Career Conversations with Garrett Murphy

Hi Garrett, thanks for inviting me to Tunbridge Wells to see you and Rose and find out more about the work you are doing. First of all, what led you to become a GM on this project?

I did my construction degree in 2005 and graduated in 2009, in time for the global economy to crash. I moved to Canada and spent 12 months working for a bank in facilities, looking after hard and soft services. It was around the same time as the Vancouver Olympics which was pretty cool. But the grass is always greener. I came back to Ireland, couldn’t get any work and spent a year looking for work in Ireland and the UK.

Eventually I got a job in 2012, working for G4S as a Facilities Manager for PFI schools Project in Tower Hamlets. I was there for 18 months, before being headhunted by Kier Facilities Management to run a PFI contract for special needs schools in Harrow. Spent just under a year there, then was headhunted by another recruiter to become an SPV Manager working on LiftCo projects. I was working there for two years as an Operations Manager, then the CEO left in 2015 and needed an interim person in a senior position so I was appointed as a Senior Operations Manager. I was contacted by a recruiter in February 2016 with an opportunity to become a General Manager with John Laing, then in November 2016 got tupe’d over to HCP.

How do you find the differences between HCP and John Laing?

That’s a difficult question to answer because I was only in the role for six months before transferring across to HCP. HCP However, it is evident that there are more procedures and it is a more established MSA Provider, it’s good to be able to demonstrate those to our clients. We had one of the shareholders in here last week and we were able to demonstrate what we are doing through MyRIAD.

What are the main challenges of your role at the hospital site?

I think the main challenges of this role are the amount of different incidents that can happen instantly; if you’re doing a report you often have to stop that immediately and deal with the task in hand and it can be like trying to juggle hot potatoes.

What has been your biggest career achievement so far?

In the last 18 months we’ve orchestrated a change in the relationship from the Trust. When I first started the Trust Representative didn’t know me and I had to work hard on building something from very fraught encounters with the trust, the SPV and the service provider. Maintaining a steady and consistent approach and being transparent about all matters was how I tried to demonstrate that. And it has changed for the better, we’re in a great place now.

You have been doing some study outside of work but is connected, could you tell us about that?

I graduated as a mature student in 2009, and after that said I would never study again, it was quite difficult and challenging. Seven years on I changed my mind and wanted to push myself further, I felt I’d hit a glass ceiling and wanted to progress. I’d been looking at doing an MBA and my family encouraged me to go to an open day and talk to a business school. The following Monday I applied to the University of Manchester, and I’ve been doing a part time distance learning course for the past year and a half. I finished in June 2018 and am now awaiting grade for a qualified Masters in Business Administration.

How have you found juggling that with your day job as a GM?

Extremely difficult. Have a long think before you do it, whether it’s an intensive course or over three years. But it is possible with the support of your colleagues and your family.

Do you have any career advice for new starters at HCP?

Reach out and enquire rather than reinventing the wheel and trying something new. Because some of us at HCP are quite segregated, working in silos in hospitals and schools we don’t see each other that often. It’s good to make the effort to get in touch. The HUB now has instant links which help connect people. And it’s good to know who people are, you can see their picture and perhaps a thread that you can connect to, then at the Annual Conference you can talk.

Thanks Garrett, and best of luck with your MBA results.

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