CDS offers Leicester law students insight into fire safety career options

News | March 2022

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A career in bid writing in the fire safety industry is one of the ‘alternative’ professions to which law students would be well-suited – as around 200 young people discovered when they took part in a careers event at Leicester University.

CDS bid manager Nigel Smith, himself a Leicester law graduate, was among guest speakers invited to discuss opportunities with students in their final year at the institution.

Other alumni talked about their own experience in careers such as social media legal policy, asset management, legal recruitment, public procurement, the police force, merchandising, tax accountancy, IT and the Ministry of Justice.

Bid writing is an area in which CDS is actively recruiting as it expands both geographically and in the services it offers. The company has already moved into Wales, the North, the West Country and along the M4 and M5 corridor into London and recently acquired a water compliance company.

As well as Nigel’s personal connection with the university, it has become one of the latest higher education establishments to benefit from CDS’ expertise in fire safety systems specification, supply, installation and maintenance.

The life safety systems specialist is currently installing Honeywell Gent three panel network fire alarm solution systems on two phases at the university’s space park site, where it has also installed a Baldwin Boxall Care 2 refuge system. It also manages the maintenance of all the fire alarm systems across the campus.

Nigel explained why he chose to move into bid writing: “Having started my professional career as an electrical estimator back in Canada, I saw an opportunity to combine my practical experience with what I’d learned during my degree. I found the ability to understand risk and negotiate contracts invaluable when managing tenders day-in-day-out. The ability to piece apart technical questions and work with team members from other disciplines to solve problems was also an advantage.

“While it’s not the normal career route for a law graduate, I can see a lot of opportunities for students to enter into the bids and tenders sphere. With countless opportunities to network and a chance to use the skills developed through their degree, bid writing and management should definitely be a career prospect for law students.”

CDS also works closely with its university clients in helping students stay safe during national Student Fire Safety Week, offering potentially life-saving advice in the form of posters in halls of residence and on social media including Instagram, in partnership with the National Union of Students.