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Interested in running a company? we speak to Murray who does just that

Interested in running a company? we speak to Murray who does just that

Murray Sparks, Owner/Director of Premiere Showers
 
What did you want to be when you were 16?
Golf Professional (A big dream and a rather unrealistic dream!)

What did you end up doing when you left school?
Not really knowing what I wanted to do I stumbled into Waikato University taking courses where I excelled at school…. Mathematics. 
 
Describe a day in your life at work:
As a Director in a Company I invest more than half my time communicating with employees, customers and suppliers. Building relationships and communicating my values and objectives is my way of leading employees and suppliers in the right direction. With customers it’s all about understanding what is important to them. An increasingly significant portion of my day is spent working on product development and marketing ideas – all about getting closer to the customer and offering them what they want. Right now I’m spending a chunk of time on implementing new tools and changes to processes to do our jobs more efficiently – that’s exciting. Probably an hour a day is spent on the ‘boring but necessary’ stuff – business administration.
 
Why do you love your job/career?
Before returning to NZ recently I worked 15+ years in a large global engineering company in the UK, Switzerland, Germany, India (with work related travel to another 20+ countries). This experience exposed me to very diverse cultures, ways of thinking, ways of doing business, and ultimately interesting challenges. I found it extremely rewarding when I was given opportunities to work on larger and more complex projects. The ultimate is when colleagues willingly followed my leadership. Now I have the opportunity to apply my learnings in my own small business in Mount Maunganui, and create a work environment with strong values orientated on employees and customer satisfaction.

How did you get into your career?
Completely accidentally – started on a 2 month temporary assignment in London.
 
What qualifications did you study?
BSc (Statistics & Economics) – University of Waikato.
MSc (Mathematical Trading & Finance) – Cass Business School, London

 
Do you have any advice for getting into your sector?
Set yourself up with the relevant education, build networks, work hard, present yourself properly. When you have an opportunity take it with 2 hands – 90% of CVs I have seen are fundamentally terrible – ask for help if you need to. Dress properly for an interview. Research model interview questions and prepare model answers. 
 
What do you wish you had done differently?
Started university with a plan/targets in place (and continually updated it), studied more relevant courses, draw on the experience and expertise of others. 
 
What would you say to your teenage self about defining your future?
Figure out what sort of work interests you – generally speaking. Create a platform for yourself with these attributes – further education, healthy lifestyle, building networks, work smart, open-mindedness, sound advice. Be patient and the opportunities will come.  
 

Title Owner Manager