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Col offers advice for aspiring engineers and tells us about his career path to become an Engineering Manager

“My role is important because it enables our Royal Navy fleets to be installed with vital systems that allow the UK to communicate with NATO partners”

Firstly, can you tell us about your role and what it entails?

Col is a Engineering Manager in the Ships Domain

Engineering Manager, Col

I’m an Engineering Manager within the Ships domain. I look after installations and facilitate the installation solutions of Communications Information Systems (CIS) on board our military fleet. The platforms I work on include the Queen Elizabeth Carrier, Type 45 Destroyers, Type 23 Frigates and Landing Platform Docks.

Why did you choose a career in engineering? Where did you begin?

When I was in school, I always wanted to be a technician because I was interested in electronics. When I was 16, I had a part-time job in a hobby electronics shop before joining the RAF.

I left the military after serving for 22 years and worked for various organisations initially. I decided to join the Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA) to come back into a role that felt more like me, before getting a promotion into my current role at Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S).

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I enjoy getting installation solutions to a fruition state, ready for the actual installation – this gives me a great sense of achievement.

What impact does your role make?

My role is important because it enables our Royal Navy fleets to be installed with the vital CIS that allow the UK to communicate with NATO partners. This is vital for some of our UK Defence programmes.

For you, what are the key things that make working here special or rewarding?

At this stage in my career, I’m very happy to be working in a familiar environment alongside military personnel. At DE&S everyone works together to achieve the organisation’s objectives; we all sing from the same song sheet. I didn’t get that same feeling working with other businesses outside the MOD. That’s how I know I’ll finish my career working for the MOD.

Do you feel supported to achieve your professional ambitions, and how?

Absolutely! I set myself a goal to reach management level within three years of joining and I have achieved that. Everyone who joins the organisation is allocated a Functional Development Officer (FDO) who is there to help and develop you throughout your career. The support and encouragement from my FDO is second to none.

How does DE&S support you to find the right balance between your work and home life? 

I’ve never had a problem finding a balance between work and home life at DE&S. The organisation understands that family comes first and if someone wants to work flexible hours, part time or in a job-share, they will bend over backwards to accommodate. When I had some health issues, my bosses were very understanding and supportive.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start a career in your field at DE&S?

Come to DE&S and discover the kind of support you wouldn’t experience in roles elsewhere. If you’re ever struggling, DE&S will help and support you to get you to where you want or need to be.

Would you recommend DE&S to others as a great place to work, and if so, why? 

I would recommend DE&S without a doubt. DE&S is very serious in its dedication to supporting inclusion and equality; it’s very important to the organisation. In addition to the supportive culture and great work-life balance, there’s also the flexibility to move around within the organisation.

If you want to try something new, there’s the option to move to another team to gain additional skills and knowledge without having to leave the organisation – that’s why you work here for a career, not just a job.

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By |2022-08-04T14:22:07+01:00August 4th, 2022|
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