Farewell Damian!

All good things must come to an end, but I would be remiss to leave City this Friday without stopping to express my gratitude towards everyone I encountered during my time here. 

I figured it would be interesting to start by reflecting on what was on my mind when I joined City: 

Lastly, a handful of personal notes: I am a cat dad who has been dodging the landlord’s flat inspection for 4 years now and my mother is a Maine Coon breeder. Over the next months I am planning to slowly build an office collection of loose-leaf teas and maybe bring in a light board game. Otherwise, I am looking to pick up more languages over the next couple of years – Romanian and Python most likely. 

The cat situation remains, I still am a happy cat dad and continue to keep the fact under wraps. The Maine Coon generations have seen many a kitten in this time too! I never made the transition to online learning with Romanian, once classroom teaching stopped but I don’t feel regret over the experience. The office collection of teas became a home-office collection, but it became one of the luxuries of working from home. It also became a cause of much laughter: 

chat message received by Damian from a colleague asking "did you just order 9 teas?"

The MAfS team saw many changes since I joined in June 2019, some big and some small. As with any new role, my first weeks were spent keeping the impostor syndrome in check, made possible thanks to the incredibly welcoming colleagues. I quickly settled in and before I knew it we got through the gruelling start of term with the SEAM Pilot successfully rescued from the brink of defeat. This meant that I could once again focus on implementing the new platform as part of the Student Communications project, and then many weeks on some of my favourite agile development work in a small team with the excellent David Buckley and Kevin McGee. I was soon handed the reins to the SEAM Project, while Melanie moved to a role with the Home Office. Mandeep, Jason, Kevin, Sam left room for Mariana, Graham, John and Yusuf. The last three I saw in person essentially only while interviewing them! We got to come up with ways to bond, communicate and get our job done in completely new ways, as rapid digitisation swept our old routines. The last few months were a blur of activity, with new changes testing our collective mettle and now my departure comes hot off the heels of Keren moving back to New Zealand! 

As I write this, I am acutely grateful for being able to work with such excellent colleagues in the first place, then for living in a time where we could all still connect digitally when disrupted. I learned a lot from your strengths and your weaknesses, and hope you got to learn from my successes and failings.  

City challenged me with many frustrations, saw me develop personally, professionally and even spiritually. I was able to take part in the City Professional Mentoring scheme and help a student reach for their goals and be a manager to an excellent reporteeCity also demonstrated many examples of female leadership – my former boss, my current boss, their boss, the Senior IT suppliers on SEAM and MAfS boards, project sponsors on SEAM and M2eV, and many more – something that will remain a powerful memory for the rest of my career. 

I am sure I leave my post a better person and hope the work I will be doing with Southwark Council as a Project Manager will continue to let me grow.  

Thank you all! 

MAfS team

4 Comments

  1. What a lovely post Damian. City is going to miss you. Good luck in your new role and don’t think it gets you out of sending me kitten pics 😉

    • Thank you for your kindness and continued support from day one!

  2. This is a great read, Damian. Will miss you and our ramblings!

    • I miss our ramblings plenty already! Hope to keep in touch 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *