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June 2022 | Volunteer Spotlight - Andy Fryett

For a quick introduction, what is your elevator pitch of yourself?
For over thirty years, I’ve worked in the telecoms industry, for a multinational corporation, state government, and a tech startup, in Europe and the US, with colleagues and customers from around the world. I’ve also spent time working in higher education. I’m driven by a desire to help people and a fascination for problem solving and finding a better way to do things. My wife and I moved, with our two children, to the US from the UK at the end of 2006 and became US citizens last year.
 
Who is Andy at home and/or outside of professional space? What do you do for fun?
As well as being a father to two recently graduated college students, I’m a musician. I love listening to and making music. I play guitar and piano and (very) occasionally perform in public.
 
When did you start volunteering with the chapter, and most importantly, why did you join PMI-SFBAC?
 
I earned my PMP in September 2020, joined the chapter in January of 2021, and started volunteering in March of the same year. In October 2020, I found myself out of work and, during a fruitless job search period, I joined the chapter to increase the size of my professional network and to keep abreast of what was going on in the PM field.
 
What were your first impressions of the chapter and its volunteers?
Friendly and welcoming. My first interactions were with Scopemasters, the Toastmasters group. After helping them with a regional event, I decided to volunteer with the Chapter, and the welcome was just as friendly.
 
What was the biggest challenge you faced as a volunteer for PMI-SFBAC? How did you conquer it?
I think that the biggest challenge is that the work can eat up my time, which I don’t think I have conquered yet. Through prioritizing and scheduling, I focus on the urgent tasks and fit in the less urgent ones where possible.
 
What is your secret or super Project Management power? Why?
If I have a PM super power, it may be communication. I try and think through the best way to get my point over and how my message might be misinterpreted. I spent a lot of my career in customer training and customer support, where asking the right questions and answering clearly are critical skills. I’m able to frame technical concepts and issues in a way that less technical people can understand, and convert sales & marketing requests into a form that engineers can use.
 
What are you excited about for 2022 and moving forward?
There’s a lot of change going on in my life at the moment: we just moved house, our children are graduating from college and I’m excited about the surprises and challenges that will ensue.

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