I’d wanted to fly from an early age, so I didn’t hesitate when I made the decision to join the Royal Navy in 1988 where I embarked on a 26 year career in aviation and management with the Fleet Air Arm.
I worked in many traditional defence roles until 2007, before then moving to Search and Rescue as a new career choice, which took me out to sea in all weathers and all hours, eventually being based in Scotland and the mountains and snow that were a feature of winter life in the Highlands.
During my time in the Navy, I developed an interest working in IT. From a very early stage in my career I was the simulator management officer within the Airborne Early Warning Squadron creating IT support documentation and latterly I was supporting the development of technical support equipment. I was involved in the Navy’s roll out of Sharepoint, specifically for HMS Gannett and finally I was involved in the software development and testing of an Airborne Obstacle Avoidance System. So, when I heard of the AWS Re:Start Programme taking the wider Military community and helping them to develop their digital skills to enter and support the world of IT, I jumped at the chance and since then I haven’t looked back!
Like Phillip, I also had an interest of serving with the Army and had wanted to join from the age of 15, where I tailored my education to the goal of entering the gates of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in September 1999. I worked predominantly in Personnel Management, using IT on a daily basis, and I did two years as an IT Infrastructure Project Manager working on a number of large projects.
After 18 years, I decided it was time to make a change so I left the Army in 2016 and took a career break to decide what I really wanted to do. I too developed an interest in IT during the Army and had started looking at careers in the field, but was uncertain when people were asking for a lot of recent experience or degrees in Computer Science and I didn’t fancy going back to University. Enter the AWS re:Start programme.
The AWS re:Start programme offers a gateway for Veterans to enter the Technology industry by providing up to date skills so that an individual can understand some of the language and further develop their skills accordingly. There is no pre-requisite qualification required to attend the course meaning that graduates come with a range of technical and non-technical experience.
There is an opportunity to speak to potential employers regarding what they offer. Most employers offer some form of training and placement scheme of about three months, this can then lead to employment but there are no guarantees. It was here that we discovered the NHSBSA as an organisation.
The people presenting were enthusiastic and showed that the work the business is involved in is really helping the NHS. The teamwork and collaborative working in the Military echoes perfectly the ethos that we have in the NHSBSA, but it’s also been a refreshing change that we could have the opportunity to really think and act creatively in our roles.
Working in Technology requires a hard work ethic, time management and the ability and willingness to learn and adapt, not to mention in most cases a decent sense of humour! But if you have those skills and a desire to break the industry then a career in Technology could be for you.
It’s been a really enjoyable process transitioning from the Military to a Techie, and since moving to the NHSBSA. Phillip has found his feet in Technical Analysis where he is working within project teams to define the approach for delivering business change from a technology perspective and continuing his learning journey. Emma has been promoted to Team Manager where she oversees the Technology Application Support Team.
To find out more about the AWS Re:Start Programme, you can visit their website.
If you’re interested in working with us, making sure to keep an eye on our current vacancies here.