Steve Richards - Senior Business Development Manager

Steve Richards - Senior Business Development Manager

What is your name?

Steve Richards

What company do you currently work for?

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE)

What is your job title?

Senior Business Development Manager

Provide a brief description of your business

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are an economic development agency of the government, whose role it is to support business and communities across the Highlands and Islands region.

Describe your career path after leaving school

Wow...Where do we start! I think the ethos of this is that what you think you want to do when you leave school might not be what you end up doing later in life - and that's perfectly fine!

I went to Moray College UHI to study Sports Coaching for three years in order to get into University in Sheffield to do a degree in Physical Education. I ended up leaving university and just getting a job in Customer Services, as in my last year at university I decided against wanting to be a teacher anymore.

From working in Customer Services for a large pension provider, I realised that some of my real strengths were my communication and organisational skills.

I then, inadvertently, ended up in a sales job where I ended up working as Senior Digital Consultant selling digital products such as website advertising and e-commerce packages.

I then moved to be an Account Manager for a global software company working with big brands such as Sports Direct, Topshop, The Dorchester Hotel, and Puma. I spent five years working my way up from Account Manager to being the Director of Operations and Product Development managing large teams and being responsible for our operations in four worldwide offices.

In 2020, I moved from this job to relocate from Edinburgh to Moray to be nearer my daughter and I got my current role as Senior Business Development Manager with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE)!

Have you ever been an apprentice?

No, I have never been an apprentice but I used to recruit them in my previous job role.

What school subjects would be helpful for your job role?

  • English
  • Maths
  • Business Studies

What is your favourite thing about the work that you do?

I really enjoy getting to help businesses and seeing the real difference that it makes.

Why did you want to work in this industry?

Having worked for twenty years in the private sector, I wanted to move away from just making profits for big businesses and try and do a role that genuinely helped and wasn't just all about the money.

Did you ever want to pursue another career?

Oh yes! I wanted to be a Professional Footballer when I was young and I nearly managed that - but now it is one of many bad luck stories! I then wanted to be a PE Teacher, but soon decided against that on a bad work placement in Sheffield!

What does a typical day in your role involve?

During my day, I can have two or three client meetings to check on project progress, or to speak to new businesses that need some support and guidance. I am also involved in writing some detailed project papers.

What skills are required to do your job?

  • Organisation
  • Communication
  • Adaptability
  • Generally being approachable
  • Being a good person

What is your advice to young people who are considering working in this sector?

Go for it! You get to learn a lot about how the government works and you also get to help businesses and real people.

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Here at DYW Moray, we'd like to encourage those of you who are employed in Moray to share your career story with us so that we can promote these to Moray's young people. Go on, share your career story now!

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