The first cohort of DfTc’s flagship Commercial Development Programme (CDP) has successfully completed the scheme and associates were recognised for all their hard work and achievements over the last three years at a graduation event hosted by the Permanent Secretary and CDP sponsors Lucy Chadwick and Nick Joyce.
Looking back on their time on the programme, associates spoke about the technical skills they’ve mastered and the breadth, depth and volume of DfTc’s commercial work – from negotiating multi million pound contracts to managing compliance on some of our most high profile major projects. All with unrivalled support and opportunities for learning.
Oliver Bradley, Commercial Management team Midlands, shares his journey.
It would be disingenuous to say that I had planned to be a commercial professional in the Civil Service. The honest truth is that I fell into it and I’ve been very fortunate that my career has started this way.
At my state comp I had some exceptional teachers, who inspired and drove me to be ambitious. I was the first in my family to enter higher education and I read Economics and French at the University of Leeds.
I initially applied for the Fast Stream but unfortunately fell just short of the required threshold and received the rejection letter. Unknown to me I was put on a merit list in case individual Departments wanted to make contact about other opportunities.
Thinking I’d have to wait a year to reapply (and having secured a graduate job as a tax accountant which I didn’t really want), I secured a summer internship in a logistics company in China as a temporary solution to the post-university uncertainty about what to do for the next stage of my life.
While I was over there I was contacted by the Department for Transport about a new commercial graduate scheme: a few Skype interviews later I was convinced that the programme was right for me and I booked my flight back to the UK.
Since then I’ve had so many fantastic experiences and have worked with a number of brilliant colleagues.
I’ve worked on some of the most significant projects, programmes and policy initiatives across the Department’s portfolio in the rail, maritime and aviation sectors, and been given real responsibility for delivery.
I’ve provided commercial and financial advice to Ministers and senior teams as well as represented the Department at external stakeholder events.
I completed the three placements on the Commercial Development Programme and successfully applied for the role I was doing as my third placement, which was a substantive Grade 7 position.
I manage the contract between the Secretary of State and the train operator for the West Midlands franchise. It’s a cliché, but the variety of work really does mean that no two days are the same. I thoroughly enjoy the responsibility of delivering improvements for passengers and the travelling public. The role is a fascinating insight into rail franchising and the political environment of the industry.
Congratulations Cohort 1 and we look forward to your continued success as commercial managers in DfTc!
The application window for Cohort 5 of the CDP is live until 30 November 2017 on CS Jobs. Please log in and search for Department for Transport to apply. If you would like to find out more, please contact the programme team.
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