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Ex-Forces Career Stories: Mark Sharp

FDM’s Ex-Forces Programme focuses on transforming Ex-Servicemen and women into IT and business professionals, be that senior Project Managers or entry-level consultants. The programme is specifically designed to provide Service Leavers with expertise, training and commercial experience, bridging the gap between the Forces and the corporate world.

Mark Sharp is one of our Ex-Forces consultants. Before joining FDM in 2019, he served in the Royal Marines for ten years. He trained on the Ex-Forces Advanced stream and is now a Project Manager working in the healthcare sector.  

Read below Mark’s career story and the challenges he faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

What do you remember most about your career in the Royal Marines? How did military service help you later in life? 

“No matter how much time has gone by, I still remember the very day I stepped off that train onto the platform of Commando Training Centre Royal Marines. It was a frosty December morning in 2008. The rest was history. I am sure, if you asked any Royal Marine ‘Would you do it all again?’ the answer would be yes. 

Throughout my ten-year career I got to see the world - the good parts and bad, stretching all over the globe from Afghanistan to Australia and America. Perhaps I didn’t know it at the time, but the hardships I encountered and the ability to adapt and overcome any adversity would pay dividends in later life. I was medically discharged in 2019 and joined FDM shortly after.” 

Can you describe a day in your new life as an FDM Consultant? 

“I have now been on-site as an FDM Ex-Forces Consultant for almost two years and I don’t know where the time has gone. 2020 tested all of us in different ways and there is still some hardship to come. Working in healthcare, the past year has been the busiest in my career to date, reflecting both on my Corps and business experience.  

Right now, we have just gone live with a new product, which I am managing the transition for. To be able to go live with such a development during the current climate is a testament to all our skills and teamwork.  

One late Thursday afternoon, I was tasked with the delivery of MS Teams to the whole of IT by Monday. I used old records to cross-reference and submit a new organisation chart, which gave us a delivery approach. I produced a MS Teams training guide to distribute to all staff. I had to learn as I went along and rectify issues on the spot so that my team could deliver the project on time. Having solid organisational skills underpins the success of almost any project.” 

Have you faced any challenges so far?  

“I was asked to deliver a Nightingale hospital at a moment’s notice. I had to liaise with suppliers and with another hospital whose application platforms differed from ours, while cooperating with Armed Forces members who would deliver the facilities. All this had to be set up within ten days from the point of initiation. The challenges were vast as so much was unknown and as with any crisis management, the first 48 hours were the most important. Bringing the right people together to understand the dependencies and learning from the experiences of the London Nightingale would guide the delivery. I made sure I surrounded myself with colleagues who had years of knowledge and experience to advise. Now, we have a blueprint for delivering a Nightingale hospital should we need to do it again.  

I am happy to share my experiences and offer advice to any service person. Please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.” 

To find out more about the career opportunities we offer to individuals who have served in the armed forces, check out the FDM Ex-Forces Careers Programme. " 


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