Richard, New Yorker and head of Mission Critical Facilities (MCF), took on a six month assignment in Zurich, with the goal of strengthening the MCF program.

His move was a perfect opportunity to share his global and Americas expertise in a different region.

Before embarking on his journey to the land of chocolate and cheese fondue, Rich made sure that his team could work independently but reach out to him in case they had any questions.

What is Mission Critical Facilities (MCF)?

MCF manages the mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure for the facilities in which our IT infrastructure is kept. They look after the operational stability, cost control and risk management of these locations.

Being abroad in a whole new environment definitely tested his management skills. However, he managed to reach new heights professionally (and literally too, when he climbed the Hockenhorn). What else did he enjoy? He kept some notes on his time abroad, so let's see:

When I entered the UBS office in Zurich-Altstetten, everything seemed familiar already. My colleagues had created both a welcoming and enthusiastic environment. And they organized a number of meetings to get me in the loop as quickly as possible.

I'm deeply impressed by the friendliness of my colleagues, by their discipline and organizational flair.

I organized a kick-off meeting where we discussed how we can best transform MCF best practices from a local focus to a global, standardized one.

One major challenge we overcame was building a team that was (and still is) able to be self-sustaining and meet the program goals for the region.

Due to our different time zones and languages, I was worried that communication would be a bit more difficult and it might prevent us from reaching our ambitious goals. However, the collaboration worked out very well!

After three months, we had reached a level where details came into play. Today, we looked at our daily operational processes and defined the global standards.

I was so impressed by the input and engagement of the project team. There is so much know-how available.

I climbed The Hockenhorn, a mountain in the Bernese Alps, located on the border between the Swiss cantons of Bern and Valais (3,290m / 10,800ft)!

Climbing a mountain generated the same feeling of pride and gratitude as working with the people here towards a common goal. Sometimes it gets challenging, but the payoff is absolutely worth it. It was a great personal achievement.

Six months have almost passed and it's time to pack up. Before flying back to New York, I'll make a stop-off in London where we'll have a workshop with all the regional MCF teams.

I'm leaving with a tearful and a joyful eye. It was an unforgettable, valuable experience here.

Richard says “Internal mobility is definitely something I promote within my team. I let everybody know that it’s an option and they are welcome to put it on the table and come to me if they are interested.”

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