Originally from Rio de Janeiro, 32-year-old Pedros Barros now lives in Islington, North London, working as a Senior Strategic Risk Manager for EY – where he’s been for five years. From mining to mega events, Barros has worked across a tonne of different sectors – and even carried out the risk management framework for the 2016 Olympic Games held in Rio!
But with so much variety, what does a typical day working in risk management look like? We got in touch to find out…
First things first, what time does your alarm go off?
And when do you usually arrive into the office?
It really depends on what meetings I have on that day, but it’s usually around 8:30 or so.
What’s the first thing you do when you arrive?
I respond to the most important emails I have, and review the action plan for the day.
And what happens after that?
We tend to work a lot at the clients’ sites, so the morning routine can vary a lot. Usually, I will have already read the news while eating breakfast at home, so I arrive at the office (or at the client’s site) and get straight to work responding to emails, and working on the most pressing issues for the day.
What do you do for lunch?
I either go out to lunch with clients and/or team members, or I eat a quick sandwich at my desk.
What does a typical afternoon look like?
I continue to work on the most pressing issues of the day – depending on the deliverables required. So on a typical afternoon I might be preparing a business proposal that addresses a client’s specific risk management needs, or I might be discussing our products and methodologies with clients. I could also be discussing project milestones and reports with clients too.
On other days I’ll need to discuss tasks and activities related to ongoing projects with team members, or I might even attend a training sessions or some corporate events. All the while there’s work to do that involves researching new ways to improve the quality and efficiency of our services.
How do you assess your progress for the day?
I always keep a written list of the tasks I need to get done. The list is organised according to the priority of each task.
What’s the best thing about what you do?
Probably not having a routine, and always getting new opportunities to work with different people.
Are there any downsides?
It can get a bit overwhelming at times, with too many tasks to complete at the same time.
And how do you manage those moments?
Well, first of all, it’s important to prioritise the most pressing issues – in order to get everything done on time. But it’s also important to keep a healthy mind, so that stress doesn’t impact your performance too. I practice meditation and yoga, which helps me to stay focused when there’s a lot of work to do. I also think that keeping a healthy body is very important for keeping a healthy mind, so I try to exercise as often as I can.
What time are you home usually home?
It really depends on what needs to be done, but usually around 7:30pm
What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you were leaving university?
First of all, the way you present yourself physically and emotionally can have a strong influence on your career. Secondly, listening is twice as important than speaking. Thirdly, that learning is a lifetime commitment – it doesn’t stop after university. And, finally, a plan may be useless, but planning is fundamental to achieve your objectives!
What single piece of advice do you have for graduates planning to work in risk?
Make sure you understand the different types of risk management, and choose the one that has the most value and impact on the market.