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It has been nearly 2 years since I started working for Heathrow Airport on the Graduate Programme as part of the Procurement department. During this time Heathrow has been through dramatic changes from the 3rd runway judicial review to the emergence of the global pandemic. Both events have shaped my time at Heathrow and has continued to make Heathrow an exciting and interesting place to work.

The Procurement department has been central to helping Heathrow get through probably the toughest period in its history. Procurement has supported this through negotiating millions of pounds savings whilst supporting innovative projects to ensure that Heathrow can win back the recovery. Working from home has not been easy but the procurement team has made a conscious effort to ensure that the team continues to have a great atmosphere just as it did before the pandemic hit.

I have been able to play a part in the airport’s response to the pandemic throughout my time on the Procurement Graduate programme. Within each of my 5 placements, I had the opportunity to work on exciting projects. In Infrastructure Procurement I helped lead the commercial element of a multi-million-pound upgrade of some of our fire safety systems. This provided me with the opportunity to work with some of the biggest suppliers in the construction industry and walk along the roof of Terminal 4. I subsequently then worked in procurement teams supporting engineering, security, the contractual advice team as well as more recently the cyber and technology team. This provided me with the opportunity to work on projects from improving our social media systems, installing thousands of new lights, negotiating maintenance contracts for security systems, and advising on professional services agreements. This has meant that I have been able to work with stakeholders from legal, data protection, marketing, engineering, security technology and the customer service team and many more. Working on these interesting projects, with a variety of teams to ensure that Heathrow gets value for money, is what makes Heathrow a great place to work.
Whilst working on these projects, I have been able to gain a large amount of experience and skills from negotiating and stakeholder management, project planning and contract writing in addition to building an understanding of how to increase value. As well as learning ‘on the job’, the procurement team often provides ‘Lunch and Learns' to build an understanding of topics from IPR to data protection to the whole team which has been integral to my development. I have also been able to take the opportunity to learn more about the profession and develop my skills through taking exams in procurement, which will lead to a professional qualification (CIPS).   
As highlighted above the range of projects, teams, and development opportunities that you experience whilst working for Heathrow procurement is vast. It is for this reason that the graduate programme, is in no doubt, a great place to start your career.



Avi Kabrellian