Joining Insight has had an impactful change on my career path. My Business Analytics Degree from the University of Leeds would have led me down a career in Business Intelligence. In fact, I had applied for an analytical role through the agency that managed the InsightEdge Graduate Programme recruitment in 2018. Instead, the agency pushed me towards the programme because they felt my skills aligned with that of the programme desirables and I successfully joined Insight as an Internal Account Manager.
My main role was to build my own book of non-spending accounts and position services around our four solution areas. I began to feel both comfortable and confident about 6-months into my role as an InsightEdge graduate. This was primarily due to my internal presentations on Manage & Transform, Power BI and reflective presentations on my time at Insight. I attacked each presentation by presenting a challenge, the desired outcome and real-life successful example. Due to preparing and connecting each of my presentations this way, I genuinely grasped the concepts and enjoyed presenting them.
Since joining Insight, I quickly explored the constant curiosity that I never had before. The transparency over the structure and internal career pathways gave me the hunger to accelerate and move within Insight. I mapped out what I wanted to do within the industry, based on what I was good at, but also what I enjoyed. I quickly realised I preferred the technical side over sales.
Due to the knowledge of the basics and solution areas that I had gained in the Edge programme, I was mostly revisiting the terminology when it came to revising for certifications. I dedicated about an hour a day for just over a week to study for the Azure Fundamentals Exam. I'd advise utilising the free online resource on the Microsoft website, but also the free boot camps and online training websites like Udemy that facilitate additional ways to learn. Lastly, dedicate some time to learn from teammates who are already within the role you are studying.
The Azure Fundamentals accreditation boosts your knowledge for conversations with your clients and boosts your recognition within the business and industry. You will come away with the basic knowledge around core cloud concepts, and Azure services. It is useful for understanding the “how” behind Azure’s solutions by adding depth to traditional client calls and the ability to discuss aspects like storage reliability, security, backup options and regional availability zones.
Now, as Product Specialist for Connected Workforce and Digital Innovation, my main role is to build out our service portfolio for both CW and DI and provide our global clients with innovative solutions. I see my next step in my career path to be an S3 (solution sales specialist) within a future technology area or a high-level consulting advisor. I really like the idea of working with future tech as it means I have to constantly learn and adapt. For example, helping clients be more productive using Microsoft’s HoloLens 2. To get there, besides developing in my current position, I would have to do more accreditations and build credibility in this field.
I credit my success so far to my hunger to succeed but also to those I was able to work with from the start. Scott Wagstaff was really helpful to talk to about account management and best practice when it comes to selling services. My former manager, Victoria Drewell, talked through what I wanted and her balanced management kept me feeling comfortable but supported. Vincent Caldwell asked me “finding” questions, to expand my curiosity and help put me on the path I’m on today.
For those looking to shift or advance careers, I'd recommend identifying a potential role that interests you and then working backwards to make sure you are ready to make the switch. In my case, I knew I wanted to be a specialist, so I looked at what was required to be considered and what I needed to do to meet those requirements. Two actions that I felt were necessary was to get involved in opportunities around modern working and innovation strategies and accomplishing the relevant certifications for a specialist role. I worked with my manager and Insight's Learning and Development to come up with a plan and structured goals to help me progress.