Under the Surface with...Jim Gordon
In the grand scheme of things, Jim Gordon’s career is relatively young. Yet just 18 months after he joined the Sentinel Subsea team and he feels as if he has packed several years’ worth of experience into the time.
Jim was appointed to the role of business development, which is logical, given his academic qualifications. Graduating from the University of Aberdeen with an MA in History and Business and then an MSc in Business Management, Jim has always been interested in what creates a functioning business. Long before he went to university, he was keen to learn how the various elements of a business come together to create success, with a view to achieving that himself in the future.
In other words, Jim has brought both a wealth of knowledge and a lot of enthusiasm to his role and after 18 months with us, he’s delighted to report that Sentinel Subsea has made him realise that the impact a start-up company with a vision can have upon an industry. It’s also made him realise that - contrary to what might be taught - the heft of a large corporation and huge R&D team are not required when it comes to facilitating an industry-wide change for the better; quite the opposite in fact. Sentinel Subsea is a small company making big waves when it comes to subsea asset integrity and Jim can see that it’s the team’s flexibility and willingness to adapt that have been instrumental in its achievements so far. It’s meant that in just 18 months, Jim has seen the initial idea develop from concept to a validated, commercial technology which has been delivered to the operator community.
The willingness of the team to get involved with every part of the business has also made its impact upon Jim. With absolutely no silos in a team of five, nobody can possibly be pigeon-holed and the resultant sharing of knowledge and experience has brought home to him that whilst nobody should ever be afraid to ask for help and advice, equally one should offer help to others wherever possible. That, Jim feels, is the key to a continually evolving, successful business.
This approach to business has also given Jim a real fast track into a whole range of business areas - possibly more than the average graduate would have expected. From business modelling to marketing, from finance to hands-on workshop activity, nothing has been off the table and it’s allowed Jim to develop quickly.
We’ll let Jim have the last word and sum up exactly what his role means to him: “My job has provided me with some really fabulous opportunities, not least witnessing the journey of Sentinel Subsea from idea through to tangible product. That’s one of the reasons I get so much satisfaction from getting out there, talking about our product and seeing the incredible response it generates.
“I’m going to share two key pieces of wisdom I’ve picked up so far, which may help others who are early on in their career – or even those who have been around a bit longer!
“Firstly: Keep Things Simple. I’ve discovered that a streamlined product development is by far the most effective route to market, especially when the aim is to test and deliver quickly and cost-effectively.
“Secondly, never miss an opportunity to get out there and meet others. I’ve found that people are so generous with both their time and experience, and I’ve learnt a huge amount – not least through The Oil & Gas Technology Centre’s TechX programme. This 16-week busines accelerator course was a revelation to me; not only in what it taught, but also in helping build both my confidence and a valuable network of contacts. I grabbed that opportunity and urge anyone in my position to do the same. Don’t be afraid to learn, enjoy meeting new people and always remember to keep in touch with them as the months and years progress.”
Wise words, Jim, we’re delighted you’re a part of the Sentinel Subsea team.