I went to Bath University and studied Business Administration which required everyone to do two 6 month internships, the reason I chose to do that course.
I had considered working in advertising, banking and consulting. A small company named Qedis (back in those days) really appealed and I was lucky enough to get one of these. The real appeal at this time was to be in consulting but also with a small, young and vibrant firm. The experience was completely different to friends who went to the big firm. With us it was out on project site in the 1st week, working in a small team of people and interacting with clients in the same way as graduates were.
I have had around 10 roles in the past 5 ½ years. The one that stands out was acting as the Project Manager to drive credit card security compliance (PCI DSS) for a rail company. Day 1 started, as typical, being far outside of the comfort zone but with great support from our people this always drive a reassuringly steep learning curve. Managing a team of 4 clients and engaging with the Finance Director daily developed the complete spectrum of key skills from stakeholder to team management, communications, change management, planning. It was really hands on and very rewarding to see the successes step by step, first hand.
My personal highlights are:
- Driving a minibus full of bikes to Paris with Kings of Leon blearing out then running the crew as our team cycled back from Paris to London in two very hard days all for charity
- Going to the company day in Atlanta and sitting on the plane with the People Director thinking back to when we were 35 people in a small office. We now had over 35 people just on the same plane going to America and another 1,000 NH people waiting there as well
- My first counselling meeting with a new intern remembering when I was sat in his position 6 years ago, thinking of what opportunity lies ahead for him and how what I have learnt can now be used to help him grow and develop
One piece of advice: We have great people who genuinely want to help you learn and develop. Listen, take everything in, always push yourself to improve and you’ll be amazed how quickly you can develop