How I got where I am today: Stuart Winterburn
Name: Stuart Winterburn
Job title: Managing
director at Aberdeen-based IT business Dynamic Edge
What did you want to bewhen you were young?
When I was 14, I visited Virgin Radio in London and the idea of a “rock’n’roll” career, hanging out with rock stars, going to festivals and gigs and getting paid to play music all day was something that certainly appealed.
What are the main career stepping stones you have taken?
After finishing school, I went to university to do a BSc in Physics. However, I quickly decided I didn’t want to become a rocket scientist and wanted to get out in the real world. I joined Lloyd’s Register as an integrity management technical assistant but after a few months I realised I was more suited to the IT department, initially joining as a trainee in the IT support team. I enjoyed this role due to the variety of work and the engagement with colleagues from across all departments.
In 2003, I became a senior IT support engineer. The job was demanding due to the nature of the business and its size, but it gave me a strong background and knowledge base to move to the next level. I took on a wider role when I became IT manager of Castlehill Housing Association in 2005. I also invested in property and shares which added to my business acumen.
Dynamic Edge was founded five years ago by Rob Hamilton whom I’d known from my days when we worked together at Lloyd’s Register. I joined the company in January 2011 as senior support engineer as I felt it was a company going places with a number of opportunities both for me and the business as a whole. That has proved to be the case. I became operations director in early 2012 and was appointed managing director in May 2014.
Reporting to the board, I look after the day-to-day operations and planning. We work together on the overall strategy of the business which is constantly reviewed and updated. I set out to be a key part of the business and was looking for something that would continually push and test me. I’ve certainly found that in Dynamic Edge. We have an ambitious growth strategy in place and are currently exploring opening a second office in London with the potential for further opportunities in the central belt.
Anything you would do differently?
I’m pretty happy with the way my career has developed. Sometimes, I think I should have pushed myself into a more challenging role earlier, but then I think of all the experiences and people I’ve met along the way. They have helped me become who I am today.
Are you scared of making mistakes?
Absolutely not. Preparation and planning are extremely important, but sometimes you have to go for it. It’s very important not to settle into a comfort zone, where things can become stale for you and the team.
Best achievement so far?
Becoming managing director of Dynamic Edge and my family – beautiful wife and two great children with another on the way. On a different level, last year I completed a 192-mile snow roads challenge, which took in the Lecht, Glenshee and Cairn o’ Mount. A good effort considering I hadn’t been on a bike for years and an experience my backside would never want to repeat.
What’s your idea of
the perfect retirement?
I don’t think I’ll ever retire. Technology is becoming more and more integrated within our daily lives, so even if I was to hang out on a yacht in the Bahamas, I’m sure I’d still be accessing my “Cloud”.
What has motivated you?
The idea that you can always create and achieve more. I like to keep things moving forward, developing new ideas. I find it hugely rewarding to grow both as an individual and from a company point of view.
Your favourite stress-buster?
My home is set in three acres just beyond Inverurie. The contrast of working in the city and living in the country is a good one. I find it easy to take my foot off the gas at home with my family.
Is there a time in your
career you miss the most?
There’s no time I miss but now is the time that I don’t want to be missing. It’s great to be at the heart of Dynamic Edge, with a talented team and the technology growing in new and exciting ways giving us so many opportunities.
What’s your dream job?
I’m doing it now. Only I want to see it happening on a bigger scale. Our aim is to grow the business to three times its current size over the next four years – by opening new operations and recruiting additional staff.