“Since joining DE&S it’s been a breath of fresh air because of the amount of resources available, and the support you get to help you achieve your ambitions. I’ve found it really great. For me, it’s been unbelievably good.”
We spoke with Commercial Officer Claire about her route into the Commercial function and why DE&S is a great place to work.
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What does your role entail?
My role as a Commercial Officer involves working on the Contract Management side. There are two sides to Commercial, one is Contract Management and one is Sourcing and Tendering need to place a contract. My role at the moment is contract management for a project team (a team of about 35 of us) and I make sure the contractor delivers on time and carries out what they’re going to do to time, to schedule and to cost.
What was your pathway to becoming a Commercial Officer at DE&S?
I joined DE&S as a Risk Manager. I came from a law firm before that, and I was there for 16 years. I applied for the Risk Manager role, got that, and then quickly realised that Commercial was the job for me, with my legal background. I’ve been here just over two years now.
What Learning and Development opportunities are available within Commercial?
The Learning and Development opportunities are very good, including doing your CIPS exams – level 4, 5 and 6. There are also lots of courses on DE&S’ own online learning platform, and there are lots of opportunities for on-the-job learning in Commercial.
Do you feel that DE&S allows you to fulfil your ambitions?
Yes, I do. I felt quite stifled in the place I used to work, and I was there for a very long time. Since joining DE&S it’s been a breath of fresh air because of the amount of resources available, and the support you get to help you achieve your ambitions. I’ve found it really great. For me, it’s been unbelievably good.
What transferable skills might people already have that would be relevant to a career in Commercial?
Transferable skills include being analytical, being able to read and interpret documents, review contracts, make sure you’ve got the right product, talk to your peers using good social skills, and speak confidently in your role. You may have used these transferable skills if you’ve ever reviewed a telephone contract in your personal life, for example.
What positive change have you seen in DE&S since joining?
A positive change has been moving to a smarter working basis, and it’s something that we’ve proven we can do in DE&S. It helps everyone with a great work/life balance.
For you, what are the key things that make working here special or rewarding?
Having come from outside of DE&S I think the best or most rewarding part of working here is the amount of flexibility and variety you get in your role, and the fact there are so many great people you get to work with. If you’re unhappy in your current role they are very cooperative in helping you to change roles, and you can get a great education through the organisation. I’ve found it a very good place to work so far. It’s been so refreshing to have such great resources at your fingertips, and everyone is so welcoming. I’ve loved it, it’s been great.
How has DE&S help you to find the right balance between your work and your home life?
In my old job, I used to work part-time to get that work/life balance, but since joining DE&S, because they are so flexible and accommodating, I’ve been able to work full-time and still get that work/life balance through the flexible working system. I have a team around me who are very helpful. You just need to ensure you are working your hours between 7am and 7pm which is great because it helps everyone out.
Would you recommend DE&S to others as a great place to work, and why?
I would and for the many reasons I’ve mentioned like the flexibility, the amazing work/life balance, the investment they give you in your career and the number of courses you can go on. The team spirit you get in DE&S is great, it’s been a really great place to work.
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