William Jarrett-Kerr’s exhilarating career has taken him from isolated deserts to bustling cities. Using his skills as a Royal Engineer Officer he’s now managing private sector projects at Mace and has found that the roles are not too dissimilar.
- How did your career lead you to Mace?
I’ve had an interesting route to Mace. Just as I graduated from university the recession hit. I was left struggling to find a meaningful career so I went travelling and ended up volunteering in Bolivia. It led to a year of intense leadership and management training to become an army officer at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst and, from there, I went on to train as a Royal Engineer Officer.
Seven years and seven homes later, having served in Germany, Canada, Norway, Kenya, Jordan and Afghanistan, I wrapped up my career as a Captain and found Mace through other military personnel in the business.
- How have you found the transition into Mace?
- It was nerve racking moving from army life and not having specific industry knowledge. You have to just trust your skills and throw yourself in; the required knowledge comes quickly. You’ll get support, especially within Mace. I’ve been really lucky, especially with my initial team who has always supported me. I’m aware of many service leavers that have found the transition far harder.
- How has your career progressed since joining Mace?
- I joined Mace as a project manager in January 2016. Since then I’ve been fortunate enough to work on some amazing projects and have been promoted, through senior project manager to associate director.
- Do you have a particular interest within Mace?
Development of people and teams is something I’ve always taken a great interest in. I’m now the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) champion for private sector project management. I’m also passionate about Mace’s military community and how we can continually develop the two-way relationship with the Armed Forces.
- What do you most enjoy about your current role at Mace?
The people. Wherever I’ve worked it’s always the people that make the job enjoyable. When job hunting after the army it was really important for me to work for a company I can believe in and be proud of. Mace not only talks a good game about being a responsible business, but you can really feel the importance placed on it.
- What skills do you need to be good at your job?
- Hard project management skills are clearly important, but for me, it’s the softer elements where projects are won or lost. Project managers need to be resilient as they are often in the middle of opposing forces, under great pressure, and they need integrity to do the right thing rather than the easiest. You need emotional intelligence and situational awareness to respond appropriately to the full spectrum of people, skills and issues.
- What are you passionate about outside of work?
- My family is my life, I’ve got an amazing wife who’s supported me since university, following me around the world when I was in the army, so it’s great for her to be settled now and able to thrive in her career. I’ve also got two young children. I’m now one of those overly enthusiastic dads at my son’s football club. Most of my attention, however, is on my two year old daughter who seems to run the family!
“I’m passionate about Mace’s military community and how we can continually develop the two-way relationship with the Armed Forces.”