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A Day in the Life of a Senior Business Analyst at Admiral

We spoke to Kirsty Williams-Henry a Senior Business Analysis at Admiral who has worked for the company for over eight years. Here she tells us about her role and what it’s like for a woman in tech.

Tell us about your career so far and what led you to a career in Technology?
I would say I fell into my career in technology due to my love of all things tech from a young age: I was the first of my friends to have a PC and I used it for almost everything! I pursued my love of technology at college by doing an A-Level in computing where I was the only girl in a class of eight. I found that I had a natural flare for technology as it aligned with my love for problem solving and the logical way my brain works.

I soon realised that technology was the future and I wanted to be a part of it! I went on to achieve a first-class degree in Computer Forensics at the University of Glamorgan.

After graduating I became a coder and developer for a company that had forty-three men working there and me, alongside one other woman who was not in a tech-related role. After this I joined the IT Graduate Programme at Admiral where I have found a home for the past eight years. On the Graduate Programme I got to dip into lots of different roles and ended up as an IT Business Analyst, something I would never have imagined myself doing prior to the programme. 

What does a typical day in your role at Admiral look like? 
No day at Admiral is typical! During a day at work lots of things could crop up, such as live bugs that might pull me away from other projects and diversify my day. Admiral is very good at allowing employees to try new things.

Each day allows you to put a different hat on, you have a lot of freedom to explore.

My day often involves meetings and discussions with Product Owners and Project Managers.  I need to be able to understand systems from their point of view and how they would be using them. This means I can explain things to them and put guides together to aid their understanding.

Most of my time is spent with the Developers and Testers within my team. I translate the requirements from those on the business side of the company to those on the IT side, enabling problems to be solved. Attention to detail is key as a Business Analyst - the smallest of details must be correct for systems to function correctly.

Admiral have also been great at flexible working: they have been very accommodating to me and my changing needs and have also been great at enabling us to work from home effectively during the pandemic.

If you could begin your career path over, would you change anything?
I would never change my job role; I love it and feel like it is a great fit for my skillset. If I had to change one thing it might be to investigate different areas of IT and more specifically IT Security as I find it an extremely interesting area.

How does your work impact Admiral and its customers?
My role as a Business Analysist means that I am involved in the business end-to-end. I meet those in business Operations to see the reality of how the technology that I work on is being used throughout the business, as well as any problems that might occur. From there, it is about them collectively working out what they may want from IT and the system and then it is translated into something that the IT team can take forward and work on.

Being able to see how the changes really impact those working within the business services and the call centres of Admiral really inspires me to work harder and is one of the most rewarding parts of the job.

Do you have any advice for women that want to start a career in Technology? 
It can be difficult for those in Technology to put themselves into other people’s shoes whether it be the customers, those in call centres or those in business support areas, and I have found that the women in tech that I have worked with have been excellent at doing this.

The language of development and IT can also be intimidating but I encourage people to spend a day with my team so that they can see that they would easily pick it up. No one should be afraid of Technology; anyone can do it if they give it a chance! I would advise women to find the part that interests them within Technology and run with it. For example, if you have a creative mindset, there are many creative elements to IT.  You need to be an artist to write code!

