Getting to Know Ben Piper
For the third in our “Getting to Know” series we spoke with one of our Senior Consultants, Ben Piper, who has started his career with Finyx and been here ever since. He talked to us about his work here in the last four years, his love for hiking and the countryside and most importantly if he prefers coffee or tea.
1. What is the most interesting role you have had to date?
I started my career at Finyx so I’m limited for choice! In all seriousness, I’ve found this role and the variety it offers very interesting. I’ve been involved in projects relating to most of our service lines for clients in both the public and private sector (alongside lots of internal pieces), before working out what was a good fit. Seeing the amount of change at the firm over the past four years has been fascinating and it’s great to feel like I have contributed to our growth.
2. How did you get to where you are now?
A combination hard work and good fortune. I wouldn’t have classed myself as a model student, I was far more engaged by the idea of getting stuck into my career than education. Finding the vacancy at Finyx came by chance, I hadn’t considered consulting as one of my main options but I threw myself into everything and it turned out to be a great fit. Since then, planning what I want to achieve in the short / medium / long term has been a great form of motivation. I have a clear vision in my head of where I want to be and I won’t stop trying to get there (one step at a time).
3. What are the different types jobs that you’ve had? Anything unusual?
Nothing particularly unusual or exciting. I had a couple of part time jobs before university and in the summers. I worked briefly as a bartender / waiter in the village pub (and wasn’t great!), had brief stints in multiple departments of a health insurance company and I also worked as a marketing / business development intern at an accountancy firm.
4. What motivates you?
Working on a project / programme that actually makes a difference to an organisation, whether it be enhancing operational performance or creating financials savings that can be reinvested elsewhere in the business. I like my work to be challenging as it pushes me to approach problem solving in different ways, while having a number of varying tasks allows me to work in short sprints. Ultimately, my ambition for what I want to achieve is the constant motivational factor that keeps me focussed.
5. Advice for people starting their career?
Be open minded and don’t be afraid to ask questions or say you don’t understand something. Take advantage of the experience and knowledge of the people around you, it’s the perfect opportunity to work on your relationship building skills and begin to create rapport with your colleagues. Discover what you like and/or are good at by trying to work on as many different things as possible and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Finally, treat small tasks as if they were big projects (applying the same professionalism / methods / attention to detail) as it will provide great experience and you will pick up good habits along the way.
6. Are there specific qualities you look for in people that join your team?
Good communication over anything else, I’ve always found the most productive teams are the ones with clear responsibilities who have a willingness to share information and provide the necessary context. Other qualities I would look for include enthusiasm, taking pride in your work and having a high attention to detail.
7. What is the most exotic country you have been to for work?
Never had the chance to work outside of England, but I thoroughly enjoyed working in the Lake District with its beautiful surroundings.
8. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
It’s hard to beat Yorkshire but I’ll be a little more adventurous…
I have always fancied living in a city like Amsterdam / Barcelona for a little while. For a permanent move, it would have to involve the countryside and I’m yet to see anything that tops Norway or the Swiss Alps. Let’s say eastern Norway, I could happily live my days somewhere along the Sognefjord. It would be close enough to Bergen so I can spend time in the city / fly across Europe, plus I could travel north to see the Northern Lights and visit my favourite pub in the world (the Ægir BrewPub in Flåm).
9. If you could have lunch with a successful business person who would you choose? e.g Sheryl Sandberg, Jeff Bezos, Bear Grylls etc
Reed Hastings – it would be interesting to hear the details about Netflix’s transition from renting DVDs via mail to an online streaming phenomenon and riding the wave of tech advancements at the time. Also, to hear his thoughts on what the next 20 years could look like for digital transformation (hopefully we could talk about something other than Meta).
10. Tea or coffee?
Coffee, every time. Black or with a splash of milk (it’s been referred to as “muddy” before).