My experience as a graduate at Thales has been immensely enjoyable. My first project was to update the Commercial contract database in Ground Transportation Systems. It entailed gathering a huge amount of data which then formed the basis for a new Commercial toolkit. I then spent four months in the 4 Lines Modernisation project. It was a great time to be part of the team as it meant working on one of the largest bids Thales has ever won – on the London Underground tube network. And I’ve recently contributed to the bid for Air to Ground, which gave me exposure to some pretty amazing technology.
One thing I’ve learned above all else is the importance of working collaboratively. With so many departments, processes, functions and roles, knowledge-sharing and effective team-working are everything. While part of Ground Transportation Systems, I worked within the Sub Surface Rail project team and became familiar with different work packages. And while I can’t claim to be an engineering expert, working on the Air to Ground bid really broadened my technological and scientific knowledge. These experiences have definitely brought different perspectives to my role in Procurement.
Thales is unbelievably diverse. When you consider the number of business units, the range of products, and everything in between, it’s impossible not be excited by what you can do. Whatever you’re into, from radar systems and flight simulation to rail signalling, the opportunities are there to grab – especially for graduates. In just 27 months, you can work in three different roles, three different locations and three different industries. How many companies can offer that? And when your development is continually encouraged, you can become a genuine all-rounder.
I’d have to say that my biggest achievement during my time at Thales was winning the Association for Project Management (APM) Challenge 2015. The competition ran for almost nine months and involved a lot of time outside normal working hours. Our team produced a graduate magazine, Grad2Grad, which has now been implemented across the business and we learned so much in terms of project management. We made it through to the APM Challenge finals night and had to present our idea to 100 people. Delighted to say that we won both the overall competition prize and the award for best presentation on the night!