Rising professionals in business continuity - Elodie Huet AMBCI
Name: Elodie Huet
Current role: Business Continuity Consultant
Time in the profession: 4 years
What led you to pursue a career in business continuity?
I experienced an earthquake while I was doing my graduate job in Mexico City back in 2012. At the time, I was not aware that the city was prone to earthquakes and when I joined the company, no one told me to be prepared for this. Hence, during our busiest time of the year, we had an earthquake of 7.8 on the Richter Scale occurring, forcing us to evacuate the building. There was no more electricity in the borough and there was a gas leak from the restaurant near our offices. We had several aftershocks during the following day, my flat had cracks everywhere and there was also a gas leak in my kitchen.
This was traumatic for me and I really reacted badly. I had panic attacks the next days. It made me think that if I was prepared, if I knew this could happen and if I were told what to do during this event, maybe I would have reacted a bit better and would have been a bit more resilient. So after my graduate job finished, I started looking for masters degrees in risks and disasters but applicable from a business perspective and I found a masters degree in Risk, Disaster and Resilience at UCL, London
What does business continuity mean to you?
I am very passionate by it. Every time I explain what I do to people, friends, families, I get really excited. I am also applying some business continuity principles into my day to day life, for the “just in case” situations and yes, sometimes, it annoys my friends but what can I say…
What aspect of your work do you most enjoy?
I really enjoy the human interaction part of it. For example, while doing a business impact analysis I enjoy going and talking to people, asking about their job and how they do it. You get to meet with a lot of different people with different backgrounds and that’s really interesting. It also raises awareness about business continuity and it makes the process more interesting for themselves and for myself as well.
What opportunities have you taken which has helped further your career?
I applied for the CIR Business Continuity Award in the Industry Newcomer of the year in 2016 and won it. I also attended a 1-week ISO 22301 lead auditor course which help me in understanding better the process to create documentation that are following this standard.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Having managed to influence a client from the C suite to the FM department in developing a full business continuity management system for their London Campus. I secured funding for 2 years in a row to get this management system in place. This was really rewarding to see that a lot of people were on board and interested in this topic.
What are your future aspirations?
To become the BC/ Resilience manager of a company and expanding my knowledge and expertise in cyber resilience
What advice would you give to those thinking about joining the industry?
Do not let yourself be put down by older practitioners who think you do not have what it takes to become one. It happened to me many times, also because I was young and female. Keep being curious, develop your network as much as you can, be proactive in your professional development by reading a lot and not just about business continuity, be curious and open minded.