Get to know your peers in the global HR community through our career profile series. Today, we talk to Brenton Clark, head of learning and development at Fujitsu. He shares his career path, from singing to get a job to the importance of integrity in your workforce.
Name: Brenton Clark
Job: Head of learning and development
Current employer: Fujitsu
CV in brief:
- 2012 – present head of learning and development, Fujitsu
- 2010 – 2012 head of resourcing and recruitment, Fujitsu
- 2006 – 2009 people development manager, Fujitsu
- 2004 – 2006 training and development manager, Balfour Beatty
- 2000 – 2004 learning and development manager, DLA Piper
A day in your life
Tell us about your job and organisation
I’m surrounded by a fantastic set of L&D professionals and collectively we help Fujitsu’s 14,000 employees be the best they can be. We go deep on technical, wide on management and high on leadership
Who do you report into?
The Director of HR Service Delivery
Tell us about your team
The L&D team at Fujitsu have boundless energy, enthusiasm and capacity. Our diverse specialisms and experiences are our source of innovation and strength.
What is the most rewarding part of your role?
Making things a little bit better, every day
What is the most challenging part of the role?
Making things a little bit better, every day!
What does a typical day look like for you?
An early breakfast with my wife and children, Radio 4 or the Economist on the way to work. Email, meetings, conference calls and more email followed by a bit of exercise and then dinner with my family
Why did you choose your current organisation to work for?
It’s a true meritocracy. Intelligence, integrity, flexibility and opportunity are all high at Fujitsu.
Perks and downsides of your role?
We have an organisation full of intelligent people, what a treat! As for the downsides, intelligent people send a lot of email!
What skills are essential for the role you’re in?
Vision, business acumen, emotional intelligence and a sense of humour.
How did you get to where you are now?
Without an overall plan! Capitalising on each opportunity as it comes along.
What were your best subjects in school? What and where did you study?
My best subjects at school were science. I studied Engineering at Strathclyde and an MBA at Manchester.
What was your first job? How did you get it and why did you choose to work there?
I worked as a waiter for years. It taught me customer service and patience!
Have you followed the career path you set out to?
My career path wasn’t intentional, but it has been rewarding.
What challenges have you faced along the way? How did you overcome them?
Work-life balance is a constant struggle, there always seems to be more work than time!
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to land a job?
Sang a song!
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
Achieving my MBA in the same year as having my first child and climbing Mont Blanc!
Do you have any career regrets?
I wish I was a brain surgeon. Really!
What advice would you offer to others who are looking to get to where you are now?
Spend time at the sharp end of business and come to HR later in your career. We need strong business acumen in HR.
What advice would you give to your 22-year-old self?
Re-train as a brain surgeon!
- Coffee or tea? Coffee
- Jam or marmalade? Jam
- The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? The Stones
- Mac or PC? Mac
- The Guardian or The Times? Guardian
- BBC or ITV? BBC
- M&S or Waitrose? Waitrose
- Morning or night? Morning
- Rain on snow? Snow
- Sweet or savoury? Sweet
- App: Economist
- TV show: Breaking Bad
- Band: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
- Song: Beat The Devil’s Tattoo
- Book: A Clockwork Orange
- Sports team: Aussies!
- Thing to do on a Friday night: Watch the sun set from Beachy Head
- Place to eat: Gordon Ramsay’s Maze
- Holiday spot: Great Barrier Reef
- Piece of advice you’ve been given: Don’t be afraid to fail, don’t be afraid to succeed, most of all don’t be afraid to try
By Karam Filfilan
Karam is Changeboard Middle East's editor and UK deputy editor.
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