“I feel lucky to work at leafy Abbey Wood with its resident geese and herons.”

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Policy, Strategy and Parliamentary, Vanessa

Why did you choose to pursue a career in DE&S?

I was six years into my Civil Service career, which had involved both operational and policy roles in London, when I decided to move to Bristol and I thought I would have to change career. I was so happy to find that DE&S had roles that I could pursue – I had assumed it would be all project management.

What does your role entail?

Working for Director Corporate Operations means supporting his many varied outputs; from providing corporate briefing to foreign powers to providing reports to the DE&S Board and Owner’s Council and having a secretariat role at the Transformation Committee. Recently I’ve been supporting Director Corporate Operations and the CEO with information required for the Modernising Defence Programme. I also support the production of some of our annual corporate publications; there’s a mix of steady state activities with unforeseen issues flying in and flying out again at a rapid pace.

What are the opportunities to develop and progress?

I feel very firmly grounded in the Policy, Strategy and Parliamentary (PSP) specialism of the Corporate Services function. I like that it provides a good anchor with MOD main and Whitehall as well as helping you to explore the next opportunity in DE&S.

What do you most enjoy about your job?

Well, it’s never boring. I enjoy interacting with lots of different teams across DE&S, doing a lot of different tasks, and having a good view out across the organisation. I work with some lovely colleagues too.

What’s the greatest achievement (in your role) to date?

I’ve been involved in the production of the DE&S Corporate Plan and Annual Report and Accounts for the last couple of years which are pretty big tasks with a lot of moving parts and some stringent requirements. It is very satisfying to see them finally published/laid in Parliament.

Why would you recommend DE&S to others as a great place to work?

There’s a lot going on – so many different specialisms – and for me, having an interesting job and working near Bristol is great. I enjoy a short cycle commute, can get into town easily and feel lucky to work at leafy Abbey Wood with its resident geese and herons.

What are the social benefits of working for DE&S?

The flexible working policy we enjoy as Civil Servants is a real perk; whilst work demands can mean a period of long working days at the office it is good to know that the time is banked. I appreciate the freedom to manage my time – which offers the opportunity to attend the fitness classes at lunchtime in the Abbey Wood sports hall – another real benefit.

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