When I entered the workforce after completing my undergraduate program in 2015, I wouldn’t have guessed I’d be working in the field of Business Intelligence (BI). I graduated with an economics degree and began my career working in finance and sales. Soon after, realizing that this was not the path I wanted to pursue, I decided to pivot my career goals towards Information Technology (IT) and enrolled in an Information Technology Management program. This consisted of a broad array of subjects within the IT field. Through my database, data analysis and BI courses I was able to narrow down BI as a potential career path.
With this mindset, upon the culmination of my graduate program, I was able to land a decent job with a large well-known bank. It just so happened to be as a Business Intelligence Specialist. Eager to get started I showed up excited and ready to learn. The work was a great initial experience for me. About a year into that position I was introduced to an opportunity to join Talavant, a small consulting firm as a Business Intelligence Consultant. My time with Talavant has exceeded my expectations and has given me insight into the differences between working for a large corporation and a small consulting firm. While my position with the large bank gave me the experience I needed to land a position with Talavant, both businesses have given me a better perspective on how this transition has shaped my career path moving forward.
I’d like to highlight three key characteristics I have experienced since the transition that I feel lacked in my time working with a large bank. I am not saying that working for a large bank/corporation is bad or that similar companies are completely devoid of these characteristics. It is just the opinion I have formed based on my experience working with both sides of the coin.
3 Benefits of Small Firm Employment
The first characteristic – Opportunity. Working for a small consulting firm that is growing continuously you must be willing to take on as many opportunities as you can. Ironically this was something that I was really looking for in a position. The opportunity to learn new areas of BI and gain experience in a working setting has truly expanded my abilities. I feel like there is always something new I can be implementing in my practice and I believe making this transition has provided the pathway to do so.
The second characteristic – Continuing Education. This was probably the most important characteristic I was looking for in a career. I knew that to advance my career I would need to be in a position that would allow and provide avenues for continuing education. Our leadership has made it clear that this is a very important aspect of our firm. Within my short time here I have found myself taking courses, researching topics, and reading articles on many subject areas that I had no experience in and no avenues to previously.
The third characteristic – Teamwork. While this may sound cliche, within my career I have never experienced the level of collaboration and effectiveness I have found working with a consulting team. Everyone is their own expert in many different areas, which is a great tool to leverage when working on a broad array of projects. Our team is always willing to lend a helping hand and, in my time, have gone above and beyond any other level of teamwork that I have experienced in other positions. I believe teamwork is a characteristic that can set companies apart from competitors; after all, ‘two heads are better than one’!
All in all, working for a small consulting firm is still a new experience for me. My transition from a large bank has been exceptional to this point; yet, I am continuing to learn the ins and outs of what makes it such a beneficial position for my career path. The opportunities it provides seem endless, the importance of continuing education is rewarding, and the reliability of teamwork makes for a great working environment. Together these characteristics have allowed me and our team to present our customers with nothing but the highest quality of work. In the end, I believe it is the transition to work for a small consulting firm that has shaped and will continue to shape my career in Business Intelligence.