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YPF and me: Q&A with David Blair, chief executive at Blair West

The Newcastle Young Professionals' Forum (YPF) is a vibrant network for those in the earlier stage of their careers. The YPF helps build connections through networking events and is a key resource for ambitious professionals in the region.

David Blair is co-founder and chief executive at Newcastle-based Blair West. A YPF member from 2005 to 2008, David speaks to North East Times how the forum shaped his career from his early days at KPMG to leading a successful recruitment agency.

Describe your YPF experience

A colleague of mine, who remains a good friend, was on the YPF board while we were at KPMG. Through him we had good knowledge of and access to a range of YPF events. My predominant memories relate to social events. There were some very good evenings, some a bit too good.

How did the YPF contribute to your career and leadership development?

It opened my eyes to the fact that building a good career requires more than being good at completing the task at hand. It requires you to take an interest in other professions and build relationships and networks that you can rely upon – some of which I continue to do to this day.

How has your career progressed since being a member of the YPF?

I was a member of the YPF when I was training to be an auditor at KPMG. Subsequently, I went on to a career that included corporate finance advisory, investing, and an industry M&A role prior to launching a recruitment company focused on supporting high-growth, invested businesses.

How did your involvement with the YPF enhance your networking abilities, and how has this helped you in your career and in your current role?

The YPF was my first opportunity to network with people outside of my organisation. Being able to build external relationships is pivotal to any professional career and has been particularly key to mine in recruitment. People think that networking is walking into an event and sparking up a conversation with a stranger – that is part of it and there is a skill to that. However, what is far more meaningful is the ability to build and maintain relationships. My key business relationships, which over time become friendships, have 100 per cent sustained my career.

Why is it important for young professionals to involve themselves with initiatives like the Newcastle Young Professionals’ Forum?

The higher you reach in your professional career, the more important external perspective, relationship building, and business development become. The YPF is an exceptional opportunity to practice your interactions with the broader professional community and to hopefully build relationships that will stay with you throughout your career.




June 3, 2024

  • Business & Economy

Created by NYPF