The most obscure location I’ve been to with this job? Kathmandu. It was actually my first work trip abroad, and when I had some down-time, I got to explore the local area and go hiking in the mountains. But my favourite location so far has to be Cairo: I’d always wanted to see the pyramids, and I was there at 6:30am to catch the sunrise over them. I’ll never forget it.
In fact, through this job, I’ve visited 25 destinations – places like Athens, Dakar, Santiago, Malta, Berlin, Ghana and Accra. You get these moments of thinking: ‘I’m actually paid to be here’. It’s meant I’ve had some incredible experiences, everything from seeing a perfectly preserved shipwreck in Stockholm, to having the best steak of my life in Manila.
“I’d always wanted to see the pyramids, and I was there at 6:30am to catch the sunrise over them. I’ll never forget it.”
As for the work itself, what I do enables FCDO Services to provide and maintain security for embassies, right across the globe. I could be working on a tower block in Mumbai or a historic building in Lithuania. We’ll get involved in powering systems and providing professional guidance, working closely with Technicians.
We’ll also install things like access control, fire alarm systems and intruder alarms. We make it so they’re separate from the rest of the system and can’t be penetrated, but they still communicate outside of the rooms they’re in. It’s a great example of the kind of unique challenges we face here.
When we’re back home in the UK, we get down to writing reports: what we’ve done, what we’ve found, and any lessons learned. We also start prepping for future projects, making sure we’re up-to-speed on logistics and deliverables, and know what to expect out on location. Plus, if there’s any training we need, it’s all provided and funded by FCDO Services.
There’s so much opportunity to learn, develop and branch out – there are doors open here that you won’t find anywhere else. Personally, I’m thinking about the future, so I’ve done a project management course and a CCTV course. I’ve also loved being trained up for the Rapid Deployment Team, who are called upon to help with emergency situations involving British nationals.
“There’s so much opportunity to learn, develop and branch out – there are doors open here that you won’t find anywhere else.”
What’s great about working here is that you’re part of something important. And when FCDO Services say it’s ‘Your job, bigger’ – they really mean it. It’s about using the skills you already have, but on a totally different scale. If you need to do any extra training, you’ll have it. If you want variety and job security, you’ll find it. And if you’re looking for a sense of purpose and pride, you’ll feel it.