Before joining Diamond Build Group, Louis Warner worked in a variety of places ranging from supermarkets and pubs through to a doctor’s surgery. His skills in English and creative writing, led him to our Bids team where he is now a valued member.
Here, he reveals how and why he joined the construction industry and what his role entails.
Which university did you go to and why did you study English?
As a country boy, I went to UEA (University of East Anglia.) I studied English and Creative Writing because I wanted to explore the written word in great detail, exploring how its application can be used to achieve different emotional and practical outcomes. I also love to debate and discuss in-depth topics – much preferring a seminar environment to a lecture theatre. It was also a pragmatic decision, as I really enjoy writing essays and I really DO NOT enjoy sitting exams.
Had you ever thought about working in construction and what attracted you to the role at Diamond Build?
Although I am open-minded, I had certainly never considered a career in construction before this opportunity came along. What attracted me to the role was the ability for my words to have a tangible effect on something in a demonstrably practical way. For example, the words I have used in a tender could help build a house! The speedy nature of the industry and the ability to advance my career is also very appealing.
Can you describe a typical day?
My typical day would likely entail working on a quality tender response to one of the prospective jobs that I have been assigned to. This generally involves a great deal of research, through reading any technical documentation about each project alongside browsing client websites, council/borough information or even general legislative documents, like sustainability strategies and health and safety procedures. From this, I will write answers to the quality portions of tender responses. Usually, I will create two drafts before transferring the final words into my InDesign template, to add some pizzazz to the document before it is presented to the client.
Liaison with colleagues is crucial in the delivery of good bids, and so often plays a part in my day-to-day. For example, requesting input from one of our site teams, to help with particularly technical or operational questions.
Often, I will be tasked to help create marketing materials, such as booklets or reports. I have also been allocated the role of ‘Social Value champion’ within my team – keeping my eye-out for any fundraising initiatives which can provide support to our local community.
How has your English degree helped you in your current role?
Being able to use the vocational skills from my degree is one of the most engaging and enjoyable things about my job role. Studying literature gives you a great understanding of an audience, aka a client. You can ascertain which sort of linguistic approach to take based on who you are writing for. For example, you do not want to bombard a headteacher with jargon-heavy responses to a question about health and safety. A methodical but accessible answer would be more appropriate.
I often have to condense reams of information into a response with a small page/word count allowance. Or the opposite, transforming small nuggets of information into pages and pages of text. This requires an understanding of ‘the economy’ of words, knowing how and when to use exact phrasing and terminology to convey a message, within the parameters of each tender’s evaluation scheme.
What do you enjoy most about working for Diamond Build?
One of the great things about my job is that the workload is flexible and adaptive. We work well in advance of our submission deadlines on the Bids team, so my day-to-day workload can be managed around other important activities such as meetings, networking events and supporting other departments and the company en masse, wherever I can.
I really enjoy working in a cooperative, fast-paced environment where I have actual responsibilities, potential for career progress and the ability to employ both my natural skills and those I have developed at university (and beyond.)
Has Diamond Build provided you with any additional training or support that is helping you to enhance your skills?
Diamond Build has already funded several courses to encourage my professional development. The training which I am most grateful for is the InDesign training, successfully using graphical design skills to facilitate a high-quality delivery of tender submissions. I can’t help but feel jammy to have had this opportunity without any background in ‘art’. And that’s not to mention the support I have received in regard to my own personal growth, both in terms of research and writing prowess. I have also been trusted to help organise many social events, such as the end-of-year party, which is always great fun and a confidence booster too.
These skills have even provided a boon to my personal hobbies. As an avid theatre fan who sometimes gets the chance to direct, the insight which I have gained into the world of construction has helped improve my subject knowledge around set design, an area that I had previously struggled with.