Graduate Blog: 6 months in…

Welcome back to my graduate blog! For those of you who have not read my previous entry (available here), my name is Ross Smillie, a 22-year old from Glasgow working as a Graduate Systems Analyst in the Airports & Airspace team at Osprey.

It has now been 6 months since I joined Osprey – which has absolutely flown by! (No pun intended). Over the last 6 months, I have been lucky enough to be involved in some great projects as well as witnessing a ‘change in the times’.

On 25th August 2020, Osprey was officially acquired by tpgroup plc. tpgroup is a specialist engineering and digital solutions company who have a very strong portfolio ranging from product development and innovation to digital solutions and artificial intelligence. tpgroup is also made up of a portfolio of companies which operate in complementary markets including space, defence, marine and renewable energies.

Having studied acquisition models and strategies at university, I was optimistic about the change. Yes, there are some companies that take a ‘buy and conquer’ approach, but from what we have seen so far, tpgroup is far from this. Since the acquisition of Osprey, it has actually been ‘business as usual’. We are now starting to see some minor integration related activities being rolled out in terms of IT and Security, and we are also working collaboratively on various projects mainly in the safety domain. I am sure there will be plenty more exciting opportunities to come, and from a graduate perspective I am looking forward to developing my skills across a much wider range of projects.

The acquisition is not the only change happening. Osprey has recently undergone a small internal ‘restructure’ to enable further diversification and the expansion of offerings into other markets. For example, we now have an Energy & Environment Business Unit, looking to further develop our wind farm capability and to ‘branch out’ into other renewable energy sources. From a graduate’s perspective, this expansion provides even more chances to get involved in a diverse set of projects, and the opportunity to help shape the future of aviation and the environment. Gaining greater exposure to more varied projects is a great way to grow into a more rounded professional that can turn their hand to many different areas. In turn, this will make any graduate more valuable to their organisation as they are able to cover a wide variety of bases.

One of the highlights of the last few months has been the chance to ‘return’ to university as a guest lecturer. After being approached by one of my former lecturers, I delivered a 2-hour (virtual) lecture looking at how Air Traffic Control (ATC) impacts on airport operations. This was fantastic opportunity to develop myself in terms of communication and presentation but also to inspire students and give them a glimpse into the world of ATC, a sometimes ‘forgotten’ element of the aviation industry.

Since my last blog in early August, I have continued to get a better understanding of Osprey as a company whilst contributing to various exciting projects. Most notably, I have been able to apply what I learnt at university to the real world as I looked at Obstacle Limitation Surfaces (OLS), Pavement/Aircraft Classification Numbers (P/ACNs) and Aerodrome Licencing as part of a major infrastructure project I am involved in. It is a great feeling to know that I have actually been able to take what I have learnt in an academic environment and apply it to the real world. Additionally, I have been working with one of our clients in the UK space sector providing support with legislative analysis and input to infrastructure development plans. 

Going forward into my next 6-months, I look forward to starting to really pursue my chosen career path in project management with the help and support of my Osprey colleagues and to begin to build evidence for my application to become a Chartered Project Professional, enabled by the tailored Osprey Graduate Development Programme (GDP).

Until next time!

If you are interested in finding out more about our GDP, please contact [email protected] 

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