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15 minutes in The POD with….. Chris George

What is your background?

I am local to CEME, I was born in Barking, raised and lived in Dagenham for about 30 years, then moved out to Hornchurch and then to Corringham where I live with my two kids and partner. I`ve always been an Essex boy and I lived in the area where CEME was based. I have been permanently employed with CEME since its opening in 2003 and I was part of the project team for 6-9 months before CEME opened. I`ve seen CEME built up from piling the ground to finish.

I was studying at the University of East London and graduated in Product Design Engineering as I really like graphic and design.  When I came out of University, I was lucky enough to get a job, via friend, as a database entry worker, which I did for three years.

Looking back only about 10% of my old classmates got into the design fields so IT was a good choice for me, as I always liked technology and was a gamer in my student years.


What is the most important thing that I should know about you?

I am told that I am quite a friendly person and that I get on well with others, however I do recognise that I can be a bit judgemental. I wear my heart on my sleeve, what you see what you get. I pride myself on honesty, being trustworthy and reliable. I would also say that I am quite a people person.


What do you like the most about working at CEME?

The people! In terms of other staff members and tenants. Doing IT you engage a lot with staff and tenants and because of that and my role in the business I have a lot more face to face meetings, so I enjoy building up good relationships. This is one of the best things at CEME.

I would also mention that CEME allows me to have a good work life balance as I have two young kids It is very important to me and I am in a good place at the moment, but I am looking forward to bigger projects in the future.


What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you whilst working at CEME?

Probably one of them was when I was promoted to Head of IT in 2009. Working for CEME since the beginning, starting out as one of the technicians to then go on and be given the Head of IT role filled me with pride.

The other one was probably when I was putting my first big project together. I presented that to the board, it was well received and they approved it. This project involved a lot of hard work and half a million pound investment for a Cisco upgrade and a new network system.  It was a big “boost” for me to show that I could do this.


What is excites you about the IT field right now?

I think the challenges of IT. In my previous roles I used to be a Database Analyst. I was a front-end user, and because of that it makes it easier for me to understand people’s frustration when something goes wrong, so I like to find the issue and come up with the solutions.

The other part of it is that IT changes so quickly and there are always new and innovative things to learn about.


What do you do your fun?

I am into cycling, road cycling and mountain biking. I usually road cycle just around the area but go mountain biking in all different places for instance, Surrey Hills, Swinley Forest, Sherwood Pines and also go to Wales a couple of times a year as well.

I am also into the gym. I usually go twice a week to keep myself fit.

One of my favourite hobbies is Airsoft, which is very similar to Paintballing, but it is a bit full on as you dress up as like in the army. It’s like a military simulation and I really enjoy it.


What are your ambitions and long-term goals in your role at CEME? 

I think that I`ve been here for so long now, so it is kind of feels like that CEME is in my blood. I always want to see CEME succeed.

CEME has been good to me over the years and I have put a lot into the company in the past 17 years so I have a really good relationship with everyone in the building. I`ve seen people come and go and I`ve been part of big changes where we changed the direction of the company completely.


What is the way for success?

Probably it is the genuine interest in the job role and the field you want to work in. For me it was part of proving for myself when I started to work at CEME. I`ve worked with some very inspirational managers over the years and gained many great personal skills from them so it was good guidance on how to succeed.

However, when I first got into the position, there were a few people in the business who thought that I was too young for the position and didn’t have enough experience. This drove me to prove them they were wrong. I wanted to show that I could do whatever it takes to succeed within the role.

I always want to push CEME forward and create the “Wow” factor so when people get shown around the building and see the IT equipment they are impressed by how well it is maintained by the IT team which is at the moment is just 2 people.

Lastly I would say:

“If you don`t push yourself then why do it?”

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