An interview with … Philippa Waller (Head of Biometrics)

An interview with … Philippa Waller (Head of Biometrics)

Posted by Andrew Davey | 04May2020 | Blog

What drew you to SQN originally? And how has SQN changed since?

I wanted a change and was looking for a step up in my career. I was attracted to SQN as it was a smaller company with a lot fewer layers to it than I was used to and it felt like a company I could help make a difference. With a five month delay between my initial conversation with Tony and my interview while I broke my leg on holiday and then waited for it to mend, I was delighted they hadn’t filled the vacancy while I was hobbling round on crutches! And it was definitely the right decision for me, we are able to make rapid decisions and change of direction as needed to support the ever changing industry and meet our clients’ needs. I found it very refreshing! Since I joined as Head of Data Management, my responsibilities have increased and I now have responsibility for Data Management, Statistics and Project Management – this allows us to work with a unified approach across the whole Biometrics group and allows me to better understand and isolate issues if they arise but also see the positives of changes we implement in certain areas.

What is your proudest moment at SQN?

It’s not one moment but a series of them and always related to the people here. There are people who have been here far longer than me and others who joined after – it is always my proudest moment when I see people develop and progress in their role. When they do things that they potentially didn’t think they were capable of doing or it wasn’t necessarily in their career path, I am most proud when people take the opportunities available and thrive on them.

What three career lessons have you learnt so far?

Be nice, be nice to everybody. Nice is an odd word because it doesn’t sound very descriptive but I think it is very important when working with people. Always have a plan, the world becomes a lot more simple when you have a plan and for the third –  don’t let meetings over run!

If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Well, my instinctive thought is my Dad who passed away two and a half years ago and I miss him so much. And now I have thought of him, I can’t even think of anyone else.

What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?

Easy, a lovely big sunshiny holiday on a beautiful beach where they serve drinks with little umbrellas! Then a new house with a swimming pool and that would be me happy and sorted.

Now you have me sitting with lottery winning daydreams!

What are your three most overused words/phrases?

Many phrases all associated with achieving balance – once you have balance, everything seems in control and everyone is happy. Second – well I just swear far too much! A third, that would have to be ‘a glass of wine?’ because everything is always better with a glass of wine – or it feels like that at the time anyway!


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