Life in a minute
Colin Blackburn is Managing Director at Intern Europe, a Belfast-based organisation that provides short term (3-14 week) work placements for European interns to businesses across Northern Ireland. Earlier this week, Colin sat down with The News Letter as part of the paper's Life in a Minute feature to discuss his career to date.
What's best about your job?
There are lots of great things about my job, but above all, I'd have to say it's the people I work with. We're lucky to have a some really great people from across Europe working in our Belfast head office and it's a pleasure to work with them!
What made you go into business?
Ultimately it was the desire to deliver for my customers on my promises and commitments without the excuses previous bosses gave me for poor performance.
Have you ever felt threatened in business?
I'm very fortunate to be able to say that no, I've never felt threatened in business. Long may it continue.
Do you aspire to be like anyone in business?
In short, no. I strive to be the best supplier and partner possible - that's my aspiration and the reason I brought Intern Europe to Belfast - to work with the best and to offer the best.
What do you define as your greatest success?
I'd have to say that I'm most proud of opening a successful export trade in 32 countries, for a previously non exporting company. Through hard work and support from a fantastic team, we've managed to do this in less than five years so I'd say that's my greatest success.
If you had a market stall, what would you sell?
What a great question! I'd go for repeat consumables.
Do you always admit your mistakes?
Do you work when you go on holiday?
Always, sorry kids. I guess that's commonplace for most business owners in today's world of mobile working but yes, I do check emails and make calls when I'm on holiday, much to the family's annoyance!
What would you like your epitaph to be?
“He squeezed the pips and extracted more.”