Towards the end of last year, Storm Ellis joined i3Works as our 100th employee. Now that she’s had time to settle in, we asked her to share her experience of joining the i3Works family, why she chose Project Controls over Aerospace Engineering and what she’s learnt so far.
Why Project Controls?
Choosing a career that is different from your qualifications or work experience bubble can be a daunting decision. But the first key step into any successful venture is recognising who you are as a person and what you can bring to the table.
I have always been on the engineering path, my GCSE’s and A-levels consisted of Engineering based qualifications and I eventually progressed to attaining an MSc in Aerospace Engineering. I had a keen interest in Defence but after completing my degree I found that my passion didn’t reside in engineering. I thoroughly enjoyed problem-solving, understanding complex data and finding solutions to a range of problems but I didn’t want to work in an engineering environment. I did however sit a project management module at university which I knew I really enjoyed.
I started my career in projects through the graduate scheme at DE&S and whilst this role presented a wealth of opportunities I wanted to get experience in other environments. I experienced both Project management and Project controls-based roles whilst on the scheme, and project controls was my niche as it is less people-orientated and more data-driven, which fitted in well with my qualifications and experience. i3Works offered the challenge and independence coupled with the support of a supportive network of line managers and like-minded consultants.
What specifically drew you to i3Works?
I was fortunate enough to be contacted by a recruiter who recognised my potential from my CV and knew I would be a great fit for i3Works. I was looking for a role that offered security alongside opportunities to develop both personally and professionally. After an initial chat with the recruiter, I knew that i3Works was an organisation I wanted to be a part of. At the time the company was, and still is, an up-and-coming consultancy. I was the 100th employee, and the company’s small size meant I wasn’t just another number on the payroll. I knew from the beginning that they would view me as an asset and treat me accordingly and that is still the case now that they have grown even bigger.
A big factor that attracted me to i3Works was the fact my contract is to work from home, which was extremely important to me due to having three dogs that were used to having company 24/7 after Covid-19. i3Works fully understood my commitments and have supported me by reimbursing any commuting I may have to make for my role client side and accommodate any emergencies I’ve had along the way.
How has i3Works allowed you to develop?
i3Works are great supporters of personal and professional development. We are encouraged to achieve practitioner-level qualifications, however, there is no pressure. You can undertake foundation-level qualifications to bridge gaps in knowledge and gain the core skills that can be applied within your role prior to the larger certifications. As a Project Controls Consultant, I have undertaken the AgilePM foundation qualification, this certification allowed me to demonstrate a proven level of competency and skill allowing me to work on more challenging projects in the future. I am presently undertaking my APM PMQ certification which will open the doors for me to gain the internationally recognised MAPM post-nominals.
I have since discovered that I thoroughly enjoy bid work within the company, finding new business and opportunities for i3Works to grow and communicating our strengths to potential customers. As a result, I am looking to progress my bid skillset through the APM Bid & Proposal Management certification. I hope that in the future I may take on a more bid-focused role, but for the present moment, I am working towards the role of Senior Consultant, which will allow me to hold more responsibility client side and within i3Works itself.