Dave Davis is a Senior Systems Engineer at VT iDirect, and finalist in the ITP’s Mentor of the Year Award 2016.
Tell us about your telecoms career history so far…
I joined the Army as a Royal Signals Apprentice in 1988; I was steered by the Army Careers Office in this direction, following aptitude tests. I was awarded a Telecommunication Technician apprenticeship, even though I got a D in Technology at school. The Army spotted the talent correctly, as I went on to achieve a first class honours degree in electronic engineering with the Open University, paid for and supported by the Army. My role as a technician took me to Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Bosnia and Belize. After leaving the Army in 2003, I went on to work in the commercial industry, supporting the Armed Forces and commercial clients. I worked at NSSLGlobal for nine years as a Systems Engineer, Project Manager and Engineering Manager and joined VT iDirect in 2013, initially as a defence and security specialist, but now I work on our key account, Inmarsat.
What is your biggest achievement?
Difficult to say really, as they all reflect different aspects of my life, but I would say being awarded the MBE, achieving Charted Engineer status and being awarded fellowship status of the ITP and IET are up there. To be nominated for the ITP mentor of the year was really special and I was so pleased to see such a high quality award winner this year, who obviously had a real commitment and passion for mentoring.
How important is mentoring to you?
Very. Both as a mentor and a mentee. I was supported in my early career and was inspired to be able to achieve more than I’d hoped for. I see mentoring as a way of closing that loop and trying to inspire the next generation of engineers to lead us forward.
What did becoming a finalist mean to you?
It was a great honour and it was amazing to meet the other finalists who had achieved so much.
What advice would you give others considering entering an industry award?
I would thoroughly recommend people to apply and put others forward for awards, as it is a great way of recognising those who go above and beyond. The awards dinner is not only a fantastic event, organised by a top-class team of staff, but it’s the perfect environment to network and get to know new people who can open new doors and opportunities.
What advice would you give to anyone considering a career in telecoms?
It’s a very rewarding field, which is always changing and this pace of change allows you to constantly learn and keep things fresh. It also has so many niches and areas of specialisation, so there’s a lot of options. I came into telecoms before mobile phones and have seen so many changes. We are truly living in the communication age and being at the leading edge of that is very exciting.
Entries for the ITP Annual Awards 2017 close on 30th June 2017 – apply here.