Connecting Business – Growing Opportunities

Edinburgh Rugby’s Ben Slater joins Causeway’s Management Board

Causeway: Ireland Scotland Business Exchange is pleased to announce the recent appointment of Ben Slater, Head of Commercial at Edinburgh Rugby to its management board. 

As Head of Commercial with Edinburgh Rugby, Ben brings to the board a wealth of experience in sponsorship and event management and he also hopes to use his time on the Board to strengthen the Causeway brand across the business community.

Originally from Coleraine, Northern Ireland, Ben moved to Edinburgh in 1997 on a scholarship with the Ministry of Defence to study Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh and he immediately fell in love with the city and its people. 

A shared willingness to help 

Explaining more about the lure of Scotland for him as a Northern Irish man, Ben says: 

“I think one of the reasons I fell in love with Edinburgh so quickly was the people. I am very much a ‘people person’ and I think the attitude and approach of Irish and Scottish people is very similar. The willingness to help out each other is fundamental of the people of both countries and lends itself to a great networking and social opportunity.”

After completing his degree, Ben decided that a career in engineering wasn’t quite right for him, and began working in facilities management teams for several companies, before embarking on a career in commercial office relocations. To expand his management skillset, Ben became general manager of Edinburgh’s largest black taxi, Central Taxis and later took up a commercial director role with consultancy design firm, Space, which enabled him to use his extensive network to grow the business across Scotland and open up a branch in the north of England.

Fulfilling business engagement through sport

 In his current role as Head of Commercial for Edinburgh Rugby, it gives Ben the opportunity to engage with a wide range of businesses, in particular across Scotland and Ireland, through Edinburgh Rugby’s involvement in the Guinness PRO14 Championship, which involves professional team from across Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy and South Africa. Explaining more about the fulfilment and satisfaction he gets from his role, Ben says:

“As a lifelong rugby fan, my career highlight so far has definitely been working for Edinburgh Rugby. The chance to work in a professional sporting environment and rub shoulders with International athletes on a day-to-day basis is a privilege, and to see the work that we put in reflected in the growth of our fan base over the past two years has been very rewarding.”

Tackling a problem to try and find best solutions 

Reflecting on the best piece of advice he has received to date in his career, Ben describes the importance of seek peer advice and not to always battle to make decisions alone. Explaining more, he says:

“When I was struggling with a decision at work in the past, I often thought I should have been able to work out the answer to the issue myself, and almost accidentally I shared a problem with a trusted associate and friend. The advice they gave me was - almost every decision you will ever have to make in your business life has already been made by someone else in the past - sometimes they will have made the right decision; sometimes they will have made the wrong decision - but if you ask people, you will learn from their mistakes and their successes and you should never be afraid to ask any question ever again to inform your own decision-making.”

Shoulder-to-shoulder support 

Ben first heard about Causeway through Causeway Ambassador John McClarey, who encouraged Ben to attend Causeway events and become more involved. Commenting on the benefits of becoming a part of the network, Ben says:

“Joining any active networking group will always be beneficial to anyone within the business community. Networking is an important part of business and being involved in a networking group like Causeway can help facilitate connections across a wide range of sectors to help grow your own business. 

“From what I have seen of Causeway so far, it is a group of engaged and dedicated people willing to support each other. There is a vast array of people from different sectors and backgrounds and therefore there will always be someone that can help, or at the very least will know someone that can!”

“Given the exceptional circumstances we all now find ourselves in with the coronavirus lockdown, it is more important than ever to have a strong network and I hope to help push Causeway to the forefront of business networking. For Edinburgh Rugby, we are very much looking forward to getting back to playing rugby after the coronavirus crisis has passed and to see our Edinburgh fans pack out our brand new home stadium.”

If you would like to know more about how to connect your business and grow opportunities Join us today.

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