Association for Project Management
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Kick Start Your PM Career

The University of South Wales, Newport Campus, hosted a motivational presentation from the APM Young Professional of the Year 2017, David Cross on the 19 February 2020. Supported by members of the SWWE Branch, David discussed why he had chosen Project Management as a career path and how he had benefited from this over the course of his career. Following these presentations, participants split into breakout sessions to discuss various PM topics. The theme of the event was entitled “Kick-Start your Project Management Career” and was aimed at individuals seeking to embark on a career in project management.

In his welcoming address Paul Johnson, the SWWE Newcomers Representative, set the scene for the evening by explaining the nature and structure of the event along with the proposed agenda. He went on to point out that the branch is one of the most active in the APM covering a large geographical area in the South West with nearly 3800 individual and 42 corporate members. The branch organises around 20 member events throughout the year suitable for all levels of experience. It continues to have extensive engagement with academia and corporate members alike providing many individuals with the opportunity to network with employers across many different sectors of industry.

Paul subsequently introduced David Cross, Rolls-Royce as the guest speaker for the event. David introduced himself as a Rolls-Royce Portfolio executive with their civil aerospace business. David studied Mechanical Engineering at Nottingham before joining Rolls-Royce as a Graduate. He currently lives in Derbyshire with Mrs Cross and their dog. David is currently an APM Finals Judge and was awarded APM Young Professional of the Year in 2017.
David gave a brief overview of Rolls-Royce and their focus of Business (they don’t make cars!):

  • Civil Aerospace
  • Defence
  • Power Systems

He also elaborated on Rolls-Royce’s future plans which are predominantly aimed at enabling Rolls-Royce to become Carbon-neutral; electric flight, small nuclear reactors and energy storage.

The main element of David’s presentation focussed upon him and his career, and how Project Management had supported his progression through the company. Joining Rolls-Royce as a graduate, David learnt the Rolls-Royce business through undertaking Quality, Buyer and Operations/Product roles before landing his first project management role. His role focussed upon the introduction of a new production facility that would rationalise and bring efficiencies to the parts and systems produced by Rolls-Royce. David successfully delivered this project and went on to deliver a number of programmes before being promoted into his current role as Portfolio Exec.

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