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Jo Addis-Westwood

Asset Manager

Rewarding and Meaningful Experiences

When I had my first interview to join Vercity, the Project Director told me the reason my application stood out was because in my cover letter, I had stated that I wanted a job where I could feel that I had made a difference. Since joining I have had the opportunity to meeting some truly inspiring head teachers at projects we support, that are passionate about giving children the very best educational experience possible; that encourage the children to broaden their aspirations and introduce them to the endless possibilities that are out there. One headteacher commissioned a mural to be painted in the reception area of the school. She wanted it to show landmarks from around the world because a lot of the children within her school had never even seen the sea. Through some negotiation, we managed to fund wall protection to be installed over the mural so that it would remain pristine for many years to come, so that future generations of children can be inspired to ask questions and dream of one day traveling to see the actual places.

Developing Professionally

Since joining Vercity in 2014 I have progressed from Project Administrator to Monitoring Officer, then Operations Officer to Assistant Asset Manager and now I am an Asset Manager. It has been a massive learning curve and I have genuinely enjoyed every minute. Progressing through several roles within a Project Company, before joining the Strategic Asset Management team, has provided me with a rounded understanding of the challenges General Managers face while running a contract on a day-to-day basis. It also gave me the opportunity to learn the mechanics and the importance, of contract interrogation.

Developing Personally

Before joining Vercity, I was made redundant from a job I had held for 10 years. I had developed a wealth of knowledge and experience that meant I could walk into any meeting and know that I would have something constructive to add. Moving into the world of PFI came as a bit of a shock to the system. I would walk into meetings and know that everyone in the room had more knowledge of the contract, the sites, the acronyms than I did, and it was unsettling. Thankfully, I have an inquisitive nature, I am not afraid to ask questions and I am big on conversation. I soon found out that people in the PFI world also enjoy talking and love it when someone takes an interest in what they do. I am a true believer that every day is a school day, and you can learn from everyone you work with, you just must start a conversation.

Women in SAM

I was first inspired to join the SAM team following a presentation by the Head of SAM at the 2017 Vercity annual conference. I spent the next year attending their team meetings, joining them on social events and basically wore them down until they gave me a job. Without exception, every member of the team has made me feel welcome and have been unbelievable supportive while I have been ‘learning the ropes’. They are a team of true gentlemen and a great bunch to work with (and socialise with). As the team has expanded, we have recruited another woman and I look forward to more women joining the team to balance out the scales.

Handling Work–Life Balance

A good work-life balance is made so much easier when you have amazing support around you. Work wise, I am yet to be faced with a challenge that one of SAM members has not already experience and overcome. A quick shout-out to the team and I am inundated with information, advise and solutions. I am also blessed to have an incredible family that pull together to enable me to meet the demands of my job, secure in the knowledge that my children are safe and happy (usually because my husband and mom let them eat far more biscuits, cake and sweets than I would have done!!)

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