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Craig Snell is the Support and Training manager for Symetri’s Product Design and Lifecycle team. He joined Symetri in 1998 and says that every day has been different ever since.
To meet Craig is to understand the meaning of ‘high energy’. Craig is enthusiastic about everything—in his life, in his work, and in his beliefs. His pace of non-stop fresh thinking is something that radiates through the team he heads up, although Craig firmly believes that he works for his team, rather than the other way round.
From his early background as a draftsman with Nissan (working in CAD and Document Management), Craig joined Symetri as an AutoCAD trainer, and then progressed rapidly through increasing levels of responsibility. Within five years, after a stint as Senior Training Consultant, Craig was running the support team for our portfolio of Autodesk products.
“It was a whirlwind period in the beginning”, says Craig. “The encouragement and appreciation I got from Symetri was nothing short of inspiring. Personal career growth is very much part of the company culture here, and it’s like everybody is on your side.
Everybody wants their colleagues to shine. It’s an infectious feeling. It doesn’t take long before you find yourself also wanting everyone round you to benefit—from whatever it is you feel you can give—to help them enrich their working day and take on new challenges”.
Craig’s initial experience of new challenges came when he suggested a number of improvements to how the Autodesk support function could be something more ambitious than it was. His ideas were taken on board and then, very quickly, he was running the team. Now he divides his time between the same role with the addition of heading up training and support for the entire Product Design and Lifecycle team.
Symetri’s overall promise to our customers is that “We challenge people to work smarter”. Craig has his own version of this thought. “I believe that every day is a school day; because every day, if you keep your eyes and ears open and stay receptive to new angles on how things can be done, you can learn something new. We all can. I find that thought exciting. When you embrace what it’s saying—that each day presents new possibilities—you become more relaxed about the contribution you can make to helping Symetri to help its customers. You become more confident”.
The customer-facing aspect of Craig’s role delivers a regular stream of new people he hasn’t met before. Each new contact, or request for help and advice, is not just another thing to get done; it’s a new experience for Craig.
“I deal with a vast variety of customers in every imaginable sort of business. It’s there, right there in opening up new conversations that I find myself opening up new angles on how to approach problems. I’m learning every day. You may have thought that after all this time in the business there’s nothing new to be learned. Not the case. It’s how you look at opportunities that counts. Everybody learns every day, and Symetri has a deep-rooted culture that recognises that. All of Symetri—every team and department in every country—is really one team”.
Craig believes that the key to truly effective training is in having empathy with those you train; understanding where they are in their own career journey, what their skills are, and—most importantly—how they prefer to learn, at what pace and through what means or medium.
“Rather than direct training, I’m more involved now in training our trainers and guiding technical people in how to communicate and impart skills. I’ve instilled in our team just how important training is. It's not an after-thought; it’s a ‘people-first’ thought, because as much as ‘working smarter’ is about the tech, it’s far more about how people feel when using it; confident, competent, and comfortable”.
Above all other considerations, Craig says that the most important thing for anybody in any role is to enjoy what they do: “I’m in the right place here at Symetri because the atmosphere within the company is encouraging and stimulating. To be with and among Symetri people is a sheer pleasure. This gives a sense of magic to the place and it’s one that our customers pick up on.
Customers love dealing with us because, basically, we enjoy dealing with them. Interacting, sharing, supporting— these are all part of successful teamwork and great customer service”.
What’s next for Craig? “Tomorrow, that’s what next. Another day, a fresh challenge, and a chance to mix and mingle with the brightest and the best, even though it might be online”.
If you feel you’re bursting with potential, and love finding different ways of doing things, we might well have a place for you at Symetri, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.