5 Minutes with… A Business Development Manager

Brian, Business Development Manager

In this week’s FD Hot Seat Q&A series, we caught up with Business Development Manager, Brian.
In this interview, Brian shares insights on his career journey and personal and professional development at FD.


Tell us about your career journey so far.

I have worked at First Derivatives for almost eight years, starting in MRP, the company’s leading global predictive intelligence organization, in October 2012. Since then, it’s been a journey with many highlights including the opportunity to travel to some exciting global locations such as Singapore, Florida, Amsterdam, and Paris to name a few.

During this period I’ve been part of several teams and currently manage the Business Development team based out of our Newry office. It’s a global role supporting our sales teams across America, EMEA, and Asia.

I’ve really enjoyed representing FD on a global stage, for example, through meeting with C-level executives to uncover sales opportunities. Such opportunities have helped me gain and grow a highly transferable skill set, including learning how to approach prospective customers in the right way, overcoming objections and interpreting buying signals.

What do you enjoy the most about your role at FD?

I work on global campaigns across multiple industries so no two days are the same and I learn more about different markets every week. I also really enjoy the team environment at FD, everyone is highly motivated to succeed both individually and for the wider team. It has really encouraged me to grow as a person and further my career over the years. I have learned a lot from my peers and attribute much of my success to their ongoing support.

Another aspect I enjoy is watching the junior team members develop and grow. I have trained colleagues in the Business Development function who have themselves been promoted to team lead positions.

Finally, I still very much enjoy finding new business opportunities for the company even though I’ve moved into more of a team management role.

How has working for FD benefited you personally and professionally?

It’s had a big impact on my life. Being able to work with senior colleagues has helped me develop my sales skills; how I compose myself, communicate with senior leaders and coping under pressure. Understanding how successful people operate and being able to ask for advice has had a positive impact on my own role. There is an ethos that runs through the business that breeds success, it can be infectious!

Personally, it has been great to be a part of my team as well as the wider FD family. I have made some long-lasting friendships and amazing memories over the years. From the golf society to the 5-a-side weekly football matches, there is a lot going on within FD on the professional side but also on the social side!

What do you think are the most important attributes to have for career success?

I think it’s a combination of dedication, hard work and having a passion for what you do. You can have all the right qualifications but if you’re not driven by an energy and excitement in your role you won’t be the best you can be. I also think being coachable is important, be prepared to ask questions, listen and learn.

How do you continue to grow and develop in your career?

I’m constantly learning and there are always new ideas to explore. We are covering many campaigns that stretch across several industries, so I’m always looking for opportunities to learn from the subject-matter-experts within the business. FD also offers on-the-job training courses that have been great for career development, including AWS and Refinitv certifications to name a few.

What motivates you most each day?

As a self-starter I tend to be motivated to be the best I can be in every aspect of life. Being from Newry, First Derivatives was renowned as being a fantastic company to work for and I always wanted to be a part of it.

Additionally, I have two young boys who are always a great source of motivation! Becoming a father changed how I thought about being there for others, helping them grow and learn in the same way I did.

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?

My favorite quote is from Richard Branson.

“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.”

There have been times when I felt I have been thrown in at the deep end and felt overwhelmed. This quote reminds me that everyone can go through this from time to time and it’s beneficial to figure things out for yourself, this will drive you forward.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

‘Talk less, listen more’. In order to learn you need to listen more to understand someone’s point of view. Everyone in the team has a voice and something to contribute so it’s very important to give people time to put their points across as we all push towards the same goals.

What advice would you give to a person starting out in their career?

Set achievable goals; start small, and then work from there. Seize any opportunity you can when it’s offered and strive to do the best you can.

Also, be a team player, think of how you can help others as you never know when you might need help yourself.