From the Royal Engineers to Senior Project Manager
Justin served in the Royal Engineers from 2005 – 2019, completing his service as Major. As a Royal Engineers Officer, roles he fulfilled were; RE Troop Commander, Recce Troop Commander, Second-in-Command of a Phase 1 Training Squadron, Operations Officer for an Engineer Regiment and various staff officer appointment in deployable, Training and Engineer Headquarters. Justin’s final role was a Requirements Manager within Defence Equipment & Support at MOD Abbey Wood in Bristol.
As a Requirements Manager for Army Headquarter co- located with Defence Equipment & Support at MOD Abbey Wood, Justin was predominately based in Bristol alongside the civil servant Programme and Project teams delivering military capability back to the Field Army. He was the Army HQ link with DE&S, attending meetings to maintain situational awareness of project developments, progress, risks and issues. Acting as the custodian of the Army’s requirements ensuring the technical translation and potential industry solutions continued to meet the need of the user.
Justin gained the useful range of soft skills common amongst military personnel, of which leadership & management, communication and task delivery being the key skills. He also translated as many of these skills across to formal qualifications throughout his military career and during his transition, including a Post-Graduate Extended Diploma Level 7 in Strategic Management & Leadership, an MA in Military & Security Studies and practitioner qualifications in Programme Management, Project Management (APM and Agile) and Risk Management.
Justin secured his current role as Senior Project Manager for Mace (Defence, Nuclear and Utilities Business Unit) through networking. The BuildForce open days and the Officers Association Employee Forums were a huge support during his transition. Trying to narrow down his focus to specific areas and refining his approach to convert general networking conversation to employment opportunities were Justin’s main challenges during his transition. He would also have liked the opportunity to attend more industry taster days and job placements.
As part of the Mace led Client-Side Partner, Justin is currently supporting the Defence Estate Optimisation (DEO) Programme within the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) specifically supporting the London based sites. He is integrated with Army Basing & Infrastructure alongside both military staff officers and civil servants supporting the delivering of the Better Defence Estates Strategy specifically the London elements of the DEO Programme. This involves supporting development and delivery of requirements, business cases and project artefacts.
Justin’s current role is very similar to his last military role as a Requirements Manager, the difference is now harnessing the external experience and skills of the Client Side Partner to deliver where DIO currently doesn’t have the capacity and help build that future capacity and skill base.
Justin advises those leaving the Armed Forces looking for a career in construction to network, seek job placements, tailor resettlement courses to their target role, and understand the culture of potential employers. Take advantage of the existing military networks and Buildforce connections to get past the HR filter.
And the three words you would use to describe a career in construction? Tangible outputs (focused on fast-paced delivery), Opportunity (Nationally and Globally, Professional and Personnel Development) and People (Both working as part of a team and client interactions).