Working at Bouygues UK: Q&A with Rachael Harrison

Did you know that we have Graduate Scheme at Bouygues UK? In fact, we invest heavily in it. Graduates who join us benefit from an extensive range of personal and professional development opportunities, and a strong support network.

We spoke to Bid Writer, Rachael Harrison who has very recently joined the company in a permanent position after finishing her time on our two year Graduate Scheme. Here’s what she had to say about it.

Tell us a bit about you and your role.
Hi, I’m Rachael Harrison, a Bid Writer in the Residential Preconstruction team and I have recently come off the Bouygues UK graduate scheme.

What do you do in your day to day?
I write responses and collate information to put together competitive bids for us to win new residential building projects. My role includes tasks such as persuasive writing, editing of provided content, developing key bid win themes relative to the knowledge of our client, working with the graphics team to develop a final submission design, creating client presentations for the Business Development Team and Directors to use in client meetings and writing award entries. So, as you can see it is very varied!

What’s the biggest challenge in your role?
I would say the biggest challenge in my role is gathering technically complex response material from a selection of subject matter experts. For the bids I write, I have to make sure that the content both answers the questions at hand and is aligns with bid win themes, while navigating tight bid deadlines.

What are you most proud of since starting out at (insert entity)?
I’m most proud of working on a selection of successful bids, including the bid for the Peckham & Flaxyards development – which is just down the road from my last flat in London! It’s exciting being part of the regeneration of a community so close to your own home and being able to see what you’ve written about come to life in the real world.

What is a common misconception about your role?
A common misconception is that we just get provided with the all the raw written content and then just copy and paste the text into each bid. Being a bid writer is so much more about client strategy, communication themes and effective people management. We are in charge of communicating the often complex and technical information in a way that the everyday person can easily understand, while also persuading the client that what we do aligns with their values and overarching project vision.

What do you like most about working at Bouygues UK?
I like the challenge and responsibility that you’re offered right from the outset; there’s a strong sense of trust from those higher up in the business. I also like being able to see my efforts come into fruition through progression of real-life building projects. I’m getting to the stage now of being in the business long enough to see the things I’ve written about in bids come to life on our projects, and that’s a really rewarding process.

How do you think the Graduate Scheme will benefit your development in the long-term?
The opportunities I’ve been provided with through the grad scheme have immensely helped me develop my confidence and people management skills. Also, the connections that the scheme has helped me to create are proving to be extremely useful, not just for my core role as a bid writer but also for my personal reputation and career development. I am now on first term basis with several directors and managers throughout all areas and levels of the business. To have my name and personal brand known by them gives me a boost in confidence and has provided me with many useful resources for my own career path.

What would you say to someone considering applying for the Graduate Scheme?
The opportunities, challenges, resources and connections available to you on the grad scheme will help you to develop a really solid foundation to your career; if you can get through the Bouygues UK grad scheme you can do anything!

Where do you see yourself this time next year?
I hope to be an established bid writer and continuing to win new and exciting projects for Bouygues UK. I see myself working further to expand my strategic knowledge and decision-making skills while integrating across the business development, social value and bid management departments. I have no doubt I will continue to be challenged with new ways of working and new opportunities, and I’m very excited for it!

Find out more about our Graduate Programme here.