13 Apr Patrick Harkins – From Bonny Scotland to the Irish Countryside
Patrick Harkins has worked for Arise since just after its inception in Europe in 2008. He currently works as Arise’s Enrolment and Assessment Manager, sourcing and inducting new CSP’s and IBO’s onto Arise Client Certification Courses.
Originally from Glasgow, Patrick has worked in the customer service industry for the past 19 years. He made a move to County Clare in Ireland seven years ago, of which six and a half of those have been spent working for Arise.
In this interview, Patrick shares his journey at Arise and how his working life has changed since joining.
“My wife is from Ireland and, after spending many years together in Scotland, we made the decision to move back to her homeland to get married and start a family. Once the decision was made, we sold our house, left our jobs and essentially closed everything down in Scotland. The job I left behind was as a Team Leader for the Ford Customer Relations Centre in Glasgow, dealing with everything from complaints to case management.
Having moved to Ireland in 2007 to make a fresh start, I was looking for work and had my CV registered with a number of recruitment agencies. After a few temp jobs, I was approached by one agency with the Arise opportunity. In all my time working within the customer services industry, I had never heard of that type of business model before and was really intrigued to find out more. Upon calling the agency I was on the phone for over an hour, asking a myriad of questions and finding out as much information as possible about this exciting, new opportunity.
Arise was very much in its infancy when I joined. We had secured a client but had no active CSP’s at the time so my role was very much focused on getting processes off the ground, bringing in the manpower we required and structuring our model to offer the most effective service possible. Once the client went live, it was vital that we got those who were interested in the Arise Independent Business owner model successfully through the admissions process and ready for servicing the client.
That is where my role really comes into play. I support people from the moment they express an interest all the way through to joining a client specific course. The admission and enrolment stages are the two processes that everyone has to go through before they can join a Client Certification Course and there is a world of support provided along the way – we offer a live chat function, a helpline and an out-of-hours email service. I also carry out live information sessions online, usually with some lively Q&A ! From an admissions perspective, these sessions are vital in ensuring anyone who is interested in the Arise work from home model, are able to contact us and ask any questions they may have to learn more about the model. Even if you just come along and listen, it’s likely that other people will pose questions that you may not even have thought of asking.
From an enrolment point of view, which is when people have noted interest in actually enrolling in a particular class or certification course, we run client–specific Q&A sessions. I will regularly run these alongside one of our Client Results Managers and that is when we can answer more specific enquires such as what kind of call types they will be handling and what is expected on a particular programme. People really like the fact they can get a direct response from us there and then so they can make their mind up about whether that programme is right for them.
As someone who works remotely from home, I can honestly say that I practice what I preach. I really enjoy it; I have a young family and my schedule fits perfectly around that. It can take some getting used to but it’s definitely beneficial as it gives me time during the day when I need it. The benefits far outweigh the negatives. I can totally understand why so many people have been with Arise for over 5 years, both corporate employees and Independent Business Owners / Client Support Professionals. Being able to pick and choose when you work is wonderful as you can mould your working week to fit with your changing personal commitments.
Since working from home I also now bake bread! You can go on a break, make your dough and then come back to it later! I am also a keen runner so being located at home in the Irish countryside means that after a hectic morning of meetings you can steal half an hour out in the fresh air to clear your head and refocus for the rest of the day.
If working in the Arise Work from home model sounds like an opportunity that would suit you, please get in touch to find out more. www.arise.com/uk