09 Jul North Berwick to Wellington
Mike Dickson is the General Manager for a large global recruiter (New Zealand)
1) Where did you grow up and when did you leave Scotland?
I grew up in Dunbar and Duns, a wonderful contrast of Scotland’s countryside and coast. I’ve had a life of leaving and returning to Scotland – it has an interesting magnetic pull!
2) What is your job/sector and how many countries have you lived in?
I’ve worked in recruitment and talent management for most of my career, plying my trade in England, Scotland and New Zealand. I’m currently General Manager in New Zealand for a large global recruiter, Hudson, where we’re starting what we think will be a industry wide revolution. Recruitment agencies haven’t changed in 50 years…..and they’re about to, starting with a Scottish New Zealand charge!
3) Do you sometimes visit bonny Scotland?
Do you ever really leave?
4) What do people in your host country think of Scots and Scotland?
Kiwis love the Scottish. Richie McCaw (the clue is in the name) is the kilt wearing, bagpipe playing captain of the All Blacks. Maybe we could just re-brand the All Blacks as Pacific Scotland?
5) Should haggis be a protected species?
What a great PR and branding idea……has someone told Alex Salmond?
6) Has living abroad changed the way you think about Scotland?
Travel and living abroad gives you a much broader sense of Scotland’s place in the world….a great country with strong identity. Scots should be proud of tartan, kilts, bagpipes, a myriad of world changing inventions and products, shortbread, golf and whisky – of course Scotland is so much more, but what country, large and small, has so many such globally recognised elements?
7) What do you miss most and least about the auld country?
I miss friends, family, great golf courses and North Berwick (I spent 11 brilliant years there). I least miss the inward looking misguidedly ”patriotic” anti-English behaviour of (still) too many Scots….get over it. Scrape away the political veneer and it’s this that’s driving the desire for independence.
8) What about the independence referendum coming up? How will it affect you and Scotland’s international image?
See previous answer. Independence is fuelled by 90% romanticism (if I’m being kind) and 10% logic. The status-quo needs a large electric jolt, but we can be much more successful as a mature and equal partner in the UK.
9) When are you coming home for good and do you have a message for Scots back home?
I’ve only been away for a year this time around, but I will come back. For good? It’s a big world with lots to see, so the jury is out.