An Interview with Carla Robinson

Why you think you were invited onto this course?

I wasn’t invited onto the development course. I think I had joined Maxi shortly after the course was announced to be running for 2022. Grant Ogston, the Financial Controller at Head Office suggested that I would benefit from the course and recommended I apply. From there I got in touch with Alan and asked if I could participate on the course.  From there I started a conversation with Alan about why I wanted to come on the development course and what I felt I would be able to gain.



What were your expectations?


I will be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect on the development course. In the grand scheme of things, I am a relatively new at Maxi, so I haven’t heard much about past courses. So, as I was coming in blind I was expecting it to be 2 weeks of lectures and listening to experts within Maxi. I didn’t think the course was going to be as interactive as it has been. And I am really glad of how interactive it has been.



Is there any part of the course you have enjoyed in particular and why?


The two areas of the course that I really enjoyed was the talk on Human Resources by Rachel Sutton and the Pricing of work from Tim Rutter.

As I work in Central Pricing at Irvine, I found the logic behind how we get to a rate really very interesting. I think it has given me a deeper understand of how and why we price jobs. But I think it has also given me a base knowledge to start questioning more things. Before I was always scared to ask why or how we got to a rate but now I know the steps behind it I can try to work out if we are invoicing correctly and rely less on the depots telling me so.

The Human Resources part of the course I also found interesting. I have always been interested in employment legislation so enjoyed the section on this. It was also good to find out more about how we recruit and retain staff.



What’s been the most difficult part of the course and how do you think you have overcome this?


I think the thing I have found the hardest on the course has not been a “subject.” I was quite nervous at the start of the course, and I found it difficult to ask questions or I wouldn’t say an answer that I knew was correct. As the course has gone on, I have found myself asking questions, I also no longer hesitate to ask for clarification if I do not understand what we are discussing. I think I have come over this by forcing myself out of my shell. Alan has also stressed throughout the course that we learn through failure, so I am not concerned if my answer is wrong or not.

Personally, I am prone to overthinking so I have found it difficult trying not to slip into that habit on the course. I have at times found myself overthinking and over analysing things on the course and I needed to make myself take a step back and realise that they don’t need to be as complex as I try to make them. I think I have learnt a lot about myself on this course that has helped me change my natural attitude and the way that I approach things.



Equally what have you found the easiest?


I think the easiest bit of the course for me has been the pricing and finance related areas that we have touched on. I think as this is my background and I knew some things about it I was able to build on this. Also, as I have an interest in this area, I think it just clicked in a way.

Asides from that the other thing that I found, not necessarily the easiest, but the most enjoyable was putting together all the presentations. I am quite a creative person and I really enjoyed having the chance to use this skill as it is not something I get to do very often in my current role. At the beginning of the development course I was really nervous about doing presentations but after the first couple I felt like I had found my stride and was able to push myself and make these better and better!


What’s your proudest achievement so far from the course?


My proudest achievement must be when I presented in front of members from a shipping company. Never did I think I would be able to stand in front of people who I don’t know, especially a supplier, and present to them! When I compare it to the first presentation that I done on the development course I had grown so much as a presenter. I had no nerves and I wasn’t worried about anything instead I just enjoyed the opportunity to speak about a charity which I am quite passionate about.



Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?


In 5 years time I will definitely still be working at Maxi. I have only been working here for just over a year and a half and loved every minute of it. This development course has only strengthened how I feel about the company. I am not sure where I will be role wise, I am torn between staying in finance or pushing myself out of my comfort zone and try to move onto the traffic side. I know that I have a plan of continuing my development out with this course and would ideally like to move into more of a managerial role within Maxi.