Team Phoenix Talks: Richard Barwick

We chat with our Head of Service Delivery, Richard to find out why apprenticeships are so important to the IT industry, and his childhood interest in tech and how it’s led him to the career he has today.

How did you get into the IT industry?

My IT career started fresh out of college at 18 when I signed up to an IT apprenticeship scheme. I secured a placement as an apprentice IT technician at a secondary school and after six months I was rewarded with the offer of a full-time role where I was able to continue my training and development.

Starting my career as an apprentice is why I am such a big advocate of apprenticeship schemes and one of my proudest achievements at Phoenix is the introduction of our own IT apprenticeship programme. Our IT apprenticeship has given a number of people a springboard to start their careers and it’s very rewarding to see each of them develop and progress as they have.

What appealed to you about the IT industry?

From an early age I took an interest in technology, such as gaming consoles and the first wave of home PCs. Once I started my apprenticeship, I realised there was a lot more to IT than the traditional desktop PC and I became interested in learning about more complex and enterprise grade technologies. This eventually led me into the private sector where the opportunity for first-hand exposure to these technologies was available.

Tell us about your career history and what led you to Phoenix 

Before joining Phoenix, I spent six years working in the IT department for a large food manufacturer. Due to a merger, I was involved in several complex IT projects to standardise, modernise, and integrate a variety of different systems this gave me a wealth of experience and opportunities to further develop my career.

I joined Phoenix because the role looked exciting, varied, and offered the opportunity to build something from the ground up. It has proven to be exactly that and I have never looked back.

What’s your experience of working at Phoenix so far? 

I absolutely love working at Phoenix and it is incredibly rewarding to be part of a progressive, ambitious, socially conscious, and inclusive company. There are so many inspirational people I have had the pleasure of working with, and I’m always keen to learn more – something Phoenix has consistently provided the opportunity to do.

Tell us a little bit about your role

My role has evolved quite a bit over the last four years and has had plenty of variety. I’m currently responsible for ensuring that we are delivering outstanding IT services to our customers and employees, the design and transition of new services to support our customers, overseeing our internal IT services provision, and playing a supporting role in maintaining our ISO standards. It’s busy, but very rewarding to be part of evolving the company and our processes.

Great Place to Work Banner saying "96% of our employees say Phoenix is a great place to work."Why do you think Phoenix has been recognised as one of the UK’s ‘Best Companies to Work For’?

It’s absolutely down to the people who make Phoenix what it is. Everyone goes the extra mile for our customers and one another. And a special mention to our fantastic leadership team who never stop trying to make Phoenix an even better company than it already is.

How would you describe the culture at Phoenix?

To me, it feels like everyone is friends and people look out for one another. There is always a positive and feel-good atmosphere throughout, and when things get challenging – as they do in every business from time to time – everyone comes together to overcome it.

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Ben Murden
Ben Murden

Ben has over two decades in the IT industry, delivering both online and offline campaigns across all platforms to meet business goals and objectives. Joining Phoenix in 1999 as a graphic designer, Ben has evolved over the years into a fully-rounded marketing professional, before being promoted to Phoenix Marketing Manager early in 2018, reporting directly to the MD. With his background in creative design, Ben takes projects from inception to execution and can identify the correct strategy based on the subject, audience, and goals – while increasing the brand profile and revenue. His passion for digital marketing is evident in everything he does, and both vendors and strategic partners often comment on his incredibly positive attitude to ‘make things happen’.

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