We caught up with Lee, our post programme finance grad, to see how he was finding life as Programme Manager working in Liberty Global’s Latin American & Caribbean Group (LiLAC) and adapting to life over in Denver, Colorado!
“I’m currently writing to you from Kingston, Jamaica - sat in a Flow office cramming some work in before my flight back to Denver. I’m over in this beautiful country for the first time, here to drive a three-pronged improvement initiative targeting our mean time to install (MTTI), our customer care processes in our Call Centers and process improvements in network maintenance to reduce truck rolls in Jamaica.
Since I came over to Denver, I’ve worked closely with LiLACs President & COO and the Chief Transformation Officer in LiLAC to build this program from scratch - which meant designing and creating all the reporting and governance structures required to manage a Program that covers all of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and Chile. Working with these guys is a great learning opportunity and a rare chance to experience how Liberty’s most senior leadership operates.
The work we’re doing in Jamaica is one initiative from a list of 60+ that the Chief Transformation Officer and I manage. The beauty of this role is being able to immerse yourself in operations and still apply our VM trained financial rigor to your work - but you can’t hope to improve what you don’t understand, so I’m learning more about our Networks (Copper, HFC and FTTH), our Customer care, Sales processes and the economic environments that each of our LiLAC businesses operate in. The learning curve is steep, but owning the delivery of tangible improvements is very rewarding.
The end game of our Synergy Program is to drive a mixture of OCF impacting initiatives and Capex improvements across the region to create recurring, operational improvements in each of our businesses that improves their performance over the long-term. To put a value on it, we’re responsible for the delivery of the 2020 $150m OFCF synergy guidance that Mike gave to the Financial Markets back in Q4 2016.
But, that’s enough about work.
How have I found relocating to the states? I have to admit it did take a little time to find my bearings and get to grips with society here, you kind of have to throw your previous knowledge in the trash (picking up Americanisms, I know) and start anew - learning how healthcare works all the other things you take for granted in the UK is part of the deal.
That being said, I’ll freely admit to having fallen for Denver. The city is full of friendly folks, and yes, you do see quite a few Stetsons. It’s nestled at the foot of the Rockies, and being able to hike out into the most beautiful landscapes or go skiing on the weekends is incredible. The constantly clear skies with very little rain is a far cry from what I grew up with in Kent, though walking to work in -30 Celsius one particularly cold morning in winter was an experience I won’t soon forget!
It took a little while to settle in, but it now feels like home.
Transitioning from Virgin Media to Liberty is also a change, but a good one. One thing that VM and Liberty have in common is that like Hammersmith, Hook and Bradford, the teams in Denver are still incredibly close knit - and with an office numbering circa 130 FTE I think I’ve learnt nearly everyone’s name in Denver by this point, which is a nice feeling.
While the cultures of the two organizations are undeniably different, both have a real focus on supporting staff, helping you grow your professional experience and acquire new skills, and encouraging you to shoot for excellence in our operations. Liberty, like VM, aims to be the best at what it plays its hand at.
I hope this has been a useful little glimpse into life in LiLAC and Denver, but I’ve now got to run to catch a string of flights to get me home.”