“DE&S is wide and varied in terms of the capability we procure and support, and therefore there are plenty of opportunities out there to learn new things and meet new people.”
How long have you worked for DE&S?
Nine years – I joined via a Finance Graduate Scheme in 2009. I was given the opportunity to study towards the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualification whilst I undertook several placements across the business. This helped me apply some of what I was learning in the classroom to real-life Defence projects.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in DE&S?
I was working for Lloyds Banking Group as a Pensions Technical Analyst at the time. I’d recently failed to get on their internal actuary scheme; the banking sector had just crashed and my career was somewhat at a crossroads.
Around that time my mother spotted an advert in the local newspaper for a DE&S Finance Graduate Scheme. I was always good with numbers, so accountancy was a viable and attractive career option for me.
The scheme sounded fantastic – funded study towards an accountancy qualification, guided career development through a series of tailored placements, a competitive starting salary and many other benefits such as flexible working time.
Luckily my application was successful and I haven’t had to model a pension projection since.
What are the opportunities to develop and progress within your function?
Thanks to DE&S Transformation we now have a Functional Development Officer who keeps a close eye on our progress and identifies where we need further experience or exposure. DE&S is wide and varied in terms of the capability we procure and support, and therefore there are plenty of opportunities out there to learn new things and meet new people.
With the advent of functional management, we are beginning to develop an even more flexible workforce, meaning even greater opportunities for individuals to be in the right place at the right time and add real value to the business.
What do you most enjoy about your job?
Working with colleagues from different backgrounds who collectively display a sense of pride in supporting our Armed Forces. This results in a culture of togetherness with a real focus on delivery.
Having previously spent some time in the private sector I know that this camaraderie in the workplace isn’t always a given.
Would you recommend DE&S to others as a great place to work?
Yes! I regularly recommended it to friends and family in fact. DE&S offers a fantastic overall package.
We deliver complex projects all over the world in collaboration with our suppliers and Front Line Command customers. Therefore there is plenty of opportunity along the way to vary and shape your career how you wish, in terms of specialism, function and location.
In addition to opportunity there is a very competitive total reward package and many other non-financial benefits, such as flexible working and discounted gym membership. Having a young family myself, I can personally vouch for the value I place on being able to flex my working hours to fit in with nursery, school and other commitments.
How do you build a successful career at DE&S?
There’s not one set way to build a successful career here. What DE&S will provide you with is plenty of opportunities to learn and develop in an environment of supportive and driven colleagues all with one common goal.
My advice would be to seize as many of those opportunities as you can, don’t be afraid to ask questions, listen and learn from others, don’t take shortcuts, and above all to work hard and take pride in your work. It won’t go unnoticed.