5 minutes with David van den Brule, Industry Sales Director of TechnologyOne
David’s journey in the property industry so far.
What was your pathway to the property sector?
I work at TechnologyOne – an Australian ERP SaaS company, and we have a number of long-term customers in the property sector who use our ‘Financials’ solution. Our industry team, who have many years of accumulated experience working in the property and construction sector, recognised we could provide a much wider ‘fit for purpose’ solution just by configuring our products in a way that works for the property sector. TechnologyOne now has an integrated solution that enables businesses in the property sector to stay across all areas of their business. So, as is often the case, our pathway into the property sector was driven by some individuals who recognised an opportunity to further serve, and partner with, our customers, and we have invested in that.
Have you ever had a mentor? What role did they play in your career? Or perhaps you’ve been a mentor – why did you want to take part?
I have been very fortunate to have a couple of mentors over my career. I have mainly used them to talk through different challenges in a role I may have been doing at the time, or to talk through career direction and what is next. During my masters study I wrote a thesis on the outcomes of a mentoring program that I developed using mentors to support aspiring managers that were identified by their employers. A key finding was the interaction between mentors and mentees was valued equally by both. Mentors maintained they learned just as much from the relationship as the people they were mentoring. TechnologyOne runs a ‘Buddy Program’ for new starters which is a form of mentoring. All new starters are assigned an ‘Buddy’ who guides them through the onboarding process and coaches them on getting to know the organisation. The role often extends over time to become a valuable, ongoing working relationship.
If you weren’t in your current profession, what do you think you’d be doing instead?
I have been fortunate to have a really diverse career. I started in telecommunications; a stint in real estate; moved to retail owning my own small, independent supermarket; roles in State and Local Government in Victoria and Queensland followed; and now in Technology. As companies around the world embrace digital transformation, it’s a very exciting time to be working in an Australian ERP SaaS company. I have a passion for sport, basketball in particular where I played, coached and was a voluntary administrator for many years. It is the one thing I have always wanted to pursue professionally but the right opportunity has not presented itself – yet!
If you were to leave the industry today, what’s something that you’re proud to have worked on, or been a part of?
Something I am proud to be part of is the TechnologyOne Foundation. The TechnologyOne Foundation was created in 2016 by our founder Adrian Di Marco as a way for our organisation to give back to the community and is at the heart of our corporate and social responsibility strategy. Our Foundation provides team members with a means to support nominated charities through fundraising initiatives. We are committed to making a difference to underprivileged and at-risk youths in our communities, by empowering them to transform their lives and create their own pathways of success. Our goal is to provide young people with every opportunity to positively impact the future. It is through youth that we believe we can have the greatest impact on the future. The goal is to help over 500,000 children out of poverty, and we partner with a number of charities to achieve this. I am really proud to be part of a company that has this level of commitment to the community.
Like many of us, you juggle a challenging role, a family and a life! What are your tips for finding and maintaining that ‘balance’?
I think that ‘balance’ in life is not a ‘one size fits all’ and changes on a regular basis. It also means different things to different people. At various stages in life, we are driven by different things, and I have always aimed to manage what is going on around me accordingly. There are times when work has dominated my daily life, and at other times when life events are happening, I have been in positions where I have been able to prioritise. A priority for me when looking for a role, is an organisation that focuses on outcomes as opposed to hours spent at a desk. This provides a work environment that enables you to manage your time based on your current priorities – most days that is work but it gives you flexibility.