Have you ever wondered what skills are required to be a Business Analyst in one of the world’s leading asset management firms? Tisha Talabi gives us the behind the scenes of her current role and how a typical day looks like. She also shares her advice to candidates/graduates looking for a career in this field.
How did you get into your current role?
My entry into the world of technology was pretty standard in some ways and very interesting in other ways. I studied Mechanical Engineering at university with no plans to work in either technology or engineering, but I knew that my degree choice would be a good foundation for a variety of different careers and decided this would be best to pursue. During my time at university, I completed several internships and a placement year working as an engineer and this helped me to confirm that I did not wish to further pursue a career in engineering. After my third year on a four-year course, I decided to take an interest in banking based on my family background and also my interests in economics during my A-Levels; however, I was worried that without a relevant degree, it would be difficult to transition. Since I already had a background in a STEM subject, I decided to try my luck with technology in a financial environment. I completed a summer internship with my current employer and then progressed successfully onto the graduate scheme. I am now a full-time business analyst in the technology division of a global asset manager.
If you are interested in working in technology, you do not need to be a superstar in Computer Science or Software Engineering, you simply need a passion for the discipline and a willingness to learn!Tisha Talabi
What’s a typical day like for you?
Working from home has made a typical working day extremely strange for me. Once I have completed my morning routine which I have to try very hard to stick to these days, I start my day by checking through emails. This can range from IT alerts, social messages, newsletters and project related queries and so I make time to address each one accordingly. Later on in the morning, I attend a group meeting known as a ‘stand-up’, this is when members of the team briefly discuss what their plans are for the day and highlight any issues or concerns they may have.
As a business analyst, I work with the developers to ensure that they are creating solutions to problems that the business has highlighted. My role involves working with a tool called Salesforce and so most of the analysis I do requires me to understand how Salesforce works, this ensures that I do not make empty promises to the business and that I can help them to understand how certain processes and applications work. As a result, I often have many meetings and workshops with business stakeholders to communicate different issues and possible solutions.
I also partake in a number of extra-curricular activities! I volunteer as a mentor for two different charities, one that focuses on coaching a-level students with further education or the world of work; and another that focuses on preparing university students for their careers. I am also a Mental Health first aider, working to support the wellbeing of my colleagues. In light of the unfortunate events that have been taking place in our society, I am also a founding member of a working group to improve the conditions in the black community whilst encouraging the recruitment of black people within asset management. It is this work that truly fuels me during a typical day because I am reminded of the opportunities, I have to make a positive impact on those around me. Finally, I am also a part of a working group that delivers social events to colleagues and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with likeminded individuals to organise events and celebrate our colleagues.
What skills are required for your role?
My role requires great communication, research and analysis skills. Surprisingly enough, my role does not require me to be a technical superhero! I have to understand the basics of Salesforce and share this knowledge with my business stakeholders. When an issue is presented, I often do a root-cause analysis to further understand the problem, and have several discussions with the stakeholder to create good clarity and understanding. As you can imagine, working as a middle-man between two parties (developers and the business stakeholders) means that it is also extremely important to be organised. Details from meetings need to be documented in a clear and concise manner and information needs to be relayed to the relevant parties in a timely manner.
Why did you choose Tech as your field of work?
There are several attributes about my role that attracted me to it. First of all, I enjoy collaborative work that achieves a common goal and my role requires me to work with multiple teams to find information to solve problems. This leads on nicely to the next attribute I enjoy: problem solving! As a former mechanical engineer, it is simply in my nature to want to solve problems and so this is the part of the role I enjoy the most. Further to this, I enjoy project work that requires me to have high-level knowledge; in my role I do not need to focus on small details, rather I pay attention to the bigger picture to create solutions and this gives me an opportunity to learn about various areas of the company I work for.
From your experience, what advice would you give to candidates looking for a career in this field?
My biggest piece of advice would be not to limit yourself! Whatever your background, you will have transferrable skills that will be beneficial to any role. If you are interested in working in technology, you do not need to be a superstar in Computer Science, or Software Engineering, you simply need a passion for the discipline and a willingness to learn! Use your spare time to learn as much as you can about the tools and languages that you feel will be applicable to the world, and also learn about the industry as a whole. There are thousands of great programmers, but having a wider appreciation for the industry will help you stand out, so celebrate your uniqueness and use it to push you forward! All the best!