Beth Rawlinson talks about her experience in joining the BGL Tech team as an Apprentice Business Analyst
I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I left school. As I approached finishing my A-levels, it was soon time to make a decision. Luckily, BGL came into my school to talk about the Pathway Apprenticeship scheme, which sounded like a perfect opportunity: a chance to work in different areas of a business, whilst building your skill set and earning money at the same time. After going through the application and interview process, I was excited to learn I'd been successful in securing a place.
For two years, I completed several placements around the business before my final stretch in a team called Digital Transformation; an innovative technology team that delivers functionality to improve a customers’ online experience. An opportunity came along for me to remain permanently and so I jumped at the chance.
I reported into the Senior Business Analyst (SBA), learning about agile methodology and the working practices of Business Technology, as well as the in’s and out’s of how a Business Analyst (BA) fits into the change cycle. I got involved in rapid prototyping, customer testing, managing stakeholders and began to learn how to write change requirements. As I expressed a strong interest in Business Analysis, I got the chance to attend a three-day-course in London and was awarded the Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis.
Another 18 months down the line and I am now ready to take formal training to qualify as a BA myself. I am now on another apprenticeship programme as a Junior BA, attending courses in London every 6–8 weeks and applying these newly digested skills to my day-to-day role. Alongside this, 20% of my working week is assigned to off-the-job training, which contributes to completing my portfolio over the duration of the Apprenticeship.
So far, I have attended the first course in London: An Introduction to Business Analysis. It was great to meet my cohort of apprentice BA’s who work in various industries. The week was spent connecting and working with different people, and focused on learning tools that we can use to better our requirements gathering in our current roles. It was also interesting to learn how diverse each of our roles are, and I soon understood that no two BA roles are the same. On the last day, we were placed in groups and tasked with completing a presentation around some analysis we had to do on a change for a make-belief training company. We were given a brief and now have until the next course to complete the task before presenting back our findings to the rest of our cohort. It’s been rather enjoyable to work with new people and know that I’m not on my own in this.
Throughout my time at BGL, I've always had such a great support network. With a SBA as both a Line Manager and mentor, and with my skills coach checking in with me, there are plenty of people around to help expand my knowledge. Speaking to those more experienced has given me confidence in my ability to progress in my chosen career path. Everyone has to start somewhere!
If you are thinking about progressing your career as a BA or are considering a change in profession, one piece of advice I would give would be: don’t doubt yourself. There are great opportunities out there that can help you learn so much, so it doesn’t matter if you feel inexperienced in the field to begin with. The best thing to do is talk to other BA’s, get a mentor, work hard and believe in yourself.