Working in Project Management

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When I was at school I remember really, really wanting to be an ‘astronaut dinner lady’. Seeing as we hadn’t colonised the moon by the time I hit 16, I soon realised I’d need a Plan B.

I remember being slightly apprehensive about applying to Nationwide, but it’s safe to say I’m proud of where I am today. Looking back, the worst advice I’ve ever been given was that you had to follow a traditional education path (School > College > University) in order to have a successful career. 

“ We have a lot of graduate opportunities - this year we’re offering up to 30 graduates a place on the ‘Business Transformation’ graduate programme ”

While we do have a lot of graduate opportunities (this year we’re offering up to 30 graduates a place on the ‘Business Transformation’ graduate programme) there’s a good mix of experienced professionals and employees like me who’ve worked their way up. It makes the teams really diverse and interesting.

I now work in Business Transformation as part of the ‘EPMO Planning & Reporting team’, supporting the annual Portfolio Planning Process.

As a department, Business Transformation brings together our Project Management teams from IT & Change Management. We also have a separate PMO area which looks after the architecture and planning of business and technological change.

“ In total these teams have a budget of £2.5 billion invested in change projects over the next five years. (Broken down, each of the projects we work on can range between £1.5 million and £20 million). ”

My job is to provide an appropriate level of insight and analysis to the Executives, who then ensure we have the correct mix of projects in our Portfolio.

Day to day there are over 200 projects which are in flight, so the teams need to be extremely dynamic and fast paced. It can be challenging, but it’s meant the scope of activities I’ve been involved with is huge: everything from creating an executive reporting app to developing a Portfolio League table!

What’s surprised me most about working here is the ability our teams have to influence the bigger picture. It’s rewarding being able to relate how my contribution will impact the overall society and ultimately our customers.

“ Aside from the career progression, the fact I still have time to do the things I love outside of work is one of the reasons I’m still here. ”

I really didn’t expect to have that clear line of sight given the size of the organisation, but I’m encouraged to think expansively - it’s great knowing the importance of my role.

I was more than happy to be part of the ‘you’re not just your day job campaign’; aside from the career progression, the fact I still have time to do the things I love outside of work is one of the reasons I’m still here. There are the odd days where I’ve needed to work slightly later to hit a deadline, but I’ve always been encouraged to take the time back when there’s less pressure. We’re also encouraged to work from home if we need to which is a plus.

What do you need to work in Business Transformation? You definitely need to be a creative, calm and confident - and good at working with others.

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Interested in working for Business Transformation? We offer graduates joining our Business Transformation programme a starting salary of £28,000 p.a. 

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