What made you consider this career path following your studies?
After having studied a breadth of different subjects at university and learning about what I like, I realised I didn’t want a career that would limit me to just one area of focus. I was looking for a career path that would stretch and challenge me to keep learning new things whilst making a positive contribution.
Having seen the job description for Project Management – I was immediately drawn to the role. Namely, project management allows you to work with people from different departments, on projects ranging from small scale improvements to global transformations, and each day brings a different problem to solve. The planning and organisational aspects resonated with my personal strengths, and I could see myself thriving in a role that requires constant engagement and interactions, whilst also allowing for individual work. The most rewarding aspect is that it allows for creativity in how you can approach different issues and make improvements to processes, making it easier for others in the future.
What does your day-to-day role involve?
There is no typical day-to-day routine as the role mainly involves responding to changes or challenges that arise within the projects. Having said that, there are some constant elements which include reviewing project reports every 2 weeks, attending risk and dependency meetings, reviewing, and updating the project plans, and ensuring all projects adhere to the governance framework.
There are also areas that stretch and challenge my skills, such as the creation and maintenance of a finance tracker, a communications strategy, and opportunities to present to stakeholders. Overall, the interpersonal aspect of the job is key in terms of being able to manage stakeholders and communicate with other project managers effectively. It therefore involves leading meetings, creating presentations, and getting updates from the wider team.
What stood out about Experian and why did you apply?
The main area that stood out about Experian was their culture. When doing my research it was evident that every employee is valued and this was only reinforced throughout the application process.
I was also drawn by their top ranks in various workplace awards and high employee reviews on online platforms, where current employees praised the working culture, work-life balance, and overall job satisfaction. It was key to work in a place that valued me as an individual, and it was evident that there is a real focus on individuality here. Experian makes every effort to help with personal or professional development while recognising and celebrating people’s achievements.
It didn’t feel so daunting to work in such a big organisation, thanks to the homely and supportive atmosphere within the teams.
How do you feel the Early Careers Development Programme has helped with your learning journey so far?
Being part of the Early Careers Development Programme has made a real difference to my experience as there have been opportunities to interact with the other graduates and apprentices, attend training sessions and network with people from around the business. The Early Careers team provide a breadth of development opportunities, such as learning about personality types at work, workshops on improving hard & soft skills as well as podcasts and presentations on topics ranging from resilience to career progression. The training sessions are especially useful, as I have been able to apply the content to aspects of my own role. For example, a training session on giving and receiving feedback has helped me to stand out during end of year reviews and has helped me to strengthen my relationships with colleagues within my team.
The social aspect of the programme has also helped me to meet new people and make connections across the business, while providing a support network that I can feel connected to. The Development Programme has been a crucial instrument during my first few months, as they ensure we are not thrown into the deep end without guidance, support, and opportunities for growth.
What has been a key achievement/stand out moment so far?
One of my key achievements was the creation of a brand-new quarterly newsletter for our team. Although I received support and guidance throughout this activity, I was also given the creative freedom to explore the most effective way to communicate our messages in a simple yet engaging manner. This allowed me to experiment with different formats and use different software tools to arrive at the best design. It was very rewarding to see the management teams trust me with owning the newsletter and I have picked up many soft skills in the process. As a result, after sending out the newsletter, I received positive feedback from our executive stakeholders – which gave me a real sense of pride! Others have also started to align to a similar format which encouraged our team to start thinking about our overall brand within the organisation.
What's one thing you now like about Experian that you didn't expect before you started?
One thing that surprised me is the positive atmosphere within the business, especially when I am in the office. I had imagined it to be a very serious, corporate office with little socialising. I was however pleasantly surprised to see that it has a very relaxed atmosphere, with friendly people of all ranks sitting together in an open plan space. There aren’t separate offices for the management, which makes me feel more connected to the organisation as a whole, with no barriers between employees. The positive culture shines through the entire organisation, so everyone feels welcome and included in all aspects of the business.