Meet Andy - On the search for programme engineer jobs

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Andy is a high performing Project Manager with a background in construction and operations management. He has 25 years’ exemplary service in HM Forces and was awarded several prestigious commendations for going above and beyond what was expected of him. After leaving the Army, Andy has gained expansive experience in a range of roles, both in the UK and Afghanistan and Africa.

As a Country Engineering Manager in Afghanistan, he was appointed to manage a camp of 850 people spanning 6 sites. As a Country Manager in Kenya, he played a pivotal role as an interface between main project stakeholders to meet project objectives. Since April, Andy has been a Site Manager for a construction company, currently managing several site across London during the demolition and construction phases of the project.

Role Andy is looking for: Project manager/Senior Programme Engineer.
Job location preference: Andy would like to work in Derby but is flexible on location.


SMJ: What was your role in the military?
ANDY: Colour Sergeant. Left in 2005 after 25 years.  

SMJ: What could you military role be best compared to in commercial terms?
ANDY: I don’t think there is necessarily one role, I think it’s like what they say, jack of all trades, master of none. The military gives you a very good grounding, I think when a civilian employer takes on a military person, they get the full package. Somebody who is not afraid to get their hands dirty, do the work, do that bit extra, try and bond and work together. I think you have a range of different skills to offer a number of roles.

SMJ: What were some of your key achievements in your military career? (See CV for career history and more key achievements)
ANDY: 
I think a key achievement for me was being mentioned in the New Year’s Honours List twice, for my work in the military - this was a great achievement that not many people can say they have. I was featured for my work in Iraq and also in Cyprus. (Featured on the New Year’s Honours List for the Military Army, General Officer Commanding Commendations (British Forces Cyprus 1999 – Multi National Divisions Iraq 2005)

SMJ: What industries and specific roles are you interested in pursuing?
ANDY: Construction and Project Management.

SMJ: What have you found the most helpful/ enjoyable part of your career transition journey?
ANDY: It is after the transition, when you come into a new company and they are a bit apprehensive about you and then within a couple of months you are making changes.

“The military gives you a very good grounding, I think when a civilian employer takes on a military person, they get the full package.”

SMJ: What have been the challenges with transitioning?
ANDY: I found the transition very hard. I still am transitioning really. The first two years were hard, I was used to being the boss, training the lads and then you are suddenly in civvy street - it’s a new world. But you learn a lot about yourself. I think you rely on that strength, expertise and knowledge that you have picked up from being in the military.

SMJ: What would help others going through the transition phase?
ANDY: I think they have got to be honest and open. When they have that two year transitional period, really take advantage of that.

SMJ: How has SaluteMyJob helped you?
ANDY: Pointing me in the right direction on what jobs to apply for and how to prepare fully for an interview.  

SMJ: If there was anything you could advise organisations who want to employ Armed Forces candidates, what would it be?
ANDY: The talent pool is there - it is just about tapping into that.

SMJ: In your opinion, what training or experience from your Armed Forces Career has made you more competitive that other candidates from the commercial sector?
ANDY: I think just being confident in my own skills and ability. What I would say to others is to not be afraid to tell people about your experiences and the skills you have gained. For example, I put a little folder together with references, commendations and past projects and take this folder to any interview.

SMJ: What key skills do you think you have that would make you successful in the role you are looking for?
ANDY: Fundamentally, apart from my experiences, it is my honesty and integrity. The way you are brought up in the military is to be open and honest.

SMJ: And finally, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
ANDY: My real passion is shooting and motorbikes.

Andy is available with four weeks notice. If you are an employer and would like to get in touch with Andy, please email info@salutemyjob.com.