Culture | 4 MIN READ
We caught up with Calvin Bishop, our new Senior Project Manager, who joins our Project Delivery team. We asked Calvin about his career to date, how he got into project management, and most importantly, his favourite way to eat an egg.
I'm a light and fun person with great attention to detail. I have a wealth of knowledge in Project Management and all the skills and experience that come with it, from managing projects to relationship building and management, and excellent communication skills.
Calvin Bishop, Senior Project Manager
Firstly, describe your career path to date and how you got into project management?
In my early days, I started as a waiter. On my first shift, I dropped a strawberry milkshake on my first table; it went everywhere and was one of those "open a hole in the ground and swallow me" moments, but it's not all bad because I like to think that this is where I learned how to deal with conflict in the workplace! I got my first real taste of dealing with customers in this role.
After learning not to drop milkshakes, I worked in a few client-facing roles. Still, it was not until 2012 that I got my first taste of digital marketing, where I worked in a small agency alongside the owner as a client liaison/online coordinator. It's when I truly realised that I wanted to make a move into the project management space.
I moved on to a more prominent (Australian based) digital marketing agency, where I started in a technical support consultant role, working with clients as the first line of support. After five months, my manager approached me and asked if I would be interested in moving from support to project management? I accepted and went on to manage multiple projects (primarily web builds and UX/UI) and slowly worked my way from project manager to senior project manager, and finally team lead.
After five years with the agency, I felt I'd reached my ceiling. I wanted to experience project management in a different industry, so I moved on to another agency in EdTech and eLearning. I expanded my knowledge by working on various projects from content development to video and animations, UI/UX, and web and app development in this role. At the end of 2021, my wife and I completed our immigration from South Africa to the UK, where we had decided to take a few months off to rejuvenate and settle into our new lives.
At the start of 2022, I started working part-time with a friend while looking for a more permanent role and came across the position at Fresh Egg. After some research, I learned Fresh Egg was an excellent place to work, but more importantly, I shared a lot of the same values that Fresh Egg supports, so I applied, went through the interview process, and now, here I am. 😊
What made you choose Fresh Egg as the next step in your career path?
When I came across the posting for the position at Fresh Egg, I read up about the company, and it came across as an excellent place to collaborate, work and grow. From the posts on LinkedIn to the blogs and employee testimonials on the website, it all resonated with me.
I also liked that many people had a long service history with the agency. This information tied in with what I had read online, and the decision from there was an easy one, I knew I wanted to give it a shot, and I am glad I did.
Tell us about your most challenging project to date?
All projects have their unique challenges, and I think it’s more about the approach you take and the support you have to step up to the challenge.
I’ve had my fair share of challenging projects, but one that comes to mind was a unique build we had done for a client. The client’s premises were in a high-security zone, and the LMS (Learning Management System) needed to be built and managed on the client’s on-site servers. Then the pandemic hit, which hindered us from working on-site.
We quickly needed to pivot our approach to deliver, so the team and I immediately went into a workshopping session to determine the best possible solution for the client. Ultimately, we managed to set up a secure VPN to proceed with the project. It was a tricky element we needed to overcome on top of a complex solution. However, with the dedicated team and flexible approach, we successfully delivered a world-class platform for the client, on spec and a little over budget due to the additional overheads, but successful.
What do you feel you bring to your new role from your previous jobs?
I'm a light and fun person with great attention to detail. I have a wealth of knowledge in project management and all the skills and experience that come with it, from managing projects to relationship building and management, and excellent communication skills.
I've worked with many different clients across many industries and cultures, so I believe I am well equipped to join the team to help our customers take their online presence to the next level.
What do you think makes an excellent project manager?
Project management is all about communication (well, IMO), at least 80-85% of it. So, for me, excellent communication, coupled with an eye for detail and great organisational skills, is the perfect base for any project manager.
Of course, there are many elements to being a project manager. I believe that if you (and your team) can understand a client's needs, their business, and what they're all about, you already have a head start, and with the excellent talent we have at Fresh Egg, it does make the job that little bit easier.
You can only use one tool for your job, what is it and why?
I believe in using a PMIS (Project Management Information System), which allows Project Managers and project teams to collaboratively work through a project lifecycle to monitor and deliver any project to success. However, not all tools have all the requirements to deliver a project successfully, and for that, there’s Microsoft 😊
Although Microsoft is a suite of tools, this, coupled with a PMIS, is sure to aid any project team in getting the job done!
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What can our clients look forward to when you take the reins of your first project?
I consider myself an easy-going individual, although serious when I need to be. I aim to look beyond the ‘big picture’ to identify the underlying requirements and ensure that projects are always delivered to the highest standards! When managing a project/project team, I am concise, direct, and pay close attention to the finer details.
I’m an organised individual with a clear communication style, and I love engaging with clients and colleagues.
What is the one most important thing you think a successful project needs to have?
Ensuring the right project team is in place!
What are you looking forward to most about working at Fresh Egg?
I’m excited to get to know, collaborate with, and learn from my new colleagues. From what I have seen so far, everyone is super friendly and talented - exciting times!
If you could only use one website (or app), which one would you choose?
That’s tough, but I would have to say WhatsApp if I had to choose.
If I had to name a few I could not live without, the list would look like this (in no particular order): WhatsApp, Instagram, Email, Met Office, Spotify, Strava, Premier League, Formula 1. There are a lot more than I thought!
What do your friends and family think you do for a job?
I believe everyone thinks I'm a Graphic Designer/Developer (I'm not sure why), but that is what they think. 😊
Finally, what is your favourite way to eat an egg?
I love all types of eggs, but most recently (since moving to the UK), it must be a Scotch Egg – I would like to thank the people of Yorkshire for this delicious treat personally.