Friday Interview - Gary Cunningham

TFI - Gary Cunningham

 9 Feb 2018

The Friday Interview
What is your name?
Gary Cunningham
What do you do for a living in 10 words?
I manage the operations of the companies AHTS/PSV in North Sea (UK Sector), contract performance and client relationships. Not quite 10, but close 
Where do you currently reside?
 I live just north of Aberdeen City.
  1. Do you have any morning rituals?
My morning ritual is very simple, but it works for me. The night before, I leave a bottle containing 600/700ml of water at my bedside. From the moment I wake, to the moment I leave the house, I make sure I drink the entire contents of the bottle and nothing else. I was once taught, “Hydrate before you Caffeinate” I won’t go into the health benefits of staying hydrated as I am sure you are all aware. Next, I feel it’s important to take time for a bit of education, or something to get your mind working. I find the drive to work is the perfect time for this and during my 30 minute commute, I use this time to listen to a podcast or an audio book rather than the drivel you find on most radio stations. So I arrive at work, I’m bright, alert, hydrated and my mind is in gear, ready for the day ahead.
  1. What would you class as your biggest achievement so far?
Taking the step into my most recent role is a big achievement for me. I have worked my way up from being an engineering cadet at sea at the age of 16, to now being in charge of the operations for my dedicated vessels – with various roles in between.
  1. What was the best piece of advice you received at the beginning of your career?
I remember being interviewed by a training company to determine if I would be accepted and sponsored as an Engineering Cadet. At the time, I was achieving poor academic results in Maths, Physics and Chemistry. Without dramatically improved grades, I would not be eligible for sponsorship. I remember a conversation I had with my guidance teacher in Academy – he told me that the reason I was achieving poor grades was not because lack of knowledge or understanding, it was simply because of lack of application. I would be too interested in what other people in class were doing and was generally the class clown and this was holding me back! I made the decision to change the way I behaved and studied, got my grades up dramatically, smashed the second interview with the training company and received an offer of sponsorship. The rest is history as they say.
  1. Who did you idolise when growing up?
I really enjoyed football when I was growing up and at that time, players like Michael Owen and David Beckham were at the top of their games. They were doing amazing things on and off the pitch. I would watch their training videos and try to emulate them. Naturally, my idols changed as I grew up and my interests varied.
  1. Out of ten, how would you rate your current CV?
My current CV is probably an 8. I have had it professionally tweaked in the past and I have kept it up to date. It must be to an OK standard as it played a part in me landing my current position 8 weeks ago.
  1. What do you enjoy the most about your current job?
I love being part of a new ambitious and exciting company SolstadFarstad, a collection of companies with years of history and experience, coming together as one major provider of specialized offshore tonnage to the international oil and gas industry. I also enjoy ensuring our clients are happy with the service we provide by being tentative and flexible to their needs.
  1. We all have a few things that annoy us when we see it happen in our chosen careers, what is an example of something that gets completely under your skin?
Unnecessary or poorly planned meetings. Let’s face it, we are all busy/have enough tasks to get on with and could do without sitting around for 30 to 60 minutes achieving little or nothing. I picked up a saying from an ex line manager I used to have “No agenda, no meeting”, which basically highlights the need for meetings to be structured.
  1. What things have you witnessed in an interview that you couldn’t believe?
I was once being interviewed for a position and after a while, I realised that I did not want the position and I didn’t want to work for that company. I advised the interviewers that I had no further questions to ask and signalled that I would be on my way. One of the interviewers seemed desperate for me to stay and tried verbally to make it look like the company was good to work for. I didn’t like the look/vibe of the company and I didn’t enjoy the desperation. Reason for the desperation – they were struggling to fill the role because of salary constraints put in place by senior management. They later went on to inform my current boss at the time that I had been interviewed – again showing lack of professionalism. 
  1. What is an embarrassing thing that not many people would know about you? (for example, have you ever been on a game show or something similar)
I used to be part of a drama club when I was young, playing parts in pantomimes across Scotland. At that time I wanted to be an actor when I grew up. Should I have followed that career path I could see myself playing a role similar to that of Adam Sandler J I love comedy movies.


Hi Gary! Its quite interesting and frank 😊.
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2018 21:11 by Sergey Ananyev

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