“Our military keeps us safe, both at home and abroad, and I get to be part of providing them equipment that enables them to do that.”
What does your role entail?
My current role is delivering a new procurement tool that allows our project team and other project teams to deliver capability to our customers in a more flexible and faster way.
Why did you choose a career as a Project Manager? Where did you begin?
I love the diverse nature of project management. The problem-solving, the team working and that feeling of satisfaction that you get from delivering something to the customer that makes a positive difference to the way that they operate. I started out at Local Authority level in transformational change project management, where the focus was the delivery of process change, before moving to the Civil Service in 2014.
What difference does your role make?
As someone who spent their teenage years in Cadets, I’ve had a lifelong love of the military. Our military keeps us safe, both at home and abroad, and I get to be part of providing them equipment that enables them to do that and keeps them safe.
What are some of the most exciting projects you’ve worked on?
My most exciting project to date has been working alongside the US Department of Defense. I got to work with US colleagues on a joint experimentation venture that involved a diverse team across two continents. The ability to be able to see and share ideas, equipment and working practices with US colleagues was fascinating – and a tour of the Pentagon was an added bonus!
What are your career aspirations? And how does DE&S support you?
Having built experience across two organisations I’m now interested in progressing to a more senior role. This organisation has a clear structure for promotion so mapping a career path – if that is something of interest to you – is something that is encouraged. As professionals, we have a Delivery Manager for our day-to-day work, but also a Functional Development Officer who is separate and who is there to offer advice and guidance on your career path.
Why DE&S? What makes it a great place to work?
I personally love the ability to work alongside military colleagues and deliver military capability. The breadth of experience that you gain here is so wide due to the diversity of delivery that we do. The additional benefits are also great: flexible working hours and a generous pension scheme for example.
What pathways are there into a career as a Project Manager? Is it a difficult career to get into?
DE&S offers some great pathways into Project Manager, from graduate and apprentice schemes to entry-level positions to get you started if you can demonstrate transferable skills and experience – after all we project manage our lives every day! I didn’t start my career as a Project Manager, this was something I transitioned into so I think it is something that can be easy to get into.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start a career in your field at DE&S?
There is lots of information on the DE&S website that can help you find the best entry into the organisation to suit you. Being a Project Manager brings lots of transferable skills; if you have good organisational skills, planning and people skills then you are halfway there already!
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