Lucy Cox – Level 4 Information Systems Business Analyst Apprentice at Northamptonshire County Council – tells us how her Apprenticeship has benefited her in the workplace
What would you say to someone considering a Level 4 Information Systems Business Analysis Apprenticeship?
“I’m a kinaesthetic learner—I learn better when I’m working on the job. The training sessions are more interactive than a lecture. An apprenticeship is much better for me because I can take that learning and apply it to what I’m doing. You get more out of an apprenticeship—learning, work experience and a qualification.
To someone considering an apprenticeship as a Business Analyst the advice I would give is if there is something you are unsure of, whether it’s something you’ve learnt or something you think should be different about the way the apprenticeship is being run, do not be afraid to talk about it. It’s always best to be open about things.”
What does your job involve?
“My role within the Web and Digital team largely surrounds ensuring that the customer journey through Northamptonshire County Council’s online transactions is as seamless as it can be. I am responsible for managing internal customers who have contacted us to request an online solution—I will then research the service they provide/want to ensure the correct solution is put in place.
One of the main jobs I do is liaising with customers, internal and external to the organisation. In order to do this I need good communication skills and I have found that I have been able to improve on these skills to ensure the customer is always up to date and well-informed.
I am also heavily involved in the testing and quality assurance stage of implementing a solution. This testing is carried out because user acceptance testing is carried out by the users themselves to ensure that any major issues with the solution are rectified before it gets to them. I am the communication link between the product owner and the developers.”
How has your role changed since you started your Apprenticeship?
“Since starting my apprenticeship I have been required to take on more Business Analysis-related activities, which has increased my level of responsibility within the team. This enables me to be much more efficient in work production.
I am also now entrusted to attend stakeholder meetings without the support of a more senior member of the team. Initially I was a moveable member of the team, but as I have experience in all aspects now, I’ve become more of a ‘go to’ person for anything Business Analysis related. I am able to take what I have learnt in lessons and apply it to everyday work.”
Tell us about how you used your Apprenticeship training to help local charities
“I enjoy passing on my knowledge to others. I think it’s a great opportunity to be able to learn something new and pass this onto others to make use of as well.
Last year I held a free 50-minute training sessions to members of charity organisations detailing the different phases of transformation and how they can apply some of the tools and techniques to their own business transformation ventures.
“I was pleased with how it went—it validated that what I’ve been learning makes sense. It was really useful to present to people that I’ve never met what I’ve been learning and for them to say it made sense to them.
“It was to provide support for people that don’t quite have the funding or time to put into full training courses when they are volunteering themselves. It was helping them in a bitesize way. The feedback was good.
My manager was keen for me to get involved to show what I’ve learned in my apprenticeship to bring to light what apprenticeships can do. A lot attended and stayed until the end—it was very well-received. The people that came really got a lot out of it and found it worthwhile—it was good. They asked me to send the presentation out afterwards so they could look back on it after they had left.”