Business relationship manager

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Hello, my name is Darren Edwards, and I am the business relationship manager for Inspire to Learn.

After studying history at the University of Westminster, and graduating in 2012, I embarked on a journey that was to bring me Shropshire, and to my role with Inspire to Learn. Having just graduated, it seemed like the logical move was to try my hand in London’s fast paced financial district, widely known as the ‘City’. A little over twelve months later, and after many late nights in the office (and considerable expenditure on London accommodation), I saw an advert for the Graduate Scheme at Shropshire Council. Fast forward through the interview and selection process, and I found myself in my first of three six month graduate placements; a project aimed at supporting the elderly to live independently for longer in Wem.

My time on the graduate scheme provided me with an invaluable insight into how various departments operated, and how the organisation as a whole was going through a period of unprecedented change. After 18 months on the scheme, I was offered my current role with Inspire to Learn. My career to date allowed me to bring both private and public sector experience to Inspire to Learn, which I hope has been a positive driver for adopting a customer focused and commercial approach.

My role as ‘business relationship manager’ (BRM) should really be seen as an asset for our customers. The creation of the role in itself is recognition that the time constraints and pressures on headteachers and school business managers is growing rapidly. Put simply, our schools rely upon a number of critical services in order to effectively fulfill their teaching requirements. Inspire to Learn, as a provider of these services, has a binding commitment to ensure that these services enable our pupils to achieve their maximum potential. The role of the BRM is to provide our customers with a single point of contact for any service related queries, issues and improvements that we can make.

As I’m sure you can imagine, trying to coordinate the 14 different services comprising Inspire to Learn can be challenging at times, but it’s made easier by a shared commitment of providing good customer service.

So, 12 months in to my role, I can say without doubt that my career has been somewhat varied to date. From the frantic pace of London, to a slower pace whilst managing a project for the elderly in Wem as part of the graduate scheme, and now to representing Inspire to Learn for the 152 schools and academies in Shropshire. It feels at times like I’ve seen it all. But then there’s always tomorrow...

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