In the first of a new series of posts introducing key PSS staff members over on our blog, we meet Arena Support Manager, Andrea. Andrea started out as a Night Cleaner six years ago and has since risen through the ranks to Management. Here’s a closer look at her career path:
When did you start with PSS?
I started working at Wembley Arena in October 2016 as a Night Cleaner. I saw a message in a chat about various jobs and as I already had experience in cleaning and customer service, I decided to join the night team.
What was it like working for PSS in that role?
I liked the job because I could listen to shows while I worked on events, and the atmosphere was good. When a new Supervisor started who wasn’t necessarily the right fit for how I liked to work, I changed my working pattern, and always liked working in the Arena.
Did you always want to progress at PSS?
When I started, I took the job to earn extra money. Wembley usually had shows on the weekends, which was convenient for me at the time. My first job was working nights cleaning washrooms for six months, but I soon realised I had more to offer the role and could do more with my career as I progressed. I liked the work a lot and began to understand more about the organisation and objectives.
What was your first promotion and what did that involve?
My first promotion was to Night Team Leader. I helped the Supervisor to check all areas, including those where attention to detail was important, like the lounges, VIP areas, dressing rooms and restaurants. I also tried to learn all facets of cleaning the arena at night by taking an interest in cleaning other areas – like the concourses, arena floor, and seating areas. As I began to understand how to get the job done more quickly and effectively, I looked for ways to improve the work systems.
Tim, my Line Manager, asked if I’d be interest in the Night Supervisor position, which was a great opportunity I couldn’t turn down. However, it meant a big change on an emotional and physical level. I have always demanded a lot of myself so that everything would be perfect and in good condition for the next show. I didn’t want to disappoint Tim, who had trusted me in that role.
After working as a Night Supervisor for a few months I asked if I could do some events so I could learn more about the job. It was very rewarding – doing shows was very different, and I felt excited at each show. Little by little I gained experience in how to manage a show and direct my staff after receiving radio calls from control. This became easier as my knowledge of arena areas increased, and little by little I grew in confidence and became more proactive in decision-making.
How many promotions have you had since then?
From Night Supervisor I was promoted to Event Supervisor, and later to Site Supervisor of Wembley Arena – a role that I held for four years. My most recent promotion was in February, to Arena Support Manager, which is the role I’m in now.
What’s the journey through each role been like?
There have been good moments and learning moments, but if I take stock of all these years, there have been a lot of positives. Also, I have always received the support from PSS Management at every stage of my career. My duties have been made easier to complete and I continue to learn from my mentor, Tim Nichols. But the biggest role change for me was when I was promoted to the Site Supervisor of Wembley Arena. With this, I have learned to solve problems and take quick action in stressful times. In addition, taking courses such as IOSH, Wellbeing Management, PSS Cleaning and Supervising Safely, and completing my qualification in Health and Social Care, has led me to better manage myself and others.
What’s your aspirations for the future?
I’m still learning every day in my current position, as running an arena is not the same as running three arenas – which are Manchester, Newcastle, and Wembley – but I know that with the help and support of PSS Management I’ll continue to progress. I’m still here because I love my job, have great support, and feel that my manager and I make a good team. I also want to keep learning and growing professionally, and I will continue here while I feel the same level of support and trust as I do currently.