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Taking 5 with Mel Russell- Assistant Bid Manager

We have seen phenomenal growth in the Barker team over the last couple of years as we have recruited fantastic talent across a variety of roles and departments. Mel joined our bid team just over 4 months ago, so we grabbed her for a quick chat to find out how she is getting on and what she’s enjoying most about her new role:


Hi Mel! Tell us a little bit about your professional background:

I spent the first 10 years of my career working in public libraries. I quickly worked my way up and at the end of my time working for Surrey County Council I was managing and in charge of 4 of them.

From here I then found myself working in administration. I was a Personal Assistant to the headteacher of an academy for a couple of years, before eventually finding my way into the construction industry. Prior to working for Barker I gained 3 years’ worth of bid writing experience for some well known demolition contractors.


What does your role as an Assistant Bid Manager involve?

The role tends to be a fast paced role with a constant stream of work to complete (which is great)! Some of the most important parts of the job revolve around sourcing new business opportunities through procurement portals, compiling documents for tenders, chasing people from the relevant departments for crucial information, working to very strict deadlines, creating PowerPoint presentations for post tender interviews and assisting colleagues with grant funding applications.


Why did you choose to come and work for Barker:

When I researched Barker prior to my interview, I loved how people-orientated and staff focused they were, with an emphasis on supporting people and helping them grow within their career. I also really love the fact Barker operates across sectors and services like education and energy where our work can really make a difference.


What are you most looking forward to working for Barker?

I am looking forward to having the opportunity to experience working on a variety of projects, as well as being able to see these projects through quite literally from start (bid process) to finish (project completion). I feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that I have contributed towards us winning a tender, so I look forward to continuing to help the team win new business. Since joining Barker, I have really enjoyed the working environment and look forward to continuing to get to know and work alongside all my colleagues, not to mention looking forward to all the ‘Mid Month Munchies’ and ‘End of Month drinks’ events I have to come!


Tell us some fun facts about yourself:

I am allergic to sundried tomatoes, I am in the process of planning my wedding next year to my partner Jess and I can always be found with my nose in a book as I love to read!


If you could invite anyone in the world to a dinner party, which 3 people would you pick?

David Suchet as I love Poirot and I could show him the tattoo I have of him! My second one would be Ronaldo Luiz Nazario de Lima as he was the first football player who I really took notice of, and he is living proof that a dodgy haircut doesn’t hold you back from success. Lastly, a slightly bizarre choice but interesting nonetheless, I would invite Jack the Ripper so I could see who he really was!

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