Welcome to the second in a series of blogs from the Norse Graduates. I’m Matt Goode, a 25 year old, UEA alumni who has spent the past 18 months working as a Graduate for Norse Commercial Services. Following on from Tom Gowman’s blog, it’s my turn to tell the story of my time spent so far at Norse.
Who am I… I joined Norse in October 2015 having graduated with a 1st Class Honours Degree in Business Management BSc (Hons) at the University of East Anglia. In my spare time, I am a keen rugby player and I have been known to ruin a good game of golf from time to time!
Why Norse… Initially, I spotted an advert on the recruitment site ‘Reed’, for a Graduate Management Trainee. The job description included exposure to Finance, Operations, HR and Sales. This is exactly what I was looking for, knowing that I wanted a career in Management but not sure which area I wanted to specialise in – the scheme appeared to cover all bases.
Intrigued and wanting to know more, I was put in touch with the Operations Director of Norwich Norse at the time, Nicola Holden. Nicola and I spoke about what Norse does, how the company was structured and, most importantly, what the company was like to work for. Nicola was clear in saying that, “Norse is a fast-growing company, if you work hard, there are plenty of opportunities available”.
I was sold.
My time with Norse… Fast-forward a couple of weeks and I was employed as a Graduate Trainee in Norse’s Grounds Division. Initially, I was placed within the division’s ‘Projects’ department, a service which carries out one-off landscaping works. I began by assisting with the day-to-day running of the business, including monitoring project performance, providing assistance in quoting for work and carrying out direct email marketing campaigns.
I soon volunteered myself to head up the division’s first ever ‘Contract Review’, essentially individually analysing the profitability of over 900 Grounds Maintenance contracts. This was a great project in that it really gave me something to get my teeth into, and I was able to report my findings regularly to both the Commercial Director and Managing Director.
In July of last year, I was seconded to temporarily fill the position of Landscape Development Manager, vacated by my then line-manager, meaning I was solely responsible for the day-day running of the Projects Department for over 3 months. What seemed to be a daunting task at first, turned out to be a very rewarding experience. I was given exposure to project management, managing front line staff & sub-contractors, all whilst working towards an annual budget of over £650,000 and meeting the health and safety responsibilities required of a landscaping service.
Having spent 17 months in Grounds, it was time to experience another area of the company. Last month I moved to the Facilities Management division – a commercial division of Norse that provides a range of non-core services for commercial buildings. I look forward to seeing what this experience holds over the coming months as I take on the role of Graduate Project Manager at Norfolk County Hall.
What makes the Norse Graduate Scheme Stand Out…For me, the Norse Graduate Scheme is totally unique. Each Graduate is mentored by a Service Director, who is able provide advice and guidance when it’s needed. This combined with a quarterly progress meeting with the HR Director has given me real exposure to the Senior Management Team from Day 1. Furthermore, each Graduate is able to undertake further personal development training, giving graduates a chance to specialise in an area of our choosing.
I hope this has given some insight into my experience of the Norse Graduate Scheme and I hope other people follow me in applying for an exciting and developing organisation.
Thanks for reading,