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Helen Addis
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Project CoordinatorCordant Engineering
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Project Coordinator
Cordant Engineering

Identifying areas of improvement in our business, and implementing projects to improve them. Projects so far have included:
Diversity in Engineering - addressing the gender gap in our industry
Workplace Inclusion - ensuring all employees are engaged and involved in our business
Reporting Transparency - designing a suite of reports to give all employees visibility of team performance

Lucky for me, my current job is my favourite job. I feel like I can really make a difference to the business, but also to the people who work here, and to the wider industry through the projects I get to manage.

Hi, I'm Helen. I'm Project Coordinator at Cordant Engineering, which is a recruitment agency in Manchester. My job involves working with all the teams in the business to identify areas for improvement, and then to come up with projects to tackle those areas. At the moment, my key project centres around encouraging more women to work in engineering, and in engineering recruitment! There is a real gap between the number of women and men that work in the industry, so I'm working on a number of initiatives to contribute to reducing that gap.

I'm also a Masters student at the University of Manchester. I didn't go to university from school, and instead did my undergraduate degree with the Open University while working full time. I'm now doing my Masters part time so that I can keep working. It's important to me to be able to support myself, but also to bring what I learn at university to my work. By working and studying I get the best of both words - and I'm certainly never bored!

English, Spanish, French
Recruitment and human resources HR

I've been really fortunate that people have often seen my potential when I haven't been aware of it. If someone suggests you take on a task, but you're not sure you can do it, my advice would be to try! They've asked you for a reason, so give it a go. My second, and related piece of advice, is never to be afraid to ask for help. I find this a real challenge but I've always found that people are glad to help, and it's important to have a network of support around you.

My Education
MA(Hons) Gender, Sexuality & Culture (in progress)
University of Manchester
BA(Hons) English Language & Literature
The Open University
English Literature, French, Music, Spanish
Boston High School for Girls
Photo Of My Education

I didn't love school although I really enjoy learning - undergrad and postgrad study was much more my style. One thing I really hated was maths, but in so many parts of my job now I have to use basic and not so basic maths. Fortunately I've always enjoyed IT - so I get Excel to do a lot of it for me. I don't get lots of opportunity to use my A-Level subjects in my work, but occasionally we have an international client who prefers to communicate in French or Spanish, and then I get to practise.

More about me

Communication - my work requires me to speak to different people at different levels to achieve anything, so clear written and spoken communication is a must.
Time Management - I have a lot of competing priorities and so it's important that I know how to prioritise and juggle tasks.
Imagination & Aspiration - my job is all about improving our business, so the most important and most fun part is thinking about what changes we can make.

I've found the most useful way to develop my skills has been through finding people in the business to learn from. One of the benefits of working as a PA is always having a senior person in the business who sees what you're doing and wants to invest in your development. I'd suggest seeking this out if it's not immediately available to you.

I had a couple of different ideas when I was at school - I wanted to be a musical theatre actress in the West End or a writer. The first one is out of the question at this point but I still love to write, so you never know...!

I think most people would expect me to say that I would have pursued my education, rather than coming back to it later in life, but to be honest I think it's been really beneficial to me to experience university in a different way. I don't think I'd change anything at this point!

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