The Standards: Charity Champion Neil Pretorius takes the stage

At Altavia HRG we’re on a mission to set the standard for what’s possible for brands in retail.

We’re also on a mission to set the standard internally for team work, collaboration, treating each other with respect, and generally being an amazing team. Our colleague awards, The Standards, continues to recognise and celebrate those who bring our core values to life.

We’re celebrating the achievements of 3D Development Designer, Neil Pretorius who has been awarded our Charity Champion. The award recognises the exceptional contribution to those who donate their time and effects to raising money for charity.

We took some time to catch up with Neil to discuss his role at Altavia HRG and how his passion for helping others led him to fundraise for an important cause.

Why did you choose to become a Development Designer?
I was inspired by my design teacher at school who recognised my interest in industrial and product design, and encouraged me to pursue this further as a career.
As a kid, I loved taking things apart. Kettles, toasters, hairdryers and other electrical items were not safe if I was around. I had a natural curiosity to understand how things worked and that early skill and interest has been transferred into my role today.

What’s your typical day at Altavia HRG like?
My typical day comprises of managing the development schedule and transforming the amazing ideas and visuals produced by our studio into accurate, detailed technical drawings for manufacture.  You could say I turn dreams into reality.

What’s something you find challenging about your job?
Not having all the information required at the beginning of a project which just slows things down. But it works out in the end, as a team we always pull it out the bag. #teamworkmakesthedreamwork

What’s the most exciting part of your job?
I’d definitely say it’s seeing the actual unit I’ve worked on being made and installed. It’s such a fulfilling part of my job.

Do you have any mentors in your professional life?
I don’t have any current mentors, but I am very lucky to have had inspiring people around me who have positively influenced me and given me the opportunity to succeed.

What’s your most-used productivity hack?
When time is of the essence use Notepad ++ for taking notes and use the tabs for each project. When I have to copy information into my drawings, I have to strip all the text formatting which is time consuming. Notepad ++ does for you. You can thank me later

How do you live the company’s values?
At Altavia HRG, we’re encouraged to set high standards, and this goes beyond the walls of the office. We strive to not only give more to each other and to our clients, but also to give more to our community. I wanted to give back and saw an opportunity to make a difference by raising money for charity.

Which charity did you raise money for?
I got to raise money by taking part in Strictly Northampton, a dance competition, inspired by the popular BBC One show and organised by Step by Step dance school. The competition helps to raise funds for Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

Did you have any prior dance experience?
Not at all. I was a complete novice at dancing but was up for the challenge and ready to just throw myself into it. I honestly could not have done it without the amazing teachings of my dance partner Tasha.

What was the training process like?
Just like the TV show, we were given 8 weeks of intensive dance training to firstly learn how to dance and then to learn the choreography ready for the competition. Getting up on stage at the Royal & Derngate in front of hundreds of people was definitely nerve-wrecking but also thrilling.

Overall, how did you find the experience?
It was a truly amazing experience with a group of fantastic people and one that I will never forget. I am beyond proud that we collectively raised over £55,000 for the charity which will help to support people who are facing life-limiting illnesses and their families.

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