Working as a Graduate in Procurement
Without Procurement there would be no supply chain; and without a supply chain, our exciting, innovative and ground-breaking projects simply wouldn't happen. Graduate Trainee, Chris Nicolaou, talks about his experience working in such a fundamental area of the business, and how he is finding the Bouygues Energies & Services General Management Graduate Scheme...
As a graduate, stepping into the world of Procurement can be daunting, especially if you have no prior experience. However as time goes on, you adapt to the expectations of the role and the gap between university and the world of work narrows. Perhaps I'm biased, but I believe a placement in Procurement provides the perfect platform for any Graduate to broaden their horizons; and here’s why:
Variety and Opportunity
Firstly, variety. Every day is different. Working with raw materials, suppliers and contractors, you meet a variety of people and this helps to develop your niche. Travelling to sites in Belfast, Scotland and Dublin has given me the chance to discover different places that I would never have explored had it not been for my placement. I think this appeals to so many young graduates, as it can often be difficult finding an opportunity which offers both travel and work. The two hardly ever go hand in hand, yet Procurement is the perfect anomaly
Gaining Sound Business Acumen
Secondly, the relationship between Procurement and Commercial is very close, and getting an early grasp on finance is a great foundation for most career paths. Whether it be Finance, General Management or Engineering placements, it is imperative to know your figures. Working in Procurement provides this exposure and you quickly become a major player in piloting growth and improving the business' supply chain.
Growing Your Business Network
Lastly, and arguably most importantly, a placement in Procurement offers great exposure to corporate events. In November I was lucky enough to be involved in the organisation of Bouygues Energies & Services' Annual Supply Chain Forum. The day consisted of talks from guest speakers, interactive workshops and a networking session. This provided me with an invaluable experience as an entry level graduate. The event was really successful, and vendors came away being "more determined than ever" to work with Bouygues Energies & Services. Out of the 220 attendees, 95% said they would attend again and 88% would recommend working with us.
It was really fulfilling to see the event I had helped create, conclude with such success. I left having built working relationships with people I would never have met otherwise. My experience so far within Procurement has been indispensable to my career development and I have only just hit the tip of the iceberg.
If I had any advice to give to current undergraduates applying for placements, it would be:
- Don't be afraid of making mistakes, because at this stage, if you're not making mistakes you're probably not doing anything at all.
- Don't sit across from someone and type them an email; get up, speak to people and build relationships with them. This makes work more enjoyable and people are more inclined to help you in the future. If you're working remotely, give someone a call!
- Be confident and act proactively. This will demonstrate to others that you can complete tasks efficiently.
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