Joanne Collyer talks about her background and why she joined Attain…

Joanne CollyerTell us a little bit about yourself

I have been working in procurement for nearly thirteen years, largely in the public sector working for local authorities, and more recently in the housing sector. I started as an administrator within a procurement team at Essex County Council and had the opportunity to train and gain my degree in purchasing and supply chain management, which I completed in 2009. As I have moved along my career path I have managed individuals, teams and a really varied range of procurement projects from the purchasing of stationery to telehealth services. I have developed a keen interest in equality and diversity issues over the last few years and as a result and have provided representation in forums to learn more and find out how best practice can be applied to my role.

How have your first 30 days been at Attain?

My first 30 days at Attain have been great. The induction process is very important to the new starter but also the team they are joining and it is refreshing that time and commitment is given to this process to ensure that the new member of staff feels welcomed, appreciated and motivated when they start. I spent my first two weeks meeting my colleagues in the Commercial Team and visiting the Clinical Commissioning Groups and stakeholders that I will soon be working with on procurement projects. I was assigned a Buddy on my first day, and she has been great as a go to person for any questions that I have, and to provide support. My team and my manager has been really welcoming and supportive; everyone remembers what it is like to be new!

What attracted you to Attain?

After working in social housing for six years, I was looking to progress in procurement but in a new sector in order to challenge myself and acquire new skills, so my searches started in health procurement. I was also looking for an organisation with a cultural fit for me so I did some research on Attain before I applied. The website and testimonials seemed so positive and energetic, the more I read the more I could see myself working for them. I also liked the idea of working for a SME organisation with great ambition as I have always worked for employers with hundreds or thousands of employees. The role was nearer home as I had been commuting quite a distance for four years, it was not essential that I worked locally but it was a bonus for me!

What’s the best thing about being employed with Attain?

What makes Attain a brilliant place to work is the people. Everybody is so welcoming and helpful, you really feel supported to do the best job you can. Attain is a new (well five years old!) organisation and everybody you meet remembers what it is like to be new and what it is like to be learning new information, particularly in your first few months! I enjoy working on varied projects and the variety of the role has been great so far! I enjoy working with commissioners on stand-alone and collaborative projects in order to bring about the best service for the patient, and improve health services for the future.

What do you hope the future brings for you with Attain?

I hope to grow within Attain and develop my skills so I can apply them to more complex and innovative projects. I am a Manager at present, but there are opportunities for promotion within the organisation which will allow me to keep challenging myself and developing skills to support our clients at different levels. Development, coaching and mentoring is available to me to bridge those gaps and I will be looking at this over the coming year.