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Admiral Life

Meeting our ex-Army employee - Matthew

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General

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Blog

** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

09/04/2021

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We spoke to Matthew, who prior to joining us at Admiral, was in the Army for over eighteen years, serving in the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment. As you may know, Admiral signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2019. We are committed to supporting reservists, ex-armed forces personnel and their families, both inside and outside of the workplace. Before coming to work at Admiral, Matthew was in the Army for over eighteen years. We caught up with him to hear more about his transition out of the Army and into Admiral… Could you tell us a bit more about your experiences in the army? I joined the Army at 15, right after I took my GCSEs. I thought I was the hardest kid in the world when I joined, but I found out I wasn’t! Honestly, I was a bit of a tear-away, and joining the Army did me a world of good. I had a really varied experience. I started out in the Coldstream Guards – wearing a red jacket and a furry hat outside Buckingham Palace, living in Westminster and then Chelsea barracks. One year, instead of taking part in the Trooping of the Colour, I decided to try out for P-Company. I was successful, got my wings, and joined 3 Para (3rd Battalion, Parachute Company). I saw a lot of conflict – Northern Ireland, the First Gulf War, Bosnia and Serbia, the Second Gulf War, Afghanistan. I had some good days, and some bad days; in the army your bad days are really bad. How did you find the transition out of the army? Transitioning was hard, but eventually I made the choice to leave and be with my family. Right before lockdown, I was a guest speaker at my children’s school, and one of the children asked me what the hardest thing about being in the Army was. I told them that physically it was P-Company selection, but that mentally the hardest thing was leaving. When I drove out of the camp for the last time, and realised it was all over, I pulled my car to the side of the road and cried my eyes out. I didn’t want to leave. The Army is more than a job, it becomes a massive part of your life. I was so young when I joined that there were things I had never had to do for myself before, like going to the doctors and getting a bus. Civvy street can be really overwhelming. After eighteen years, I was very institutionalized, and to an extent I probably will be for the rest of my life. The Army is a completely different world, and the transition out takes a lot of adjustment. Whilst I was in the Army, there were times where I thought I would prefer an office job, mainly to have a rest from running up and down mountains with my kit on. In reality, the transition to an office job was mind-numbing, and I wished I was back on those mountains. It took time, but I adjusted. That’s what they teach you in the Army - improvise, adapt and overcome, and that’s what I did. How did you come to work at Admiral? It took me a while to end up at Admiral. Straight after I left the Army, I worked in Close Protection and Counter Terrorism, which is a natural step for a lot of ex-servicemen. After a while, life events took over and I had to step away. I ended up in Technical Support for a while, and if I’m really honest, it wasn’t the job for me. I didn’t mind the job so much, but the place I worked was difficult. I’m based Swansea way, so I ran into lots of people who worked at Admiral, and I heard nothing but good things. When I first joined, I was shocked at how different it was to my old company. On my first day of training, when we were talking about car parking arrangements, I asked my manager a question about bringing a motorcycle to work. She told me that she didn’t know the answer, but that she’d find out. Within ten minutes, she got back to me with the information I needed. I remember being shocked. At the last place I’d worked I would ask a relevant question and most of the time, I’d never hear back. The level of communication at Admiral is similar to the Army, and it was really refreshing. How have you found working at Admiral? Honestly, it is rare to work for a company that supports you like Admiral does. I know that because Admiral isn’t the first company I have worked for since leaving the Army. I struggle with PTSD, but my Team Managers have always got behind me and supported me, even when I’m having a bad day. It’s quite easy for me to slip into the squaddie mentality of ‘I’m fine’, but I’ve worked a lot with People Services (HR) and they have given me the support that I need. It’s the first time since I’ve got out of the Army that I know I’m working for a company that supports me as much as they can and understands my situation. Civvy street can be really hard, and that’s why it is so important to know that you’re in a place where you will be looked after no matter what. That is what Admiral is for me. What are you up to at the moment? I currently work as a Customer Loyalty Representative. My role includes development, so I get to do some coaching within my team and the department which I really enjoy. I also spend time monitoring other peoples’ roles and improving our customer service. There is a lot of opportunity for progression at Admiral, and I am excited to be moving onwards and upwards, building another career for myself. What transferable skills do you feel the Army has given you? I think the biggest one is communication. In the Army, you’re constantly interacting with people you don’t know, so you really develop the skill of confident communication, which has definitely come in handy in my current role. Flexibility is another one. In the Army, there is a saying that you have Plan A and Plan B, but it’ll be Plan C that comes into play. And it’s true – there have been times when I have planned and trained for months, only for something to not happen. Similarly, having a sense of humour, because it keeps you grounded and helps you face any situation. In my current role, if things don’t go exactly to plan it doesn’t phase me, because I can keep things in perspective, find a solution, and move on. I suppose you could say it has made me more resilient. What do you enjoy most about working at Admiral? No one shouts around here and compared to other places I’ve worked that’s a real plus! Apart from that, there’s real variety in the people you speak to on the phones and I really enjoy interacting with customers. I’ve always believed that it’s worthwhile coming to work if you can help someone out, and make their life just a little bit easier, and in my current role I get to do that. One of the customers I spoke to the other day told me that I had made her day, and it’s the rewarding moments like that which make it enjoyable. That’s why I love my role and being a part of Admiral.

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Valvanuz Guerrero-Perez

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Valvanuz Guerrero-Perez

A Day in the Life of a Data Warehouse Developer at Admiral

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Admiral Tech

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Blog

** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

20/11/2020

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Meet Cara who has worked at Admiral for just under five years. Here she tells us about her role as a Data Warehouse Developer. What led you into a career in Technology and what has your journey been like so far?  I decided to do a degree in Mathematics at Swansea University because I had enjoyed maths throughout my education. This progressed to a master’s degree in Mathematics which further allowed me to pursue my love for maths. Alongside my studies I did a number of placements and internships with Swansea Hospital where I learnt about nanotechnology and the data that goes into it, and also with Morriston Hospital where I worked in laboratories and analysed the data behind them. This was the first time I had really looked into data and it helped me realise that I wanted to find a graduate scheme that involved data and also allowed for career progression in a good job that I would enjoy. I decided to apply for the Admiral Graduate Program. I went into the Data Warehouse function and have been there ever since. Although I felt as if I fell into Technology, my mother worked in IT and was a massive inspiration to me, meaning a career within Technology never felt out of reach. I am grateful for the flexible working options available at Admiral and I think that the company has coped with the COVID-19 pandemic well. Most employees are now working from home, but even before then I was part of a working from home pilot that meant I got to work from home three days a week. Core hours, that used to mean that you had to be present in the office 10am-4pm, have now been removed in IT, allowing a flexible way of working. What would a typical day in your role at Admiral look like?  Although life is very different right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, like many employees at Admiral, I do not feel as if there is a real typical day working for Admiral. When we were in the office, the first thing we would do as a team is have a morning coffee together. I really value my teammates and a big part of the love I have for my job comes from the people that I work with. After this, I have a stand-up meeting with my team which is a run through of what each of us will be working on. I can then get on with my own tasks and normally, I will code all day. I enjoy the flexibility and freedom that my role provides. How does the work you do impact Admiral as a business and its customers? I work in Data Warehouse which is of critical importance at Admiral. Recently, I have been working on a report that shows how many cars, vans and houses we have on cover each day. This report is given to Senior Management each morning to give a clear picture of the company’s standing. Although most of our Technology roles are not directly customer-facing, our teams are central to facilitating our excellent customer service experience.  Do you have any advice for women that want to get into Technology but feel intimidated?  I have personally never felt intimidated being a woman working within Technology. When doing a maths degree, which was predominantly male, I never felt as if I didn’t belong or that I didn’t deserve to be there. The advice I have for any women that want to get into Technology is that they should not be scared or intimidated. Just under a year ago I attended and gave a speech at a conference in London where around nine-thousand people attended. After I had finished my speech, I was informed that only sixteen percent of the speakers were women. This incredibly low representation of female speakers shocked me. Unfortunately however, this does reflect the representation of women working within the Technology industry. After learning more about it, I realised how great it was to be one of the few representing women in Technology and showing women that if I can do it, so can they! It is great to be part of a company that aligns with my morals and advocates equal opportunities in Technology. 

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Kate Williams

Kate  Williams

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Kate Williams