19 Jan “Spotlight” on Andy Jenkins
Andy Jenkins joined MICIM last summer to lead the Project Management section of the business, having previous experience on the client development side and coupled with his extensive background in data centre construction delivery, Andy is a perfect fit for MiCiM’s Project Management section team leadership.
Tell us a bit about your career and what you’re bringing to your role:
I started in the construction industry just over 30 years ago, working for a main contractor on many different projects in different roles of seniority and responsibility starting off as an Assistant Site Manager and working my way up to Operations Manager. I have been building Data Centres since 2009, in 2015 I moved to client side working in Iceland for nearly 3 years and then returned to the UK in 2017. I believe I bring strategic leadership to the team and a wealth of experience and knowledge within the construction and data centre industries.
You have had a long and a highly pressurised career – what would you say are the key strengths you bring to a team?
My experience within the data centre industry is my biggest strength and understanding client needs, that coupled with my management style and skills has given me a fairly successful career both in construction and client side management leading to delivering several successful projects in the UK and mainland Europe.
What are the main challenges in the Mission Critical sector?
For a long time now the demand for Data Centers is increasing, finding the right people, contractors and consultants with the right attitude and experience is a challenge. On these projects you need certain types of people with the knowledge, experience, drive, and determination to deliver successfully, you need flexibility and a team work approach. These projects can be very intensive and high pressured at times
What kind of skills does one need to have to enable a career in the Mission Critical sector that spans for 13 years?
Team work, collaboration and respect are the key management skills for me. Thirteen years ago I didn’t really know what a Data Center was, It was a quick and steep learning curve and I have learnt a lot, met some amazing people and enjoyed every minute. I learnt the technical aspect over the years but have always relied on my management and people skills to deliver projects successfully and to the best of my ability.
Over the course of your career, what would you say was your most challenging project?
I think my biggest challenge was building Data Centres in Iceland, not just because of its somewhat isolated location. Iceland has a very skilled and well educated workforce but Data Centres were fairly new, delivering, building and commissioning a Data Centre project there was a significant challenge not just for me but for those who hadn’t built anything like this before. Cultural differences were also a challenge but I have experienced that in all the other countries I have worked in, the challenges varied and you learn about those cultures, respect them and manage them best way you can.
Is there any cutting edge technology which you are excited about, which will be at the forefront of the industry in the next few years?
I am interested to see how the industry develops and approaches the issues of sustainability, with renewable energy sources and a greener way of design and construction.
Are there any skill/formulae/tech you learned in your formative years you still utilise today?
When I first became a manager my Manager and Mentor always treated everyone the same, he took the time to talk anyone on the project. I saw the respect he gained from those people on the projects. He was trusted, respected and approachable. I saw his success and adopted his approach myself.
As you are always heavily involved in the final push to complete a project, what are your coping mechanisms to deal with the pressurised environment you live in?
Plan ahead, expect the unexpected, stay calm and remember your previous mistakes. You often feel the pressure as the project moves into the later stages but I enjoy those pressures and challenges, it adds to satisfaction at the end, leading to successful handover and a satisfied client.
What is it that you enjoy about working with the MiCiM team?
I’m still in my first year at MiCiM and with the COVID restrictions I haven’t met several people within the business personally. Those I have met have been welcoming, professional and share the same goals and objectives, everyone is so approachable and only too happy to provide assistance when required. We have a great team and I am delighted to be part of it. I am looking forward to working with the existing team and also growing our Project Management Services with our existing customers and adding to that with new clients as we demonstrate our expertise in this sector
After a busy working week, what do you do in your down time?
After busy working day I take the dogs out for a walk, more enjoyable during the summer, but a time to switch off, get some fresh air, exercise and relax. At weekends I enjoy spending time with my family, taking the dogs on a longer walk, visiting new places, eating out, watching and attending sporting events whenever possible.