BIS graduate Dave Curran’s Brazilian based business Love Mondays was recently acquired by Glassdoor, the leading global careers site. We had a chat with him about how he got to where is is today…
Why did you do BIS?
I was entering my 6th year of secondary school in 1998 when the first dot-com bubble was peaking. There was a lot of excitement about the internet and the new business models that were emerging and I wanted to participate in it. I was more keen on the business side of things, but still wanted to have a technical understanding. BIS offered the perfect mix of both.
What was the best thing you got out of the course?
For me it helped open my mind to a broader set of possibilities. Also through BIS I also met with one of my earlier professional mentors who I worked for for a few years after finishing the course.
Where did you go on work placement in 3rd year?
I worked with Fidelity Investments in Boston. It was a fun time!
Where are you now?
I co-founded a business called Love Mondays a few years ago. We’re based in Sao Paulo, Brazil and help professionals here make better career decisions through providing access to company reviews and salary data, all posted anonymously by our users. Our business was recently acquired by Glassdoor, the leading global careers site.
Why a business in Brazil?
I met my fiancee in 2009 when we were both studying at Oxford for an MBA. She is from Brazil and we both shared a passion for wanting to start a business. After the MBA I moved to Dubai to work for a few years as a management consultant, while she stayed in London. We talked more and more about quitting our jobs and starting something but we didn’t quite know what or where. We saw that Brazil’s economy was going strong and felt there was a great opportunity there. So in May 2013 we made the move, landing in Rio de Janeiro with eight suitcases and a list of potential business ideas.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given relating to your career?
A seasoned boss of mine once told me to “Make one decision, and if it doesn’t work out, make another”. Having this kind of mentality lifts the pressure and permanency of making important decisions and you start to realize that you shouldn’t worry so much about whether you are doing the right thing for your career. Once you feel you are learning and growing, and you are enjoying yourself, everything else somehow falls into place.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge professionally has been moving my understanding of my role from being an individual self-sufficient contributor to empowering others to deliver. You can’t build a sustainable business if everything rests on your shoulders. You need to find the right people, coach and support them to deliver. It’s very easy to revert to wanting to do it yourself, to try to control the outcome more, but you end up exhausting yourself in the process. I’m still on this journey – am not sure it ever finishes.
Looking back now, is there anything that you would have done differently?
It’s hard to say, because doing something differently would have meant I would have missed out on learning from doing what I did. No major regrets.
If you had one piece of advice to offer someone considering doing BIS, what would it be?
It’s a great experience that opens up lots of opportunities. You won’t regret it! (and if you do, just make another decision).