Carl Bryant

Roke meets


Meet Carl, a Business Operations Manager in our Operations and Resourcing team. He joined Roke last year after attending our inaugural Service Leaver’s Day event, which demonstrated insights to life at Roke and how we support people with their careers after leaving the armed forces.

We caught up with him to chat about his experiences in the forces, what made him want to join the business, and the excellent advice he’d pass on to other service leavers.

Tell us about your military background?

I served for 22 years in the Intelligence Corps in a variety of analytical, training, operational and leadership roles. No two-year posting was the same, and I was fortunate to work in support of some brilliant people across defence and our intelligence agencies.

You joined us after attending our first Service Leaver's Day. How did you find the programme?

I really enjoyed it. It was clear how invested the company was by the exposure to so many senior people including the Group Chief Executive of Chemring and Roke’s Managing Director. Everyone I met was really welcoming and friendly. It was well organised, and we received detailed exposure to all business areas of Roke. A beer in the bar at the end was the icing on the cake!

What made you want to join Roke?

I was driven to joining a company with a strong culture and values. I had spoken extensively to two Rokies prior to the Service Leaver’s Day and had the clear sense Roke was a company I could fit into; the day itself galvanised that view. Luckily my networking efforts paid off by being offered the chance to apply for a role I hadn’t really considered as an option.

What does a typical day at Roke look like for you?

I work in a new role as Business Operations Manager in the Operations and Resourcing team. I am still finding my feet having taken on a series of new responsibilities, so there’s loads of variety which I like. I do a lot of engagement with people across the business which I enjoy; the people here are always keen to help and support.

What do you enjoy most about working at Roke?

The culture, people and the significant contribution Roke makes to UK Defence. Plus, Romsey is a lovely location to work from.

How has Roke supported you since you transferred to civilian life?

People have been very patient and understand that service leavers have a lot to learn as we move into an unfamiliar environment. But they have also responded well to thoughts, suggestions, and initiatives and so I have definitely felt empowered which I have appreciated.

How have you applied your military experience to your work at Roke?

In lots of ways. There is good reason for the consistent messaging to service leavers stressing our soft and transferable skills and how they are appreciated in the commercial world. I’ve been able to relate a good amount of what I do to situations I experienced in the military which has helped hugely, even if just in organising my thoughts and framing a question, comment, or recommendation.

Tell us about the Roke Veterans Network – how does it support service leavers?

They have been a really welcoming and helpful group of people of all ranks and all parts of the military. It’s great to be a part of and helped provide a softer landing in my first civilian job in a long time!

What advice would you give anyone moving on from, or thinking of moving on from the armed forces?

Follow the advice, particularly regarding networking; it is how I have this job. It took me a long time being comfortable selling myself on LinkedIn and in a CV but once I crossed that bridge, I had the foundations to begin networking properly. Focus your networking on what is important to you and then reach out and connect. Once you have found a company or industry that appeals, grow your understanding through further networking so when you apply for roles you have a solid base of research behind you. As someone for whom imposter syndrome is very real, doing this meant I felt far more comfortable at interviews than I could have imagined at the start of the resettlement process.