Quanta celebrates Reserves Day 2021
23rd June 2021 marks the Armed Forces Reserves Day - an annual opportunity to recognise those who choose to balance their day-to-day lives and give up their spare time to serve in the Reserve Forces. Here at Quanta, our very own Zoe Dunhill is celebrating by donning her official Naval uniform in the office! We sat down with Zoe to ask what Reserves Day means to her:
What made you decide to join up as a Royal Naval Reservist?
“Whilst at University I was part of a University Royal Naval Unit (URNU), where I would go away at weekends on our affiliated ship and complete training evenings once a week in term time, in addition to two weeks away in the holidays. I enjoyed it so much that I was very keen to join up to the Royal Naval Reserves.
I also wanted a sense of purpose and to take on a challenging, unique role that would push me to my limits. But, the most important factor in me joining the RNR, was to serve our country and make a meaningful contribution to the defence and protection of our way of life.”
What is actually involved in being a reservist for you?
“I’ve been in the RNR since June 2015 and I have been through three phases of training - currently, I am doing my specialisation training. The minimum commitment per year is 24 days –typically made up of training evenings, training weekends and two weeks at sea or on a course. Also, as an officer, I get additional responsibilities which I frequently have to deal with outside of these times.
Eventually, I will be mobilised on active service and that can range from a few weeks to several months. The mobilisation can happen in the UK or I could be deployed overseas. This is something I am very much looking forward to, as it is the reason I joined and will give me an opportunity to implement all the training and skills I have learnt.
The training you receive as a Reservist is great, not only does it qualify you for your specific role within the RN but there are plenty of transferable skills that you gain, which I’ve found have helped in my civilian career here at Quanta.
There are so many amazing opportunities that I’ve had within the Reserves that I wouldn’t have had anything close to if I'd never joined. For example, we get the chance to go skiing in France, attend important ceremonial events and some of us are lucky enough to represent our unit in competitions.
One of the greatest aspects of being a Reservist is the people you meet and serve with. Individuals from all over the country and completely different walks of life, but ultimately with very similar mindsets, as we have all chosen to use our spare time to serve our country. As a result, you form very close bonds and I can genuinely say that I have made friends for life in the RNR.”
How have Quanta helped and supported you in your decision?
“Quanta has been great and really accommodating when it comes to my RNR career. This is outwardly evident as they signed the Armed Forces Covenant earlier this year, pledging their support to the Armed Forces and have received the Bronze award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme. Over the next year, we will be working together towards achieving the Silver award.
In 2019, for example, Quanta allowed me to be out of the office for two weeks on unpaid leave, in order for me to complete integral training on a NATO exercise. And in 2020 I was away from July - October to support the government's response to Covid-19. Any time I have gone away with the Royal Navy, I know my work world is being looked after by my colleagues.”
What advice would you give someone who is thinking of signing up?
“You certainly need to have the right mentality – it’s not for everyone. But if you are an individual who thrives under pressure and wants a truly unique challenge, then the RNR is definitely worth considering.
You meet fantastic people, get incredible opportunities and receive great training. The feeling of pride when you’re wearing the uniform and the sense of achievement when carrying out naval duties is unlike anything you will experience in day-to-day ‘normal’ life.
It’s simple to apply, there’s a form online you can fill out or you can reach out to your local unit, where there are permanent staff who are more than happy to help you throughout the joining process.”
If you are a reservist or a veteran, and want to see what recruitment is all about, then contact Joanna on 01442 869 218 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're interested in working at Quanta, view the latest vacancies here.