E45 - Mauro Mortali at BT

James Dean
Mauro Mortali

By James Dean & Mauro Mortali

In this episode, we are joined by our host, James Dean and Mauro Mortali, the Senior Manager at BT. Some of the topics they cover are the daily tasks Mauro gets up to on the Strategy team, tackling imposter syndrome, some of the traits he looks for when he’s hiring and much more.

Mauro had a different start in the industry as he studied French and German at university and wanted to go into the music industry. So, as you can tell, none of those things relates to what he does today. He soon realised it may not be a lucrative career choice and so he worked for a small consultancy company. Having an interest in computers from a young age, Mauro thought he would give it a go and he ended up being there for a few years.

Being fresh out of university, with no real business degree, standing in front of marketing directors, giving them his view on how they should run their business, he started to struggle with imposter syndrome. It was at this point he came out of what he was doing for a year to do a full-time MBA.

The MBA was an incredibly important milestone in his life. He found himself with other people from a diversity of backgrounds and it plugged a lot of gaps for him. He saw himself as able to operate with his peers and he was confident in his ability to learn. When he is recruiting himself, it is an important attribute he looks for. Are you able to learn? Are you able to pick things up? Adapt? Because if there is one thing, he’s seen is the pace of change accelerating all the time and someone whose ability to come in to do 1 job and able to adapt to what might come in the future is very important to him. The MBA was fundamental for his confidence and tackled his imposter syndrome.

Now working at BT as the Senior Manager on the Strategy team, he has found himself more on the non-technical side. He has spent the last 10 years or so in various roles, but his current role is more innovative and has 3 responsibilities within the team. One of those responsibilities consists of keeping an eye out on emerging trends and looking to identify different and new capabilities that have value to BT. Another side is how they take what is a good fit internally and run experimentation on that and the other is more strategy works around innovation topics.

When he is hiring, respect plays a huge part. Respecting the interviewer and the company is essential, there is nothing worse than when you interview someone, and they have not prepped. For him, it demonstrates a lack of respect. They give the time to find out more about you and if you cannot be bothered to prepare, in his eyes, it’s disrespectful. It works both ways too, ensure that you go into an interview where the interviewer turns up on time and has actually read your CV prior.

Another thing he looks for in a new hire is evidence of courage. Even applying for the job in the first place is a good start but are you prepared to put yourself out there? Prepared to make a leap? He will be able to see that through chosen career moves on a person’s CV.

He also likes a little bit of self-assurance. There is a fine line between being arrogant and confident and it can be hard to nail. It is great when someone can have the experience to back themselves up but if you do not, then it doesn’t look great for you.

When it comes to emerging technology he is currently seeing. He thinks that data and AI in the health sector are going to be huge. The pressures on the NHS and the current model they are using are not sustainable for the future. There must be a shift in focusing the NHS resources away from curing and towards prevention and it has the potential to impact many lives.

Mauro discusses some of the regrets he has during his career and what he wishes he would have done differently if he could go back. Make sure you give the full episode a listen now to find out what it was!