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Jenny Overton

What was your background before joining Chartwell?

I joined Chartwell in 2014 after completing a four year Masters in Chemical Engineering at Cambridge.

In my first year I studied Natural Sciences but very quickly realised that I was far more fascinated by how science can be used to make the things we see every day.

At university, I had a go at many different activities from hockey to tiddlywinks, but my biggest achievements were during my role as treasurer for the Chemical Engineering society.  I became well practised at being organised and working in a team, often under tight time pressure which has been very useful at Chartwell.  I also love volunteering, at home as a Guide and Brownie leader and most recently working in an animal sanctuary in South America, where I spent three months walking jaguars and ocelots.

What have been the biggest factors for your professional development since joining Chartwell?

One of the reasons I joined Chartwell was because it was the complete opposite to the standard multi-year graduate scheme presented by many competing employers, where progression seems to be measured by jumping through artificial hoops.

Since starting at Chartwell, I have built on the problem solving skills I learnt at university and elevated them to a whole new level.  I am also far more confident talking as an equal to people who are far more experienced than me - within 8 months, I was coaching a continuous improvement facilitator on site and even though he had worked there for 15 years, I was able to open his eyes to some of the opportunities available.

I have learnt how to change people’s mind-sets, and it’s a great feeling when someone who was adamant that changeovers couldn’t be done in less than 50 minutes comes to tell you their new weekly average was 32 minutes!

What is a typical week for a Consultant?

Each day I hold a meeting with my client team to review yesterday’s performance and see how many actions we can tick off the list.  This gives us a chance to plan for the day and I can see where I should be focussing my attentions.

Beyond that, however, my days are extremely varied.  Some days are spent giving training sessions to my client teams, others will be spent providing more in depth training for the on-site improvement facilitator.  I have regular review meetings with top management, but just as often I can be found on the end of a production line.  I might be packing boxes myself to try and understand the problems operators face, and occasionally I have even been known to get back to the hotel covered in ink, as I’ve been trying to solve a problem with an industrial print machine.

In the evening, I have dinner with the other Chartwell members on site which gives us a chance to bounce ideas off each other and just chat and relax.  If I can find the motivation I will hit the hotel gym before either tweaking my latest Excel tool, creating a presentation or just catching up on my latest TV show addiction.