This month we chat to Ella Barrington about the changes in three years of BPS, winning awards and loading the dishwasher.
How did you come to work at BPS?
I’ve been with the company since June 2013. I’d been working full time for a GT team as their Engineering Manager, which incorporated trackside engineering, project management during the week and lots of hours on a plane. A mutual motorsport contact shared the Business Manager job advert on social media, and it seemed like a good next step. I had worked in a technical sales capacity when I completed my post graduate degree at Oxford Brookes University, which was a great way to start a network in professional motorsport. Although it was a really challenging job, I had enjoyed it at lot. The role at BPS ticked the commercial and technical boxes for me, and meant I could spend less time packing and repacking suitcases! I had a meeting with Darren, ended up talking about dogs, and a month later I started at BPS. It was Saturday before Le Mans week and I got a three hour crash course in where things were in the office, a credit card and a key before Darren went away for two weeks. I did wonder what on earth I had got myself into that evening, but I’m still here three years later.
What does a typical day at BPS entail for you?
It very much depends on the time of year. Sometimes I’ll be in the office making sure that our various stakeholders are happy, and other times I’ll be out and about at trade shows, networking events and getting the BPS brand out there. When I started with the company there was only myself and one other full time team member, but now there are five, some times more if we are busy, so keeping everyone moving forward is quite a big task. With this comes a lot more HR tasks, pensions, more complex accounts, and making sure the company is compliant with everything it needs to be as a employer and limited company. I much prefer the more creative parts of the day, such as working on exhibition materials, digital marketing and hearing what our customers are up to over a cup of tea.
What do you think makes BPS different to other companies?
I think it has already been said, but the closeness of the team. We all have a great amount of respect for each other, how hard we all work, and the different skills we bring, and we have fun at work. I might get a bit annoyed sometimes at the amount of dirty cups abandoned in the workshop that don’t quite make it to the dishwasher, but I couldn’t do it without the rest of the team. Customers tend to pick up on this, and the long term rental drivers and teams we see week in, week out, end up as part of that family feel.
What is the best day you’ve had at BPS?
It has to be the night we were given the Motorsport Industry Association award back in January during the Autosport International show. Whilst Darren went up on stage to formally accept the prize, the rest of my table gave me a standing ovation. These were all other motorsport business people that have achieved so much, so it meant a great deal for them to recognise what this little company had done.
What do you do when you aren’t at work?
Last year I ran the London Marathon for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, and this year I’m representing them in SwimSerpentine, a one-mile open water swim. This means I’m regularly found at the local pool at lunchtime. I’ve recently taken up Yoga to help with a shoulder injury and have to say it is the best way to unwind after a day of simulator-related stress!
What is the one piece of advice you’d give to your 15 year old self?
Your priorities change as you get older, and what is very important now (like Maths GCSE) isn’t remotely important in ten years time, so don’t worry about it so much. Life moves very quickly. Also they’ll invent hair straighteners in a couple of years time and it is great moment for all womankind!
Quick fire round!
Tea or coffee?
Earl grey tea.
Single-seater or GT?
Bathurst or Macau.
Audi R8 LMS GT3.
Favourite workshop/office radio station?
Radio 6 Music.