you start working at GEL?
Just over ten years ago.
How did you first learn about GEL?
I used to work at a consultancy where we had lots of Stego mugs, plus they did some work with us using the slope climbing rig.
What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?
Talking to and putting bids together for our clients as well as organising technical talks, where we go out and do a lunchtime CPD talk at our client’s offices.
What three words would you use to describe your role?
Clients, phone, solutions.
If you could do another role at the company, what would it be?
Head of HR, my first rule would be if someone doesn’t make their fair share of tea in the tea round, instant dismissal!
What’s your most memorable facepalm moment?
We had a large project on a construction site that I visited a number of times and often chatted with the site manager. One day when I turned up, instead of wearing his usual jeans and polo shirt, he was wearing a smart suit. I (stupidly) asked why he was wearing it, to which he informed he was going to court in the afternoon to sort out his divorce as his wife had left him for another man, and then spent the next 20 minutes telling me the gory details. Looking back, I guess he just wanted to get it out but at the time it was very awkward.
How has GEL helped you in your career development?
You get a wide range of experience working at GEL, from working on multi-million UK infrastructure schemes to 1 day in the field with a JCB and everything in between. Lots of people have some great experience that they can share, from contracts and finance to detail chalk logging.
If you could pick one theme for GEL to turn into a book about the company, what would it be?
We go where ever we need to go, all across the UK, so something like ‘Top ten A road of the UK’.
What advice do you have for prospective GEL candidates?
Turn up on time, ask questions, chat with people, be positive.
What are 3 words to describe GEL?
Fun, Busy, Challenging.
What do you like most about GEL?
That we talk to clients, find out the problem and work together to find a solution. Then be awarded the project, we undertake the project and ensure GI works go well: the client comes back with more work.
How has GEL changed?
The biggest change in the GEL over the time I have been here are the changes in technology. We still go to site and gather ground data, but the techniques and how the information is recorded and sent is much faster and slicker. I can only see this process evolving even further in the next 10 years, and as a company, we need to adapt to this challenge, so watch this space!
What is on your wish list for the next 10 years with GEL?
For GEL and the construction industry in general, one good trend I have seen is that more women are involved in the industry. I can personally attest that working in a team with a wide range of opinions and views leads to the best solutions for the client. While, as a middle age man, I am not the best person to comment too much on this issue, being the father of two girls certainly adds an amount of perspective.
Before working at GEL, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
A waiter at a Michelin star restaurant, I did the desserts and used to Flambe the Creps in front of customers. One time, just as I set it alight the Crep, a man got down on one knee to propose to his Girlfriend, bad timing. She said yes though!
What is the favourite part about working for GEL?
It’s a good group of people who want to do a good job and have a laugh along the way. I like working on the wide range of projects we get involved with and every day is different.