From Army Captain to Senior Programme Manager

Katherine Allt – After serving as a Captain in the Royal Signals for nine years, Katherine joined professional services giant EY where she works primarily with infrastructure clients to help them deliver large transformational programmes.

Katherine’s last posting in the Army was SO3 Ops Information Management (12 Mechanised Brigade):

“I was responsible for implementing an MOD Information Management policy directive across a business unit of 5000. The Brigade deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 so much of my work was involved in preparing both the Brigade staff and associated units for deployment.”

Her duties gave her skills in leadership, working under pressure and planning, all of which fed into her new role as a senior manager in EY’s Programme Management Advisory team, where she provides both programme management and programme assurance support to her clients helping them to plan and deliver to cost, quality and time.

“The work changes regularly so I never get bored. This week I have been leading a multi-million pound bid for one of EY’s large infrastructure clients and next week I will be undertaking a programme review for a central government department. I also have recruitment responsibilities, facilitate training delivery and am an EY executive coach, so days are usually quite full!”

Among the skills gained from her Army career Katherine cites being flexible, organised and able to work under pressure. So how did she manage the transition?

“Once I had decided to leave the Services, I spent a considerable amount of time networking and was fortunate to be sponsored into EY by an ex-Military colleague.

“It was a life-long ambition to undertake a full-time MBA, which I did on leaving the Army. During this year, I got used to being a ‘civvie’. I was also able to benchmark myself against my civilian peers allowing me to really understand the strengths I had from being in the Army. This proved invaluable on moving into a new career.

“On arrival at EY, it certainly took some time to get used to working in a different leadership structure, getting to grips with a large number of new processes and hot-desking! I loved the transition process as it was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. As long as you are pro-active and get out and learn as much as you can about organisations you are interested in, the transition will go ok. I’d advise anyone seeking a civilian career in the construction industry to network, network, network!”

Katherine Allt
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