Feb. 21 2020
Kathryn Dolan is the Vice President for Human Resources for Bureau Veritas for one of our operating groups (CIF - Commodities, Industry and Facilities) across Europe, which includes 26 countries and over 6,000 employees. This is her career story, from her first HR roles to advice for new starters.
Throughout school and university, I did not have a specific future career in mind. I chose to focus on subjects that I loved and tried to gain a real variety of work experiences. I worked in banking, hospitality, the transport industry and then I did some work experience at Ford Motor Company. This is where I was first exposed to the world of HR and from that point, I decided that HR was the career for me.
Between leaving university and working for Bureau Veritas I had the opportunity to work in a variety of HR roles and I also spent some time in operations. Before joining Bureau Veritas, I worked for four different organisations including Deloitte, an automotive manufacturer, a utility infrastructure company that was massively expanding over Europe and a Japanese Global IT company.
At Bureau Veritas we Leave Our Mark; we Leave Our Mark on our clients and society but also individually as employees. For me personally, as a services company, our value is our people; their skills, capabilities and their passions. This places me in a very privileged position as a leader of the HR Function because I’m at the forefront of creating an environment our employees to Leave Their Mark.
On a more personal note, in HR I work with people daily from engineers to different leaders across our business. We are managing both positive and sensitive situations, and one of the things that I always try to do is speak to people as adults in a respectful way; I genuinely try to make sure that in our interactions, I positively Leave My Mark on them.
There are so many interesting parts of my job; I love it, it’s so varied. I have the opportunity to work across day-to-day operational issues but also global strategies which span a range of different topics from reward, employee relations, working with schools and universities. This variety is something that makes the role exciting for me.
I also think that the role is interesting purely because of what Bureau Veritas does and what the organisation stands for. We provide services to clients and society that make it cleaner, smarter and safer, so not only am I helping Bureau Veritas but we are also helping to build a more sustainable future.
One piece of advice I would give is to go and actively seek new experiences and connections. It’s great to speak to different people because they can all offer something that you can take on board and learn from. I genuinely feel that I learn something new every day in this organisation, and I continue to be amazed at the capability, experience and knowledge that we share at Bureau Veritas, not to mention the different things that you can get involved in.
I would also encourage a new starter to be courageous; at Bureau Veritas we are constantly challenging ourselves about our own contributions and how we can contribute more to society. I think that being courageous and following your conviction sets people apart and it is those people who truly Leave Their Mark.