Zeff zooms ahead as a Transport for London commercial manager...

Ever wondered what a commercial manager does? Plotr caught up with Zeff, Lead Commercial Manager at Transport for London, to find out more...

Transport for London is a large organisation that employs about thirty thousand people. Zeff and his team are passionate about coming up with key technology services for Londoners. In fact, Zeff was involved in the project that got London its very own cycle hire scheme!

Tell us about your job…

I work for Transport for London as a head of projects. I deliver large-scale commercial sourcing activities where we tender technology opportunities to the marketplace that provide us with key services.

Our organisation is large, with around twenty-five to thirty thousand people, but the marketplace gives us lots of support in providing key technology services for transport services to Londoners.

I get to work with a vast array of experts from technical, legal, and financial. This means I get a daily insight into the perspectives of others and often learn new things that I never expected!

It’s always fun to work with a mixed group of people to achieve a common goal that benefits many.

What are the best bits about your job?

It’s a fantastic feeling of achievement when you and your team complete a project that has a visible impact in London. For example, I worked on the original project that initiated London’s Cycle Hire Scheme.

How did you get into doing this as your job?

After completing my bachelors and then postgraduate degrees I applied for a number of graduate jobs at a number of organisations, both public and private sector, but my defining criterion was that the role was based in London, as that was where I wanted to live and work.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

When I was in primary school I wanted to be a geologist because that was what my father did. He travelled the globe widely to the most obscure places, and I thought he was like Indiana Jones!

What training or courses did you do to get to where you are today?

After my schooling and university education, I’ve continued my learning at work and in my role in Commercial. I achieved a relevant professional qualification called CIPS, which is the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to do your job?

Any school leavers or qualified university graduates can join TfL’s apprentice or graduate schemes.

There is a wealth of young people with degrees looking for graduate jobs in organisations like ours, so to boost your chances you need to really focus on why you want to work at your chosen employer. Your passion and enthusiasm should shine in an interview and you should research for and prepare as much as possible. Remember that interviewing and application writing is a skill in itself!

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