I graduated with an Upper Second in Modern History and joined the civil service a year later. After moving down to London I ended up in a specialist procurement job, where I gained my professional procurement qualifications (Membership of the Chartered Institute of Supply Management - MCIPS). That was when I applied for a procurement job with MI6.
I hadn't really thought about MI6 as somewhere I could develop a career as a procurement specialist. But I was intrigued to know what the organisation was about and what sort of out-of-the-ordinary things they might buy.
The recruitment and selection process, and the vetting in particular, was long and involved. But this reassured me that the Service was serious about who they let through the door, and I was pleased that they made such an effort with recruiting.
Since I joined MI6 I’ve worked purely in procurement, buying a range of services and goods. Although what I do has a lot in common with other procurement roles, I've been involved in a number of novel and cutting-edge projects that I certainly wouldn’t have had the chance to work on if I’d been working somewhere else.
MI6 is a relatively small organisation in comparison to other places I’ve worked, and there’s almost a 'family' feel to it. Once you’re through the door, it’s very open – you’re encouraged to be an active member of the organisation, and take an interest in its work. You have the opportunity to make as much as you want of your career here.