Jason is a Project Manager in the Ground Transportation Systems (GTS) business at Thales UK. But he wasn’t always passionate about infrastructure and London’s Underground network. Four years ago, he was a Class 2 Armourer and Physical Training Instructor in the British Army.
Leaving the army was by no means an easy decision for Jason, who says that he was “almost as nervous” on his final day serving as a member of Her Majesty’s corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers as he was on day one. “The demise of my military career was out of my hands, primarily as a result of decreasing opportunities for promotion”, during a period of dramatic cuts for the UK’s armed forces.
So it was the range of career opportunities and the call to fulfil his potential outside of the forces that pulled Jason into civilian life in 2014. He joined Thales fresh out of the army, commencing a six month fixed-term contract as a Field Services Support Manager within GTS. He says that for him this “was sink or swim time” and he faced a “very steep learning curve” during the transition phase back into civilian life. This was a challenge that Jason reveled in, seeing it as an opportunity to demonstrate his potential in the Thales team. He was certainly successful, and took up a permanent position as an Assistant Project Manager at the end of his six month contract.
Jason recognises that much of his success at Thales is down to the experiences and training the British Army gave him, which has enabled him to “strive for bigger and better things.” He says he “set his sights from day one” on a project delivery role in GTS, and has built a portfolio of projects and experience that spans across the entire London Underground network.
Despite coming from a background with very little project management experience, Jason threw himself into the role and has undertook some intensive extracurricular training over the last four years. After attending a five-day ‘Passport to Bid and Project Management’ course, his mind was set on completing the Association for Project Management’s Project Management Qualification, a feat he completed successfully in November 2016.
In a four-year period, Jason has transitioned successfully from a member of the British Army to be a registered member of the International Project Management Association and Project Manager within Thales, working on a number of significant programmes with important customers like Transport for London and Network Rail. Looking back, Jason says he could never have dreamed of such a positive outcome when making the agonizing decision to ‘sign off’ from the British Army.
Jason and Thales are keeping London safe, secure and on the move.