Case study

Business analyst — Thomas Young

Thomas studied BSc Psychology at the University of Liverpool before deciding that the fast-paced world of IT was for him and he joined the Grayce Development Programme

How did you get your job as a business analyst?

When I applied I had no business analysis experience, so was searching for graduate roles which would enable me to start my journey within change programmes. I came across the Grayce Development Programme on a graduate job board, submitted an application, and was thankfully offered a position off the back of a three-stage interview process.

Why did this area of work appeal to you?

I was given an insight into IT and business change roles during my time in my previous role as a recruitment consultant, and this sparked the initial interest. The opportunity to work on different projects provides role variety and the world of IT changes so quickly that there is always a drive to stay at the forefront of the technology.

What's a typical day like as a business analyst?

As a project gets underway, the role requires you to speak to all of the relevant stakeholders to establish the problem that they are trying to overcome, and the requirements they have for a solution. This initial engagement can be done through interviews, surveys and workshops, and business analysts must document these requirements once they have been gathered. The role sits between IT and the business, so there is generally facilitation between the two throughout a project.

What do you like about working for Grayce?

Grayce has offered me a fantastic platform from which to build my career. The support they offer from both a training and personal perspective is excellent, and the inclusive, vibrant culture is a joy to be involved in.

Describe your job in five words…

  • exciting
  • varied
  • challenging
  • rewarding
  • interesting.

What part of your job gives you the most satisfaction?

I would consider myself to be a social person, so the part of the role that gives me most satisfaction is the constant stakeholder communication and interaction.

What are the challenges?

Because this is a graduate role, the learning curve was very steep. I was required to hit the ground running and pick up new things on a daily basis, and am still continuing to do so a year in. In a more general sense, there is always opposition to IT change at some point during a project, so the ability to overcome that opposition by bringing those stakeholders on the journey is always a challenge.

What qualities do you think are important for a business analyst?

  • communication
  • organisation
  • analytical skills.

What sort of training and development have you received?

Grayce have given me access to LinkedIn Learning, which has provided me with resources on a huge range of courses, from Microsoft platforms to soft skills training. I have also completed BCS Business Analysis and Agile Project Management qualifications as part of the Grayce programme.

What are your career ambitions?

I aim to progress through the ranks as a business analyst over the coming years. From there, I am open to career opportunities, but IT business partner or business relationship manager positions currently interest me as a potential next step.

Tell us about a challenge facing the business sector today.

COVID-19 is the most immediate and obvious challenge to both the business world and society today. Working for a pharmaceuticals company who have been at the forefront of the vaccine development programme has opened my eyes to the challenges they face in such circumstances, none more so than the pressures to manufacture and distribute vaccines globally at great pace.  

What advice would you give to other aspiring business analysts?

My advice is to always throw yourself into the challenges you're faced with, don't be afraid to try something new (your fresh perspective is always valuable) and, above all else, enjoy it.

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