I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the pitch certainly sounded interesting: “You get to manage contracts worth £10 million”. Not true. You end up managing considerably more than that – in your first year! The landing gear overhaul alone was worth £150 million. You’re in at the deep end early. On my very first day I was given a negotiation to do; within three months I was given a major security project in New York – sourcing suppliers in the market, vetting viable options, running the tender process, writing specifications with the NY team and then negotiating the actual contract. I was proud of that; it ran like a text-book project.
My current remit is huge: all the objects that go on an aircraft, except the passengers. When there’s a question of quality I’m called in to negotiate compensation or a cost-effective solution. After just one year I’m treated like a consultant, helping the business analyse solutions to find even better ways of working.