In a twist to our normal MHC Life series, our next few interviews will focus on WFH & life during the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, we chat to new Construction Partner, David Gunn. David talks us through his daily WFH routine and who inspires him.
Tell us a bit about you and your career journey to MHC – what inspired you to get into this career?
I decided in secondary school that I was going to study law but I also had an interest in financial and technical subjects. When I was a trainee I did a rotation doing energy and infrastructure, where I was dealing with lots of banks and engineers. I knew it was an area I’d like to work in as it is a good fit for me.
I worked in a firm in Melbourne and I was advising a government department on the construction of a climate research facility on a remote island close to Antarctica. It involved a lot of trips down to Tasmania so it was a great project to be involved in. One of the massive icebreaker ships was often docked in Hobart which we got to go aboard. I was hoping we could use it for a field trip to Antarctica but unfortunately that didn’t happen!
Talk us through a typical day for you during the COVID-19 pandemic…
I try and keep the working day as close as possible to what it would be in the office. I have a spare room set up as an office which makes things easier. Whenever I can I pick up the phone to clients and colleagues. I often find talking through something can be more helpful than discussing it by email, particularly at the moment when no one can meet in person. Part of my commute would have involved cycling, so when I can I try and get out for a quick stroll at lunch. I’m lucky that I have a few nice parks nearby so I might go for a walk or jog in the evening.
What tips do you have for WFH?
Get set up with as much equipment as possible like an external monitor and keyboard as it makes it much easier to replicate an office environment. I even ordered a massive stapler from Amazon along with lots of other stuff, I must be one of Jeff Bezos’ best customers at this stage. Trying to work away on a small screen would be really uncomfortable for extended periods of time and I keep trying to convince friends and family to get properly set up.
What books have you read during lockdown?
I’m listening to an audiobook by Ashoka Mody who was part of the IMF delegation to Ireland 10 years ago. His look back on how decisions were made at the time and whether any of those decisions were challenged is interesting, particularly now when a lot of big decisions are being made all the time.
People who inspire me……
My grand uncle invented the TV show Mastermind based on his experiences in WW2. I always admired how he was able to make something positive, and entertaining, out of what happened!
Have you ever met anyone famous?
When I was a kid I was playing a warm up match in Lansdowne Road before a New Zealand game and we got to meet the All Blacks Captain and some of the other players. At the time it was a big thrill.
What's your idea of a perfect holiday/favourite place you've ever visited?
I usually try and split a holiday between some beach time and then going out to see somewhere interesting. Rio de Janeiro is great for that as it has a brilliant beach and there are lots of things to do in the city.
Read more about David's appointment as a Partner in our Construction, Infrastructure & Utilities team here.