A Day in the Life of a … Business Analyst How I Made It
Name: Joe Earle
Role: Business Process Analyst
Length of employment: 2 years
How did you find the application process?
I found the application process for Gist very interesting and more hands-on than others I had done before, and both Gist and First4Skills seemed to genuinely care about making sure the job was the right one for me.
When I first got told by First4Skill about the Gist apprenticeship assessment day, I had neither heard of the company before nor realised how much of an important part of modern civilisation logistics is, but did some research and decided that it could be a fantastic opportunity to gain experience of a real working environment in a rapidly expanding business sector.
My assessment day was done with around seven other applicants and we were all told at the start that there were enough vacancies for us all and that we weren’t competing with each other for the same role, which made the whole experience a lot more relaxing for us.
Besides the usual one-on-one interview, we spent the day split into teams doing activities such as trying to build the highest tower using only spaghetti and marshmallows, and using various arts & crafts items to protect an egg from cracking when dropped off the second floor.
Doing these allowed us all to show how well we worked within a team which we may not have been able to demonstrate otherwise. Within an hour of me getting back home from the assessment day, First4Skills had phoned me to let me know the good news that I had been accepted.
Overall the process was one of the most different yet engaging that I had done, and allowed for me to show what I can provide for Gist while gaining an understanding for what the company is after and what I could expect from working here.
Describe your role in 200 words or less:
I was initially placed within the Network Development Team, which is a small part in the Network Planning Centre here at head office. We maintained the standard base schedule of our vehicles, decided what vehicles would do what on a regular basis and tried to incorporate any new business within our network while bearing in mind factors including; reducing costs, meeting customer requirements, and the legal restrictions around drivers working hours.
8 months later, a new Central Admin Team was set up and I was one of the people asked to join it. We were put in charge of creating booking references for Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Lidl, and managed any reports that needed to be generated. I was a part of this team for 7 months.
Since then I have been a Business Process Analyst for our Primary operations. My role primarily involves analysing large data in Excel and building various reports for people across the network, however I often get involved in a wide variety of tiny and huge projects.
This can include things from setting up spreadsheets, to maintaining and upgrading our Primary Customer Portal, to setting up warehouses for our customers.
What do you like about most about working for Gist?
Every day is different. I’m always working on a new project that challenges me in different ways and allows me to develop new skills that I can transfer onto new tasks in the future.
I also get to travel a lot and speak to multiple people of various levels and job roles across the whole business which is great in gaining a better understanding of our business and the reason behind the work I do.
What has been the highlight of your role?
Getting myself to where I am now. Back when I was in the Central Admin Team, we had no set way of doing things and it was a very manual, time consuming role as the team was new and we were starting from scratch.
I took the initiative to try and create some processes and workflows for some of these tasks while developing my Excel skills so I could learn to automate many of the monotonous jobs we had to do.
Doing this is what, I believe, some of the more senior members of staff noticed and ultimately what led to me joining the Business Process Team where I am today.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge was adapting to a fulltime job and developing the right attitude for a business and office environment. I needed to get in the habit of realising that, unlike school or college, the work I did in my role not only affected me, but had a direct impact on the success of the business and my peers around me.
Where do you see yourself in 2 years?
In all honesty, I don’t know, and I think that’s kind of exciting. I’m fortunate that I’m in a role that exposes me to an array of various roles and opportunities, and I’m using this time to find out what paths interest me that I may wish to take my career towards.
2 years ago, just before I had started working here, if somebody had asked me the same question I never would have answered with where I am today. But I love it nonetheless.
What advice would you give to someone applying for your role?
I would say that the Gist apprenticeship scheme is a fantastic example of ‘you get out of it what you put in’. If you turn up each day and do the bare minimum required to complete your tasks then you’re not going to get very far.
Turn up and push to improve and develop yourself each day then Gist will ensure you get all the support you need to take your career where you want it to go.
By Jack J Collins, Editor, AllAboutCareers.com
Image courtesy of Gist
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