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Time for pastures new

13 October, 2019

After more than three years in charge of Gambica’s industrial automation activities, Victoria Montag is moving on to pastures new. In her final column, she reflects on some of her experiences during her time with the trade association.

On the 14 April, 2016, I had my first day as sector head for industrial automation at Gambica. It wasn’t the typical start of a brand-new job – being shown my desk, getting a pass and a laptop, filling out forms, and so on. No, my first day was spent at the Drives & Controls 2016 show at the NEC. I had never been to a trade show before and for a first day in the job it was pretty overwhelming. I don’t remember too much about the day except kicking myself that I had had not heeded my father’s advice and worn comfortable shoes. Honestly, when I finally took my shoes off, I half expected to find my feet rubbed raw.

In spite of the lack of memory about it, this day comes to mind as I write this, because today I handed in my notice at Gambica.

Being very aware that I have only a month left at Gambica has made me reflect on my time with the company. If you’d permit me a moment of sentimentality, 

I have decided to use my final column in Drives & Controls to share some of my thoughts about my life at a trade association.

I don’t know what it is like for other trade associations, but working with Gambica has been a really special experience. This I put down largely to the people. Sure, the people at Gambica are funny, really lovely and a pleasure to work with. But there is something else. I have never worked for a company where there is one clear aim – in this case, working to further the interests of the industries we represent. Every decision and action at Gambica is measured by the criteria of “what is the value of doing x to our members?”. Not having to divine some purpose to your work is a very liberating experience, but it also means your colleagues just “get it”. 

This is true of our members too. The Gambica membership is a brilliant community who are engaged and proud of their industry. I have written in the past about how our members put aside the fact that they work for competing organisations and collaborate on certain topics for the greater good. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it is a genuine joy to witness our special interest groups working on a guide, or a position paper or a consultation response. I have seen teams from the same company work together with less altruism than these competitors.




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