520 days ago
Dorina Popoveniuc, security, Sodexo head office at Southampton Row
Joined Sodexo: February 2011
What was your first job?
I’ve had lots of different job experience and worked in quite a few countries before arriving in the UK in 2007. I started my career working in the import and export business in my native Romania, then spent time in Israel working as social assistant, advertising home care on radio and TV. My first job in the UK was as a restaurant waitress.
How did you end up working in security?
I had worked in personal security roles at VIP events in the past, for some quite high-profile people including the Israeli Prime Minister. Security is something I’ve always been interested in and I dreamt of being a police officer when I was younger. In 2008 I took a security qualification – I knew it was something I’d like to build a career in.
Tell us a bit about your role now.
I’m one of a team of three who looks after front-of-house security at Sodexo’s London head office in Holborn. I’ve been here since 2011.
How does a typical day look?
It’s a Monday to Friday role and I start at 7am and work until 5pm. It’s always busy so the day goes quickly. You’ll find me behind the front desk and it’s my responsibility to ensure staff and visitors are safe, and all checked in using security passes. The building is only open to authorised people and we need to challenge anyone coming in who isn’t.
Are you a close-knit team?
Yes, very. It’s a small team but we collaborate really well, support each other and always back each other up.
What do you enjoy about the job?
The number of new people you meet every day and the fact that every day is different for that very reason. I just really enjoy helping people.
What skills do you need for the role?
I always say you need 360-degree vision. It’s a busy office and you need to be alert every second and ready to act if there’s a challenging situation. At the end of the day our team needs to ensure the safety of everyone in the building and that is a big responsibility.
Congratulations on your success in this year’s Women in Security Awards. How did it feel to be nominated?
I was so happy about it. I felt really honoured. My line manager put in the nomination after I’d received positive feedback from Sodexo employees and to reach the award finals was amazing. It’s very satisfying to know your input doesn’t go unnoticed.
So you enjoyed the night?
It was a very nice night, and lovely to be there with my managers and Sodexo colleagues. The atmosphere was great and to have the chance to speak to other women working in the security industry was interesting.
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