This week we hear from one of our new bid writers, Rianna Margione, to find out what she has been working on and how she is settling in to the team so far.
Upon graduating in 2019 it was time to find a job and create a career outside the comfort of university and the academic environment. Identifying my enjoyment of research and writing I solely focussed on jobs where these skills would be utilised day-to-day. In all honesty, although I understood from my business degree that companies would bid for tenders, I never gave much thought to the fact that behind the scenes people are actually writing them. However, after further research I decided that this was the role for me and would align with my personal characteristics and skills.
So, I applied for every bid writing role I could find – of which there was one – Executive Compass.
After completing a three-hour unseen writing test and an interview with owner, Neil and managing director, Christian, I was offered the job with Executive Compass. I was thrilled, and was invited to meet two of the company’s graduate bid writers, Kate and Joel; with them I realised the inclusive culture that had been cultivated. They were open and honest about not only the benefits but some of the tougher aspects of the role whilst assuring me that I would be supported throughout the process.
Bid writing: the realities of the job
This led me to my first day, when I found out I would be spending a week with Neil being trained in all aspects of bid writing – it was intense! We covered everything from client management to writing styles, whereby at the end of the week I would write my first practice bid which would be reviewed by Neil. I learnt different techniques not only from Neil but Peter, our Quality Manager, Mary, my mentor and all of the other bid writers who were more than happy to answer my questions no matter how random they were in the beginning.
The first bid I supported was for a company supplying stationery to government departments. It was my first lesson in the importance of organisation and utilising a bid management matrix – which I find crucial to my bid writing process today. The next step was to initiate contact with a client and conduct a telephone interview to gain as much relevant information as possible to allow me to write an in-depth and evidenced response. With an answer plan ready and research done, the call with the client went well and I gained all the information required, allowing me to complete all my answers effectively. Once my responses had been written I sent them to Peter for review, which is our internal quality process for every single bid and tender. Completing the first bid engrained me into the Executive Compass approach, as we have a tried-and-tested method for every project.
Six weeks in
Even though it has only been just over six weeks I cannot believe the learning curve that I have been through, and I have felt so included and welcomed – something that really has made me feel settled and I truly enjoy coming to work. Since starting with the company in early October I have completed over eight bids which have included advocacy services, asbestos, promotional materials, commercial removal services, supplying products for royal awards, call centre handling and transport services. I never knew there would be a role where I could learn about such varying sectors and have such wide-ranging knowledge. I’m sure my family is tired of my ‘did you know…’ anecdotes from the sheer volume of information this role exposes you to, as Executive Compass work with such a range of clients.
Although upon graduating I didn’t know this role existed, I am glad that I have found it within such a supportive and welcoming company, and I look forward to progressing my skills and experience here.