Meet the Boss: Andrew Blenkiron, estate director for the Euston Estate
In the latest of an occasional series of Q&A-style profiles, the spotlight falls on Andrew Blenkiron who is in day-to-day charge of running the Euston Estate in west Suffolk.
: :Name: Andrew Blenkiron
: : Age: 47
: : Job description: Estate Director, Euston Estate
: : Who do you work for?
The Duke of Grafton
: : Where are you based?
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Euston Estate, Suffolk
: : What gets you out of bed in the morning?
A desire to do a good job and a passion for our fantastic countryside
: : What was your first ever job?
Working on my grandparents’ farm in the Yorkshire Dales, probably cleaning up behind the milking cows!
: : What was the most unusual task you have been asked to carry out at work?
The wide variety of my role means that I have been involved in a lot of unusual tasks, a couple include having to baby sit while an employer went to have her twin boys another was meeting and greeting people at a previous employer’s funeral on behalf of her family (not the same person as the one giving birth!)
: : Do you remember your first day at work and, if so, what was it like and what did you do?
First day as a student was looking after a massive complex grain drying plant, quite a daunting task for an 18 year old. First day in full time employment was to build some pig arcs ready for their occupants to arrive the next day, not so daunting or demanding but enjoyable never the less!
: : How did you get where you are now?
Hard work, focused, determination and attention to detail, not putting off a job that I can do today until tomorrow, seizing an opportunity, meeting the right people at the right time and lots of luck!
: : What was your best day at work and why?
I hope that it’s yet to come.
: : What was your worst day at work and why?
The day that a staff member died overnight in his house fire, a tragedy of a 25 year old losing his life.
: : What impresses you most on your own CV?
: : What impresses you most on someone else’s?
The ability to make it clear that they can do the job which they have applied for.
What do you hate to see in a CV?
Negativity, particularly being critical of a previous employer. I also hate to see a frequent mover, unless there is very good reason of course, you really need to stick at something to prove that it really can’t work.
: : Do you think you make a good employee and if so, why/why not?
Probably not, as I like my own way too much, but I am working on that one!
: : Do you think you are a good employer, and if so, why/why not?
Something that I aspire to be better at, understanding goes a long way as does following a structure something similar to the investors in people programme.
: : What do you think are your best attributes at work?
Paying attention, understanding and listening (most of the time!)
: : What are your worst failings?
Being impatient and getting frustrated.
: : If you weren’t doing the above, what would you be doing?
Can’t really imagine, but definitely working on the land.
: : What are the attributes in work colleagues in general that you admire the most?
Their ability to perform many varied tasks, their enthusiasm and their ability to get the job done.
: : What are the failings in work colleagues in general that you hate the most?
Lack of self confidence.
: : What’s your biggest work worry?
I try not to, it doesn’t really do anyone any good to worry, that doesn’t mean that I don’t think about things or ignore them. All challenges have solutions and many can even provide opportunity. Think about an issue, provide a solution and move on, life is too short.
: : What’s your best stress-buster?
Being out with the dogs checking/feeding the livestock.
: : Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?
: : If you had the power to do any job in the world, what would it be and why?
I suppose I would say sort world peace and hunger, but that clearly is beyond one person. Best to settle with making sure that British farmers get a fair deal, again difficult to pin all that on one person.