Meet HR GIG 8 Speaker; John Schembri, CEO at Shield Consultants Ltd

With a military career of eighteen years behind him, John is the founder of Shield Security Consultants Ltd.

Posted on: Saturday, August 19th, 2023

John has extensive international experience in security risk management and holds an MSc in Security Risk Management from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom.

Specialising in conducting in-depth security risk assessments and designing security risk management systems, he has broadly assessed most of Malta’s maritime and critical infrastructure. John has written policy reports for Transport Malta and the Malta Government on various security risk management topics and assignments and has also participated in work for the British Standards Institute leading up to the issuance of ISO 31000.

John’s approach to security risk management work is grounded in operations and empirical study.  This approach has seen him conduct extensive security risk management work for international Oil and Gas companies, in highly volatile zones such as Libya, Algeria and Kurdistan amongst other places in the Middle East and North Africa.

John is the risk process.

From our Q&A session, this is what John had to say:

What was your first job?

I was a Junior Bank Clerk

Who inspired you to pursue the career you have today?

No one. A realisation grew on me that I needed to create a version of me that went beyond my military background whilst retaining my competences and upgrading my personal professional profile.

What’s something you find challenging about your work?

Incompetence and professional hypocrisy.

What upcoming technological innovation do you think will dramatically impact the industry in the next five years?

Technology changes at such a rapid rate that it is quite a tricky question to forecast.  Some obvious examples such as ChatGPT stand out, as does the Internet of Things.  Digitisation will gather pace and continue to expand exponentially.  As a risk analyst I am personally wary that technology should not be always viewed as the messiah of all solutions.  Beyond the obvious immediate benefits, technology creates uncertainty and that is where risk should always be analysed.

What’s the best advice you can give to someone who just started their career?

Work hard. Do the correct thing and fear no one. Retain your personal integrity.

Who inspires you?

Any human being who has the courage to be themself and to make a valid contribution to those around them. The list is too long to put down because I am literally inspired by hundreds of personalities, across history, and across various fields of human activity.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Gardening in Sicily and mentoring SHIELD into its internationalised future.

What’s something you’re proud of?

My family … SHIELD immediately behind.

What’s your idea of a perfect day?

Feeling contented at the end of it.

What’s the best place you’ve travelled to?

Siena, Tuscany. Tangiers, Morocco. Vilnius, Lithuania.

What does HRGIG 8 mean to you?

An opportunity to learn from a wide array of different professionals and, hopefully, to contribute even a little bit.

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