I joined Nationwide just over a year ago, having previously spent 7 years working in Welsh local government. An ex-colleague was already working for Nationwide and was very positive about the company, and told me there were a few roles I may be interested in. Having checked the careers site, I really liked Nationwide's values. I also found it encouraging that there was a defined Business Analysis Practice, especially as it mentioned an expanding remit and progression opportunities.
Winning IIBA™ 'UK Business Analyst of the Year'
I'd only been with Nationwide for 10 months when Rob, one of the Business Analysis Practice Managers, nominated me for Business Analyst of the year. He'd heard about my approach to a project I was working on, and was impressed enough to put me forward.
Being the only person nominated by the BA Practice made it even more special, particularly as I was still quite new to the organisation. I'd never thought that I'd win - it felt like such an honour to even be nominated. Each time I got further in the competition, I thought it couldn't get any better.
On the day of the Awards, my Manager Glenn and our Head of Practice Kim were there to support me; it was nerve-wracking before the award was announced as I knew how much they believed in me and I didn't want to let them down.
When I heard my name announced as the winner, it was a mixture of complete shock and joy; I could hear Kim and Glenn cheering me on as I walked up to receive the award. As soon as I left the stage they both hugged me and were really excited (almost more than I was!). It was a great moment.
A few months on and I'm still really proud to have achieved something so amazing; before winning my family had never really understood what I did for a living, as I'd never been able to sum up 'Business Analysis' in a sentence. Having now won an Industry award for 'Business Analyst of the Year' my family appreciate that whatever I do I must be pretty good at it!
Living up to expectations?
Having lived in Wales for 7 years with my partner (who's Welsh born and bred), I was nervous asking if we could relocate. I wasn't sure at the time if it was the right thing for us to do.
We decided to visit Swindon together before we made our decision; thankfully we knew immediately we'd be happy here. Since we've moved my Mum, Brother and Sister in law have even relocated to Swindon, they liked it as soon as they started visiting.
When I first started I just hoped that Nationwide would live up to the positive image it promotes. I hadn't truly expected the culture to be as good as it is, particularly considering how large the organisation is.
What else have I achieved at Nationwide?
I spent my first couple of months on an operational project that involved working across sites in Swindon, Bournemouth and Northampton, looking at current state technological capabilities and opportunities for streamlining and capability re-use.
I moved to a large strategic digital programme in December 2014, leading a process transformation work stream. It's a really fast-paced programme, and I get the opportunity to shape ideas pre-project. This has involved presenting to senior stakeholders, running large 'expansive thinking' workshops, gathering customer insight through focus groups as well as interviews to help move the Society towards its 5 year digital vision.
Day to day, there's lots of 'best things' about my role. I love the variety and the job satisfaction I get from being able to influence decision-making through my analysis work, and making sure we deliver the right things for the right reasons.
Who are we looking for?
I think my background is quite different from many of my colleagues, but we're quite a diverse group. We all bring something unique to the role and it's great that the Practice value different career backgrounds. As Nationwide's change programme is so large, there are lots of projects and portfolios requiring different experience.