E128 - Alan Stewart-Brown at Opengear13 July, 2023
On today’s episode of The Route to Networking podcast, we are joined by Louis Parratt, Head of the RF team here at Hamilton Barnes and our special guest, Alan Stewart-Brown, Vice President EMEA at Opengear. During this episode, Alan shares what an average day looks like for him alongside some things that you could find useful to implement into your daily life. They also discuss the most important thing Alan has learnt during his time in the Networking space.
Alan started on his networking journey in the early 80s when he pursued a degree in electrical engineering. Drawn to the electronics aspect of the program, he found himself in a good position as the PC industry was just beginning to flourish. It was during this time that Alan’s career took off as he joined Delta Data Systems as a field engineer, focusing on servers and networks.
Building on his technical skills, Alan decided to explore a different area of the networking industry by taking on a pre-sales role. This shift allowed him to engage more closely with customers. While his technical skills remained valuable, Alan began to realise that his true strengths lay in his ability to connect with people. This revelation sparked a desire to further develop his customer-facing capabilities.
Recognising his passion for interacting with customers, Alan made the bold decision to transition into sales. The shift proved to be more challenging than he had first thought but it led him into the position he’s in today.
The Power of Confidence and Belief
Throughout his journey, Alan discovered the influence of confidence and self-belief. While he initially struggled with self-assurance, his dedication to continuous learning and personal growth propelled him forward. Over time, confidence became a push for his success.
Alan’s realisation that he could learn anything allowed him to approach unfamiliar territory with an open mind and a willingness to gain the necessary skills. As he encountered various distractions and people who attempted to sway him from his path, he remained focused on staying true to his mission.
As a Vice President EMEA at Opengear, his role requires him to travel frequently, meeting with customers and partners across different locations. One key aspect of Alan’s daily routine is his regimented approach to productivity. He begins each day by creating a to-do list that outlines his tasks and priorities. This serves as a guide, helping him complete essential tasks without leaving anything to memory or chance.
Working from home has its advantages, but it also presents a set of challenges. He remarks, “I don’t work from home, I live at work.” This shows the difficulty of disconnecting from work when the boundaries between professional and personal life become blurred. Being physically present in the same environment where work takes place can make it challenging to switch off mentally and create clear boundaries.
He offers valuable advice to those considering a career in the networking industry. His first piece of advice is simple yet powerful: “Go for it.” He shares that when he started his career, he initially hesitated and was slow on the uptake. However, he now recognises that the networking industry offers immense opportunities for personal and professional development.
Tune in on the 04/07/2023 to hear the full episode!