Lydia initially graduated with a degree in film and theatre. After getting a place with the army at Sandhurst, she is now a detachment commander...
I work within the human resources division of the Army. Human resources form a big part of any organisation, so I see my job as essential to ensuring that the people element of the Army is looked after and that pay and benefits are competitive.
I was working as a financial adviser for the Royal Bank of Scotland Group when I heard about Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. The Army appealed to me because the career prospects are good and there is such a wide variety of jobs under one organisation.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to go into the Territorial Army (TA) or the Regular Army, so I applied online for the TA but was contacted for the regulars. I went to an Army career office and was sent to my regional representative. Based on my experience, he pointed me in the direction of the Educational and Training Services (ETS). After attending an ETS familiarisation visit, I was offered sponsorship through the boarding process. Before I knew it, I was walking up the steps of Sandhurst with an ironing board under arm.
My role in the Army develops continuously. After commissioning, I was given a number of tasks to take ownership of, including Resettlement and Press Officer, with the aim of shadowing the role of the Regimental Administration Officer (RAO).
Halfway through my tour, I was given the opportunity to step up to RAO, which meant taking responsibility for the management and leadership of the whole department. Having deployed on operations, I've had the opportunity to put this into practice as RAO forward. This has been a fantastic opportunity and puts into perspective just how important our role is to the successful running of a unit.
I don't think there is such thing as a typical day in my job. Outside the office environment, I've had so many opportunities that would have never been possible if I was still working in banking, from flying in a helicopter to skiing in Norway. There are plenty of opportunities for international mobility within the Army. Other than the obvious operational tours, there are also posting opportunities to places such as Germany or Cyprus.
One of my career goals is to obtain my Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) qualification. My ideal job would be recruiting for my corps. I love my job, and to be able to sell that opportunity to others would be great.
If you're interested in a career in the Army, you need to be enthusiastic, flexible and willing to explore and take advantage of opportunities in order to get the most out of it.
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