by Gary Gerrard, marketing and communications consultant
Forrest Gump spoke of life being like a box of chocolates. Admittedly, he goes on to say that you never know what you’re going to get, which suggests that he never bothered looking at the card or on the side of the box that clearly identifies what all the chocolates are.
However, ignoring the erroneous reasoning, the first part of his metaphor stands: Life is like a box of chocolates. You have your favourites, the ones that you’re happy to give away, and the ones that get left there until they’re thrown, still stuck in the box, into the recycling.
After having passed my viva in late January 2020, the irony certainly wasn’t lost on me when I emerged into a job market that was swiftly ravaged by a global pandemic. I had spent years researching the history of health and medicine in the British Empire for my PhD, spending much of my time uncovering the effects of another pandemic on everyday life. Cue Peter Lamborn Wilson’s famous adage that those who study history are doomed to watch others repeat it.
Whatever the case, it wasn’t great timing. Fortunately, I was able to make ends meet by working as a freelance content writer, while (im)patiently waiting for the right career move to come along.
A huge congratulations to Natalie Talbot on becoming the first alumni of our i3Institute’s graduate scheme. Having passed multiple P3M and project control exams over the last 18 months, she has also seamlessly embedded herself client-side with exceptional feedback, and played a key role in developing our culture and processes across i3Works itself.
Nat is now a fully-fledged consultant and will continue to play an integral part in mentoring the latest intake to the institute as deputy lead of our graduate scheme.
It has been five months since I joined the Project Controls Academy (PCA). It really does not feel like it has been five months, which is a testament to how much I am enjoying being a part of the PCA. Despite only meeting my peers once for our induction, we have all bonded. I could not ask for a better group of people to be on this journey with. Moving to a new job is scary enough, but doing so during a global pandemic even more so. The camaraderie between us all has made it much easier, and being a part of such a supportive network has only spurred the motivation of each member of the PCA.
i3Works has been providing assurance and audit services for some years now. While we already count defence, nuclear and local government among clients who have benefited from our service over recent years, the requests for our skills in this area continues to grow. In fact, it has grown so much recently that we have decided to establish assurance as a dedicated service line.
I am proud to be the first head of this new service, and would like to take this opportunity to tell you about what i3Works can do for you. To do this, we first need to consider what assurance means.
In July, I started as programme benefits management lead within the Defence sector, and have been specialising in all things outcomes, benefits and measurements ever since. I have put into action the experience and knowledge from my first year to proactively establish, manage and track benefits within 10 projects, and at the programme level.
It’s the first week of February 2021. The second month of another year that, like its predecessor, will endlessly be described as unprecedented and challenging. Nonetheless, it is still worth reflecting and asking ourselves the question: are we keeping up with our new year resolutions? Or more importantly, should we be setting them at all?
As I reflect on the last year, I am overwhelmed by the achievements of our staff, as individuals and as a company. Even in the strangest year any of us are likely to experience, we have expanded the skillsets and qualifications across our services, grown our i3Institute, established ourselves in new sectors, and strengthened our position in others.