Starting a career in project management
By Jasmine Maher, Project Manager
To say my career has been a rollercoaster ride since I joined Indigo is an understatement, especially when you consider that I had absolutely no experience of the telecom sector when I started in 2016. Today, I am just over two years into my role as PM working with some of the biggest telecom companies on the planet.
I was promoted to my current role in 2019 after I completed the APM Project Management qualification (SCQF Level 7), which demonstrates knowledge of all elements of PM and how they fit into strategic and commercial environments. With a lot of homework in the evenings, it took around six months to complete after Indigo signed me up to get the qualification.
At the moment I’m working on fibre network infrastructure, but the APM qualification gives me PM skills that could easily be applied to the data centre or wireless side of the business. It broadens my job prospects and offers a career roadmap where the next step is a more senior APM qualification.
Training and a lot of management hand-holding has helped me progress so quickly at Indigo. When I first joined as a Project Coordinator, assisting in the scheduling of engineers in line with service level agreements, there was around four months of on-the-job training.
My line manager would take me aside for a whiteboard session at the start of each week and give me an overview of what was coming down the track. It was a great way of getting to grips with technology that seemed quite daunting at first. After a couple of months it all started to click, and while I would never claim to be a technical expert, I am familiar enough with what matters for the job.
A more important skill is being organised and having the ability to juggle multiple projects. I’ve always been a planner and a list-maker, useful skills for project management. At the risk of blowing my own trumpet, I’d also say I’m very good with customers; I can quickly build rapport with people and establish a trusting relationship. This is key to the job. The culture at Indigo is all about being open and transparent, keeping customers in the loop on what’s happening.
My job is to be a mediator between dozens of equipment suppliers and hundreds of end customers, with our engineers doing the installation work in the middle. I co-ordinate the procurement and delivery of the hardware, something that became even more of a challenge during Covid. Supply chains that were already strained with UK clients after Brexit were further disrupted by hardware shortages.
Using our Salesforce database, I was able to pull assets from one place and use them to fill gaps in another. If clients agreed to the plan, I would swap out equipment to make sure prioritised projects were kept on track. It’s been a challenging but rewarding time that highlights how Indigo is always there for the customer, problem solving and finding ways around obstacles, however big they may seem.
Most of the time I’m at my desk in Indigo’s Monmouthshire headquarters, but that all changed with the pandemic and lockdown. As it turned out, home working was nothing new for me – I have customers in Singapore, Canada and India, so hours inevitably vary with the different time zones. I am used to making and taking calls outside the office, which is fine by me because I like that it’s never boring.
After I left school with A-levels I was more interested in getting a job and starting a career than going to university. It took two false starts – in the beauty industry and an office job – before I found myself at Indigo, thanks to a tip of about a vacancy from a cousin who worked there. I know it’s a cliché, but I can honestly say I’ve never looked back.
If you are interested in developing your career with Indigo, contact us today.