Ross Alexander – Consultant
From university to career
After studying Psychology and Sociology at the University of Stirling, I worked as a Resource Planner, and then a Capacity Planner for Sky. I developed a great interest in data analysis from my degree, my favourite part being statistics and the analysis of large datasets. From my time at Sky, I developed an interest in how their systems worked, with the job having a small analytical role, amongst other tasks.
A development opportunity
The opportunity to join Arum and work as a System Analyst was a perfect fit. The initial appeal was that the work seemed to be very varied on a day to day basis and would eventually involve more than one client.
The job description made reference to the role involving presentations, and I saw it as a good opportunity to develop and use presentation skills in a way that I did not have the chance to before.
Project work was also a part of the job that I was interested in, as the idea of working on a piece of work from start to finish, using the software development process, appealed to me greatly. The opportunity to travel was also an attractive aspect of the role.
My induction process lasted six weeks before my first project, with several other graduates in the same position. I used this time to learn SQL, but what I really wanted was to get involved with the work. On project, it can be slow progress at first in getting engaged with some of the more interesting pieces of work, but in time it picks up and you begin to be more involved, starting to “own” pieces of work.
What I love about working here
Having only worked for the company for two years, I have already had placements in Hove, Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Rosyth, as well as working from my own home. I consider this a lot of places given the short period of time I have been with Arum, and feel it reflects the varied nature of the job. I particularly enjoyed my three or so months spent in Hove (in a Brighton hotel). Meeting colleagues after work was a regular occurrence, and I found myself using my evenings to help me get healthy (at the hotel gym most nights). The chance to work in other cities in the UK is always interesting and enjoyable.
It’s clear that Arum aims to employ people who are very approachable, and I feel that this shows on client site. The approach to work is also generally quite flexible, with suggestions taken on board regarding location/travel and other matters.
Many days on client site start with not knowing what you could be working on that day, and tasks rarely get repetitive or boring. Occasionally the opportunity arises to step out of your comfort zone and get involved with work that is quite new or scary. I feel that personal development chances like this would not be possible without Arum’s flexible approach to work.