Starting a new job is daunting at the best of times, let alone mid-lockdown during a global pandemic. I received a job offer from Simpson Associates during my third year studying Maths at York University, and before long it was my first day – from a makeshift office in the spare room. Nevertheless, I was able to meet my team and other department heads like I would have done in the office (although without the buffet lunch) and soon settled into my new role. Simpsons has also hosted many social events in the short time I’ve worked here (including wine tasting and baking!), which has definitely helped.
Luckily, a course-mate from university also joined Simpsons at the same time, which was a huge added bonus. Not only were we able to relate to each other as new starters, but learning together meant that we could collate and consolidate our newfound knowledge and push each other to make more progress. Since working here, we’ve been trained on Azure, Power BI and SQL, and have done certifications in Azure Data Fundamentals, Data Analyst Associate and Azure Fundamentals. The structure has meant that I’ve learnt things that will undoubtedly further my career, with the support of a team and company that really care. Hiring graduates means more training and learning on the job (and mistakes to correct!) but at Simpsons, there’s a nurturing culture where it’s clear that they care, without anyone having to say it.
Of course, there are little questions and clarifications that are much more of a hassle virtually – I’m only human, so there’s naturally been times where it’s felt rude or silly to ask a question over Microsoft Teams that would ordinarily be a 10 second conversation in the office. But even that has come with its perks, as I’m much more confident to ask those questions now. Because part of my role includes talking to customers, working from home means that I’m also more confident to talk to them, as I don’t have to worry about things like traffic, and there’s much less pressure when I’m in a familiar place.
In terms of my day-to-day work, I’ve fallen into a routine working from home which still allows me to talk to various people throughout my day. Prior to starting, I was worried that I would have days where I wouldn’t talk to anyone due to working from home, but luckily that hasn’t happened. I have a daily catch-up with my manager which has really helped with open communication, as well as with workload.
So far, my favourite part of a project is creating the Power BI reports; as a visual representation of my work, it’s the closest thing to a physical product I have to show for my work, which is very satisfying! It also allows customers to interact with their data, giving me a sense of achievement, as prior to that, they often wouldn’t have such a visual or interactive view of their data.
As my first job out of university – and in the middle of a lockdown – I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I joined Simpson Associates. Looking back now, I needn’t have worried at all!
As a growing organization, we’re always on the lookout for talent, so why not take a look at our Jobs page to discover the exciting opportunities currently available.
Oliver Boult, Consultant
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