What were you doing in your career before your break?
I was a permanent civil servant working for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
What were you up to on your career break?
I travelled the US - mainly NYC, Chicago, and Indiana.
What were your biggest challenges in trying to get back into work?
I was continuously turned down due to my lack of private sector/corporate experience.
How did you find FDM and why did you decide to join?
I found FDM provided opportunities through several programmes. They marketed diversity and their values throughout their website compared to other competitors. The getting back to business programme appealed to me, as it didn’t judge your CV based on your gap year. Instead FDM welcomed those who took some time out from work and offered a thorough training programme.
How did you find the FDM training?
The FDM training gave me the tools and confidence to utilise my skills and allowed me to refresh my skills and prepare myself for getting back to business.
What’s your current role and how does it play a part in the day-to-day running of the business?
My previous role at a global energy company before moving to a new permanent role was based in Retail IT service operations, as the UK/ZA IT Operations Manager. I managed the Global Retail Site Systems' IT Service Provider, and local 3rd Party suppliers, ensuring they were continuously delivering valuable, secure, and reliable IT services to around 1000 company-owned UK & South Africa Retail sites. This reduced average downtime per site per month from 60+ mins to lows of 4 mins, therefore increasing brand value and profits for both markets.
After completing my 2-year fixed contract with the client through FDM, I have now moved into a perm role as an IT Operation Engineer in the Renewable Energy and Solutions IT Service Operations Organisation.
I also completed successful assignments for other FDM clients in the government and banking sectors as Data Consultant and Senior Project Manager.
What’s your favourite project you have worked on so far?
I believe my favourite projects are those that have required solid stakeholder management experience. With a strong collaborative mindset, I have led the implementation of various effective stakeholder engagement plans successfully, both locally and globally, F2F and virtually. The most memorable experience was when the energy company's Mobility IT Leadership appointed me to go out to South Africa to build relationships with the ZA Retail Business. As a result of this, and after several workshops, the Global IT service provider and the Retail Business formed the partnership relationship and ways of working to refine all IT processes to deliver business value.
How do you think your personal experiences during your career break have shaped who and where you are today?
The career break allowed me to spend real time with my family in the states, as well as meet so many people from different backgrounds. I made some good friends while I was exploring out there in the US. It made me realise that my ability to network and connect with people is strong, and that I can utilise this in the business world effectively. It was a risk taking a career break, but I can truly say this led me to several opportunities.
Are there any transferrable skills that you gained during your break and are now applicable within your role?
During my break, I self-funded and completed the PRINCE2 Practitioner Certification as I wanted to ensure I was prepared for going back into the real world. FDM offered PRINCE2 opportunities as part of the training programme. I was fortunate that FDM then offered the ITIL 4 foundation course, which set me up to move into IT Service Management.
What accomplishments are you most proud of during your time with FDM?
The proudest moment was when I moved from public sector experience to the banking and finance world. One of my biggest challenges I faced was gaining corporate private sector experience due to my past professional experience. FDM allowed me access to a range of opportunities, and it proved, my skills are highly transferable. This is a fact and not just a statement on my CV.
If you’re looking to restart your career in tech or business, check out one of our dedicated careers programme. The FDM Returners to Work Programme is designed to help people just like you step back into a rewarding career with exceptional training programmes to revamp your skillset, as well as work placements with our industry-leading clients.