A week in the life of being Head of Business Development at MBN Solutions

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After a few weeks of delivering classroom and desk-side Training and Learning & Development topics to both our new MBN Academy intake and our established team I found myself back on the road last week – meeting some fascinating people and getting involved in a whole heap of networking and opportunity creation exercises.

Firstly, and many thanks to Steve Turner from Exolta Capital Partners / Scottish Development International for the invitation, I presented an overview of MBN Solutions’ international activities to an audience of Scottish business people looking to understand ‘International Masterclass, breaking into new markets around the world’ – courtesy of Santander Bank’s ‘Breakthrough Moments’ festival. In one of the more unusual venues that I’ve had the honour of presenting within (a pop-up venue erected in the middle of Blythswood Square in Glasgow!), I joined representatives of other successful Scottish businesses to discuss our relative international journeys. With MBN holding a unique position within the Scottish Technology Recruitment, Human Resource and People Solutions space in that we have always viewed International business as part and parcel of our core activities, I was happy to discuss some of the lessons we had learned in our journey to date. Starting out by discussing our expansion into Asian markets through our work with London based advertising agencies, I described the establishment and evolution of our candidate network throughout Europe and beyond with my discussion concluding with a review of our recent inaugural Berlin Data Science Meet-up and our plans for future International collaborations.

Breakthrough Moments Festival

Later that day, I was delighted to chair April’s Scotland Data Science & Technology Meet-up group in The Data Lab’s offices in Edinburgh. The speaker on the evening was Chris Bryson – Director of Data & Analytics at Webhelp. Chris and his team are doing some innovative and compelling work around Customer Experience analytics at the moment, and Chris visited the meet-up group to tell us the story of how he made the transition from Customer Insight within Financial Services to Data Science for CX within a Multi-Channel Customer focussed service provider and to showcase some of the techniques that he and his team are currently using. Our regular meet-up attendees were highly appreciative of Chris’s input – with the Q & A session extending well beyond the anticipated finish time. Massive thanks, once again, to Chris, the folks at The Data Lab and to the committed Meet-up group members who make the last Thursday of every month a date well worth looking forward to.


What did you do on Saturday morning? Let me tell you what I did. Along with 4 of my colleagues (Drew, Jamie, Kris and Chris) I attended a guest lecture by Hadley Wickham at the University of Edinburgh. For those who don’t know, Hadley is Chief Scientist at RStudio and an Adjunct Professor of Statistics at the University of Auckland. Hadley had been invited to present by EdinbR – an Edinburgh “R” user group. MBN Solutions, through The Data Lab, were delighted to sponsor the event – and for me to be asked to chair the subsequent Q & A session. The lecture focussed on presenting some of the more advanced functionality within “R” – with Hadley demonstrating these techniques whilst showing us a live case study based on statistics such as life expectancy within different countries and cultures. My colleagues introduced ourselves to the audience – primarily students and academics with an understanding of the “R” statistical language, I chaired the Q & A with no major hassles, and we hung around for the most excellent post-lecture networking with coffees and sandwiches provided. All in all a thoroughly enlightening session.

DS Event Edin Rob 3

Through our participation in events like the Santander festival, our Scottish Data Science & Technology Meet-up and the opportunities presented by special events such as Hadley’s guest lecture, MBN Solutions are continually looking to disrupt the status quo with regards to the service offering of a People Solutions provider. I am hugely excited by the work that we do – and genuinely enthralled by the fascinating range of people that I get to meet and speak to as part of my role within the business.