From Corps of Royal Signals & Queen Alexanders Royal Army Nursing Corps to Project Manager


Rebecca Crook served initially in the Royal Corps of Signals, transferring to the Queen Alexanders Royal Army Nursing Corps, serving for 18-years, attaining the rank of Sergeant, leaving in 2020. Whilst in the Royal Signals Rebecca held various roles from force protection in Iraq to a training instructor at ATR Pirbright. More recently with QARANC, Rebecca was a healthcare assistant on Trauma & Orthopaedic, emergency department, ITU and also the training wing SNCO.  A typical day for Rebecca was “assisting with triaging patients coming through the door in a busy city centre A&E department, whilst managing a team of people with a variety of skill sets for the specific needs of the department.”

With regards to the key skills from Rebecca’s time serving “confidence, knowledge, empathy, respect –  these are just a few of the soft skills the military taught me that I use on a daily basis. Being able to lead people, make decisions under pressure and believe I am doing the right thing dictates how I behave on a daily basis.”

Rebecca’s current role is a Project Manager on the Ministry of Justice, with Mace Consult. Rebecca secured her role with Mace after she attended a BuildForce virtual career chat. Rebecca’s advice on what helped her most during her transition is “patience, nothing moves fast on civvy street! Greatest challenge was the unknown; going from a subject-matter-expert in various subjects/weapons/equipment etc., to having to learn it all again.”

Rebecca advised “my current role as a PM involves a great deal of organisation, time management, dealing with fastballs at 4pm on a Friday and generally keeping everyone happy, focused and on target. I am the Aftercare lead in a very busy fast paced MoJ programme. I ensure that the defects raised are dealt with in accordance with the contract, over a number of different establishments. I do site visits, team meetings, workshops and usually have at least one of these per week. I also support a sustainability special interest group and mentor a APM within my team.” With regards to skills from Rebecca’s military career “seeing the bigger picture, some people can get fixated on the small stuff and not see past this. Having the ability to see the end goal and the best way to get there is definitely a skill I learnt in the Army. Being able to talk to a whole host of different people and being able to adapt to the situation/person is another strong skill I got from life in a green suit!”

Rebecca’s advice to anyone leaving the armed forces and seeking a career in construction is “Register with BuildForce, it’s how I got to where I am. I used LinkedIn. Also, Network Network Network!! Watch webinars, join calls, research. Reach out to veterans in construction companies you’d like to join and ask how they are finding working for that company, what their journey was like. Write a list of your gold standard expectations for you and your family and revisit it regularly, don’t get swept away! This is the first time in a long time you have the power to make the next move, make sure it’s the right one!”

Rebecca advised the three words to describe a career in construction as “progressive/ rewarding, dynamic and collaborative. I would describe fellow ex-military as disciplined, team players and leaders.”