E39 - Rod Beattie at BFBS

Kieran Waite
Rod Beattie

By Kieran Waite & Rod Beattie

On our 39th episode of The Route to Networking, our host Kieran Waite, Senior Cyber Security Consultant was joined by Rod Beattie, the Head of Information Technology at BFBS. They discuss Rod’s long history in the Networking space, whether University is a good starting point or not and what he does at BFBS.

Rod started in the Networking industry pre-internet, so he was fortunate enough to get into IT from another career and stepped into it as the internet was starting to evolve, which he considers a fundamental benefit he’s got in his locker.

While progressing into his career and looking back on where he is now, he can still remember the person who gave him his opportunity in technology to this day. I’m sure every Network Engineer can relate to having that one person who helped them find their feet.

While studying at university, part of his course was training with the Ministry of Defence so now working for a company like BFBS, it feels like a full circle moment from where he first began.

University is something that he challenges himself on as both a manager and a parent, regarding whether it’s the best approach to take. There are certain careers that you need university for, but when it comes to IT, he believes it’s one of those where it’s very much a vocational career. He has seen the change of people that he met at the beginning of his career slip into IT and Engineering competencies.

When it comes to whether or not it prepares one for the real world, Rod thinks of the times when he has recruited the individuals on the team and had to make sure they understood that migration. You do your degree very focused on a given goal, the goal is getting the degree, and getting the highest grade possible and is very much a selfish objective and technically it can be very detailed. Moving into the workplace isn’t always so detailed. People who’ve had work experience are great but having an understanding of what’s going on is important. It goes from a highly academic to a very team-driven environment.

More on BFBS…

BFBS has been around since 1943 and as a company, they are a charity. Its mission statement is to entertain, inform, connect, and champion the armed forces. Their main services deliver radio, tv and digital channels and are making a move towards the delivery of online services. They deliver those channels with entertainment to the armed services and their families to keep them connected.

If you are looking to find a spot for yourself in the industry, you have to be honest with yourself, who you are, what you’re doing, and what gets you up in the morning to go to your job. The worst thing in the world is to turn up for a job you don’t want to be at. Linking back with BFBS and their values, Rod says: “To know you’re going to a job where the people around you are going to support you, the opportunities and scale, the breadth of opportunities are very large and the fun of coming out and knowing you’ve made a difference in your job, there intangible as far as money is concerned”.

Rod gives some excellent advice for anyone wanting to get their foot in the door… Make sure you don’t miss it, tune in now!