Emma is a Project Manager based at Portsmouth Naval Base
‘I started my career with the company in 1990, fresh out of school. My original plan had been to join the navy but by the time I was old enough to join I was buying my first house and working full-time. My career started off at the Cowes site where I stayed for five years, and then I left the business. However, in 1998, the opportunity to return came up, and I have been at the company ever since. I have come full circle by wanting to be in the navy at 16 to working with ships daily.
I worked at Cowes until late 2016 and then moved to Portsmouth Naval Base to further my career. Prior to the Portsmouth move I had my children, so worked part-time for 14 years in commercial overseas radar contracts. Once my children had grown up, I returned to full-time work. Previously my career has involved business administration, commercial and then a project officer role at Cowes, and then moving into the project management domain in the Naval Base. For the last five years, I have spent time looking after apprentices to help them develop their careers too which has been rewarding to see them prosper.
I have been very well supported throughout my career, and have been fortunate to have had a good support network. I find being able to pick up the phone and speak with other people about their experiences has been a huge benefit.
Since 2018 I have been heavily involved with Warship Support Delivery Programmes, previously the deputy project manager for HMS Daring and subsequently promoted to project manager for HMS Ledbury, taking her through the bid management phase and now delivering that scope and additional growth.
Working on site every day at Portsmouth enables me to interact face to face with my delivery team, not only in the office but popping on my overalls and being on the ship. One of my biggest challenges has been teamwork, ensuring everyone is on the same page, discussing and empowering them to different ways of thinking. I ask how can we do it differently and more efficiently, and my team has risen to that challenge with positive outcomes and this has been recognised by the MOD customer. Having a good team with me makes life a lot easier.
My journey from a youth trainee administrator to project manager covering a multi-million project is proof that it can be done, believe in yourself and you are in control of your career.’

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