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Network Rail: A Day in the Life of a Senior Commercial Manager

Category: testimonial

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Following the successful launch of the Commercial recruitment campaign in November last year. Over the next few weeks we are going to share different stories to help you picture yourself in one of our roles.

Our #Ibelong campaign celebrates the inspiring stories of members who leveraged their professional careers and have the opportunity to land their dream jobs. We hope their professional journey will also inspire others.

Rory is one of our Senior Commercial Managers located in Manchester . Here’s what he has to say about working at Network Rail.

My alarm goes off…Nice and early – there is some flexibility around core working hours and I like to start early and finish early to avoid the worst traffic. By 7am I am on my motorbike, enjoying the quiet country lanes and heading towards central Manchester.

I am responsible for…Overseeing the commercial management of a project portfolio with a combined value of £185m and this is set to increase substantially.

I got my job at Network Rail…because I wanted to get into infrastructure. I previously worked as a cost manager specialising in property for mainly private clients. I became disillusioned with the focus on profit margins and wanted to concentrate on delivering quality and safety that benefits the public. At Network Rail I work with engineers instead of architects. It’s less about briefcases and shiny shoes and more about backpacks and safety boots.

My typical day…There is no such thing! The variety is constant. Typical duties include meeting with project teams at progress meetings to ensure everything is going smoothly and head off any potential issues, catching up with my staff to see that their projects are progressing well, then some number crunching for cost reporting and forecasting.

My most memorable work moment…Seeing the dawn break and the sun-rise on a summer morning when working a night-shift to support a commissioning. I love being outside and my variety of projects and locations means I’m not stuck behind a desk too often.

My advice for anybody who wants to work in my field... Just do it! Get the right qualifications, show enthusiasm and get stuck-in. I changed career to commercial management in my mid-thirties which meant going back to university. The opportunities are endless and I’ve never looked back.

The best part of my job/ most challenging... For me the best part of the job is going out on site and seeing the procurement strategy that I worked hard to propose and implement now bearing fruit. Seeing the improvements to our rail infrastructure happening before me, knowing that this strategy is now employing all these workers will benefit thousands of future rail users.

After work... Back on the motorbike and back home before the worst of the traffic. Then straight to the gym. Network Rail understand the importance of giving their staff time to recover so I don’t have to keep answering emails all night, allowing me to bring my best self to work every day.  

Network Rail offers flexible working arrangements to supports colleagues to manage their working life and other priorities. it is open to all colleagues.

We want you to feel confident to talk to us about your flexible working needs. Our commitment is to accommodate them wherever we can. Lets have a conversation.

At Network Rail we give our employees the chance to build successful careers with us, encouraging ambition and offering great training and career development opportunities. With our commitment to individual growth, we’ve set up our own state-of-the art training and development centres, with almost all our tuition and guidance delivered by our own people. We believe investing in our people, and helping them progress their careers, is one of the most effective ways to achieve a better railway.

To find out about our Commercial opportunities, please email Erika.diaz@networkrail.co.uk 


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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email info@vercida.com for more information.

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Network Rail

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