Earlier this month, our Operations Director Barry Kelly celebrated 10 years at Aurion. We sat down with him for one-on-one time to learn more about the learning challenges he has enjoyed solving and why an old-school list is key to his success.

What was your working background before coming to Aurion?

“In my early 20s, I managed a dress hire shop in Dublin which built the foundations of communications and management skills which set me up for my future roles but ultimately this was not where I saw my career developing.
Following this role, I went back to study a postgraduate degree and masters in computers and information systems at Ulster University in Derry.

My first real role was in Oracle starting as a localisation engineer and working up to the role of senior project manager over a nine year period before moving on to postal-automation company, Escher Group, and then on to Aurion Learning, initially as a project manager and have worked up to operations director today."

What are the values that drive you?

“I very much base how I work on three key values. The values that I hold dear are:

  1. Respect – One of the earliest values I inherited and have used it from a very young age, if you don’t treat people with respect you should not expect to receive it.
  2. Integrity – Sometimes honesty really is the best policy. It’s really important to me that I can be clear about expectations and intentions. Acting with integrity also provides stability for those in my family and my team at work. Also, as a Dad of two pre-teens, being fair and objective and listening to both sides of the story comes in pretty handy also.
  3. Making a difference for the better - Whether it’s an engagement with a client, or sitting down with a colleague to try and resolve a project issue, I always try and put my best foot forward and make an actual difference to what I’m doing or trying to do.“

What do you like about working at Aurion?

“Having been at Aurion for 10 years now, I have to say the best thing is its people. I work with some really talented people, many of which I am now fortunate to call friends.

I also really enjoy the variety of projects I get to work on. Day in, day out, you can be juggling a whole range of spinning plates, but what keeps the plates spinning are the variety of clients and the sophistication of the projects.”

What has been your favourite learning challenge you’ve enjoyed solving?

“I am currently working on a project with Jacobs Engineering, a Fortune 500 company, and whilst we are just one part of the overall learning solution, very quickly we have been able to solve challenges and add real value that are fundamental to the success of the project."

What do you enjoy when not working?

“Family is first and foremost and I dedicate a lot of my spare time to my wife and two children. I am on the chair of the board of governors for the primary school that my children attended and coach with my local GAA club, so giving back to the community also plays a big part of my personal life. I’ve also been known for my fancy footwork, having participated in the club Strictly Come Dancing!"

What’s the coolest thing you are working on right now?

“The coolest thing I am working on right now is a project for one of Ireland’s largest employers, the Health Service Executive. We are currently looking at a complete new technology stack and learning approach to serve more personalised content to learners within the HSE. I’m really excited about this solution and delivering a new learning experience for thousands of health and social care staff.”

What changes have you seen most in the industry?

“One of the biggest things to note is the pace of change, the elearning industry and the attitude of the modern workplace has changed at a considerable rate. Cross-platform integrations and the use of data has also come to the forefront of learning.”

What is your go-to productivity trick?

“Old-school to-do lists. They are a really helpful way to keep yourself on track. They provide a simple but effective structure to help keep me on track and arrange what it is I need to do. My go-to tools are Basecamp, Trello and good old-fashioned pen and paper.”

What is the best advice you were ever given?

“Quite early on I my career I was given the invaluable advice to remain true to the decisions you make. Having the conviction to stay true to yourself and sticking to your guns can sometimes be a challenge, but covering up your true self and wavering on a decision that you know in your gut is the right one to make can be even more of a challenge.”

What advice would you offer to someone thinking about a career in digital learning?

"Digital learning is an extremely interesting and rewarding industry which transcends all industries. You do not have to be an academic or learning expert and if you put your head down and work hard you can achieve great things."

 

Interested in working for Aurion Learning? We are currently looking for talented and driven individuals to fill a number of roles. Check out our current vacancies.

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