Welcome to my first Blog!
The idea of this Blog is to let you know what we, “the Graduates”, get up to here at Norse. As Norse is so diverse, with numerous divisions operating across many locations, each Graduate gets involved with a variety of different tasks.
First of all, I think it’s best that I try and give you an overview of Norse, as I know from experience that trying to learn the huge variety of what Norse does and what makes it so unique, takes time. I will then aim to give a brief introduction of myself and to explain how and why I came to join Norse.
Who are Norse… Norse Commercial Services started in 1988 and forms part of the Norse Group. This is a holding company which comprises of Norse Care, NPS Group and Norse Commercial Services and is wholly owned by Norfolk County Council.
Norse works in harmony with a range of clients nationwide, including local councils, which forms a key part of the business. Norse forms Joint Venture Partnerships with local authorities, where services are transferred by the local authority into a limited business, which is then managed by Norse Commercial Services. In doing so, we raise standards of delivery and add social value, from more efficient management and maintenance of public buildings to healthier school meals, cleaner premises, improved school transport, tidier streets and integrated waste and recycling services. We additionally partner with education and health authorities, housing associations and the private sector to deliver comprehensive Facilities Management, Contract Services and Strategic Partnerships.
Services that Norse provide include: Catering, Cleaning, Grounds, Environmental & Waste Services, Building Maintenance and Transport.
Who am I… I graduated with a 1st Class BA Hons in Business & Management from Lincoln Business School in June, 2014. Midway through my course I took an internship year with Hays Recruitment in London, before going back to university to complete my final year. I enjoy keeping fit, playing golf and support Norwich City – for my sins!
Why Norse… I came across the vacancy in my local newspaper. At this time, I was actively searching for a Graduate Management Programme and saw Norse as the perfect fit. I wanted a programme that offered diversity in services, involvement from day one and a company that looked to develop and support its graduates’ careers. Norse ticked all these boxes, so I had no hesitation in applying.
My time with Norse… I spent my first month with Norse in the Sales & Marketing division in order to gain knowledge of the Norse business and their Joint Venture business model. This also allowed me to gain a good understanding of the complete tender process: from registering an interest, through to the PQQ, in addition to the final tender costing and submission stage.
After my time in sales I moved to Medway Norse, our Joint Venture with Medway Council and spent the following 9 months undertaking numerous tasks. I was involved in managing the transport division, which provides SEN transport to around 200 children in Medway. I also project managed a £1.5m local government cleaning and housing contract which affects 1,294 tenants across Medway, assisted with the re-branding of the catering division, and remodeled the mobile cleaning operation in order to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
After finishing with Medway Norse, I was asked to get involved with the mobilisation and creation of our new £65m Joint Venture with Havant Borough Council – Norse South East. This enabled me to work with the Project & Implementation Manager and alongside Directors from Norse and HBC to migrate operations into the newly formed partnership.
My current position is with the in-house IT Application & Project Services team (ITAPS). ITAPS was developed to manage change requests from across the business which fall in line with our Corporate IT Strategy. I am currently involved in a full scale Business Transformation Project with Newport Norse, where we are changing working processes and implementing a new work order management system to create both cost and time efficiencies. I am also project managing the roll-out of Skype for Business across the group (which forms part of our wider Unified Communications Strategy) and am involved in the design of our new intranet page, together with managing a Play Inspection project across the group.
I hope this has given you a brief insight into the scope and diversity of the Graduate Management Programme at Norse. The business is continuously evolving and with a forward order book exceeding £2 billion it is a really exciting time to join the company.
My programme finishes in February, 2017, so look out for my next blog to see where I graduate to!
Thanks for reading,
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not reflect the views of Norse Commercial Services.