I studied Natural Science at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. The skills in data analysis have definitely come in useful, as has my focus on environmental topics, something I continue to do in the facilities management industry.
However, from university I was sponsored into the British Army as an Officer. I spent a total of six years as both a reserve and regular soldier, developing much of the confidence, leadership, and problem solving skills I have brought into the civilian workplace. I applied to Mitie following a medical discharge due to a leg injury.
Joining Mitie’s graduate scheme, I did three placements in very varied parts of the business. Firstly in security, working in operational management with officers in Milton Keynes – very much the front line of what Mitie does. I even did a few shifts in power plants, transport hubs, and a shopping centre.
From core operations I moved to the other end of the spectrum, working within the new ventures team during Mitie’s acquisition of our (then) new Healthcare business - Mihomecare. Assisting during the £100m+ acquisition, I toured the sites and welcomed the teams to Mitie – a significant responsibility for my fourth month in, but very exciting!
For my final placement I worked with Mitie’s energy sales team, helping write bids for energy saving schemes. Potential clients included schools, leisure centres, heavy industrial units and data centres.
I directly requested all three of these placements, as they fit with both my academic and military experiences. My manager and mentors were always keen to work with me, and find out what I wanted to learn and achieve in each placement. It was this flexibility, along with the breadth of industries and roles which Mitie covers, which attracted me to the company.
Following the scheme, I became a Facilities Manager for Mitie’s Integrated Facilities Management (IFM) business, which is responsible for Mitie’s largest contracts. My first role was with a large telecommunications contract managing their entire complex in West London. This was very exciting, and included moving cars into reception areas, taking delivery of the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones to the post room, and coordinating public audiences and celebrities on site. There was never a dull day!
I then progressed to manage all services to 500+ retail sites in a telephone company based out of Newbury for two years, helping them integrate hundreds of newly purchased locations in a very short timescale.
Then in September 2015 I became Head of Facilities Management for our account with a global professional services client. Here I manage all operations to this growing account, across more than 40 sites in the UK and Ireland, with a total of 320 employees.
Mitie is a large and varied organisation, with a great many specialisms and capabilities. The key to Mitie’s success in facilities management is good leadership and engagement of our strong teams. I believe this is where Mitie’s future graduates can really excel – being flexible and forward-thinking in leading our great breadth of ability into new areas, clients, and businesses.