Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to pursue a career as a Material Scheduler?
Initially, I didn’t intend to go into the construction industry. When I left secondary school, I started sixth form studying Law. After several weeks I swiftly realised it wasn’t for me and that I wanted a more hands-on education.
I completed an apprenticeship in Business Administration and started working for a construction-based company. Shortly after I joined, I got the opportunity to work within a newly established civil engineering team as a procurement assistant.
The fast-paced nature and wide variety of work got me hooked. Eventually, I became more interested in the technical aspects. It is this passion that has led me to my current role as a Material Scheduler.
What key skills do you need as a Material Scheduler?
I would say the most important skill to a Material Scheduler would be accuracy. There could be cost implications or time delays if you are incorrect with any measurements. Communication is also a key skill, liaising between site, commercial, procurement and suppliers to ensure material is on-site in a timely manner and in line with budgets.
What does your typical day look like?
Everyday is varied depending on the projects I'm working on at any one time. However, I typically start my day by establishing which tasks are high priority and if I have anything outstanding from the previous day or week to ensure I’m on track to deliver actions on time. In between working through my tasks, my day can also include on-site meetings, obtaining quotes from suppliers and liaising with the procurement department.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love the technical side of the role, really getting into the detail of a project - I take great pride in ensuring things are delivered on time and on budget. The other side of the role which I really like is building strong relationships with suppliers, other departments and the teams working on-site on a project. Communication underpins everything I do and I thoroughly enjoy getting to know, learning from and working effectively within other people and teams.
What advice would you give to someone considering a career like yours?
Not to be overwhelmed by the demands of the job and never be afraid to ask questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question! Also to be realistic with your workload, if you feel like you can't take any more on, speak up. Your team is there to help you learn and grow but they can only support you if they know you need a bit of help.
How did you find working with the team at Coleman James?
Honestly, it's been a pleasure to deal with Charlotte Smart. She answered all of my questions - which there were lots - and was well informed of EQUANS and the New Build team in which I was placed.
Charlotte kept me up-to-date on my application progress and talked me through the interview stage. After securing the job, she still keeps in touch and it's always nice to see her around our office!