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Our paratrooper on the ground

We’re always looking for smart, bright talent and we like to reward those who work hard and go the extra mile. This month we shine a light on Carlos Castilla – one of our rising stars.

Carlos, you joined NSC in 2012. How did you find yourself working in the IT industry and what brought you to the organisation?

I am Spanish and in 2007 I made the move to the UK. I’d worked as a diesel injection specialist in Spain, but I couldn’t get any work as a mechanic here as my English wasn’t good enough, so I took a job in a kitchen. After three years cooking I realised I didn’t want to be a Chef, I decided I needed another path.

I enrolled with Jobseekers, for the first and only time in my life, and did a jobseekers funded CCNA course with them. Around that time a Field Engineer job came up with NSC, I got an interview, travelled to London and was offered the job – dependant on me passing the CCNA course – which I did without a single mistake!

You’ve had many roles and progressed from field engineer to a managerial role at NSC – how did you achieve this?

I started off installing routers, switches and phones, I found this easy and always took the chance to take on more responsibility. I’m always looking for different and more efficient ways of doing things, and when I came up with new ideas people seemed to listen! Soon I was in charge of site migrations, with small teams to manage and organise. Again and again we would finish the job, on time or ahead of schedule, to a high standard and making no mistakes. It wasn’t long until I wasn’t only managing teams, but also choosing the individuals that I thought best for each job. I have an instinct for knowing who will be right for a role and without wanting to sound immodest I’m usually right!

At the beginning of 2017, I was offered a full-time, permanent role as a Verizon IPT engineer at State Street corporation Bank in Edinburgh. After about 18 months I was offered to move back into a managerial role again as EMEA Resources Manager, which I accepted immediately. I really enjoy this sort of role, I’m very organised, good with people and a bit bossy so it’s a natural fit!

Where are you based – how much time is spent at home? Do you think you have a good work/life balance?

I am based in Edinburgh and I have a great work life balance. I work from home, so I am able to pick up my daughter from school. I appreciate the flexibility, but I am very disciplined and organised and make the most of every minute – I hate not being busy and I don’t like being told what to do so I always make sure I am one step ahead!

What are the most important skills an IT Engineer needs to succeed?

You need to be reliable and resourceful. You need knowledge, but no one knows everything, so you need the ability to ask the right questions and find a solution or a work around for a problem. You need to act and look professional – if you are well dressed and courteous it gets you a very long way.

What tech innovations are you most excited about?

AI – without a doubt – that is the future. We are on the verge of something big and I am so excited that it is happening in my lifetime.

If you didn’t work in IT what would you do?

I’d probably own a pub by now!

Who is the most inspirational person you’ve ever met?

My daughter. She inspires me every single day.

What is something people don’t know about you (and might surprise them!)??

I was a paratrooper in the army for two years. By the age of 22 I had taken off hundreds of times in planes, but I landed in very few as I used to get off while the plane was still in the air!

And finally, if you could have dinner with any three people in the world who would they be?

Neil Degrasse Tyson (great chat!)
Emma Watson (great date!)
Elon Musk (great advice!)

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