Jonathan Grice is on the graduate training programme at building services firm NG Bailey. He gained a 2:1 in business information and technology at the University of Central Lancashire in 2005.
It was during his placement year in the supply department of the Big Food Group that Jonathan realised he wanted to find a job that meant working with people, rather than sitting behind a computer.
"At the end of that year I picked up some summer work with NG Bailey to earn some extra cash, and worked over the summer as a pipe fitter’s mate," he says. "I realised that I was really motivated by the construction industry because everyone is working together towards a common goal. I really liked the project-based nature of the work and the team-work element. However, I was unsure whether there would be a role for me as I didn’t have a construction or engineering related degree."
But while he was working for the organisation, Jonathan came across an interview with graduate resourcing and development manager Alison Morrison where she talked about the graduate training programme at NG Bailey. "I realised that the company would recruit people from a range of degree disciplines so I applied and after a rigorous recruitment process, I was offered a place on the training programme," he explains. "I felt my business background was a strong selling point during the recruitment process."
In September 2005, Jonathan started the two-year training programme which includes a postgraduate diploma in management with Loughborough University. "I’ll get experience in a range of different areas of the organisation. At the moment I’m analysing the way that we bid for tenders and looking at how we can strategically improve that process. The best parts of the job are getting continual development and building a good working relationship with people across the organisation."
He says he would definitely recommend the industry to other graduates. "You need to have good communication skills and show that you have the ability to lead. As someone who doesn’t have a related degree you need to demonstrate you do want to develop those skills and are willing to go the extra mile and work outside your remit."