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Bridie Stevens

Subject: BA Management with Spanish

Graduated: 2008

Place of Work: Bluefin Solutions

Position: SAP Consultant

What particularly attracted you to study at Royal Holloway?

At the start, there were two main motivators that attracted me to Royal Holloway. Firstly, the campus size and atmosphere; it was really easy to be involved with sports, dancing, charity fashion shows and everything that makes a university experience more than just academic. I was involved with running societies, choreographing, teaching and producing shows throughout my time at Royal Holloway. These experiences not only give you a balanced lifestyle that helps you stay active and engaged throughout your studies; they also demonstrate to employers that you are more than just a good student.

Secondly, the flexibility of studying a joint honours degree was really important to me, as I wanted to strike the correct balance between studying abroad and reaching fluency in Spanish, whilst still maintaining scope for choice within my Management studies. Many universities simply did not offer Management with Spanish as an option, and yet Royal Holloway allowed me to study courses as disparate as Financial Accounting and Golden Age Spanish literature.

Did you research the course before you applied?

Yes, I was really excited about the Spanish literature courses as it was something I’d been passionate about for a long time. On the Management side I was a little less clued-up when I first applied, but my sister helped me understand a little more about what I could expect. I definitely think I made the right decision with the course I took.

How did you come to work at Bluefin Solutions?

After graduating I started working as a Project Manager in the web and software localisation industry. I decided to move on and started work as a Commercial Executive for Bluefin. After a year I realised that what I really enjoyed was the technical work and wanted increased involvement with more substantial projects. Bluefin Solutions runs an annual Graduate Scheme so I manage to qualify through the competency tests and interviews to join the Consulting team and have been promoted up the company since. Bluefin have a great ethos of taking on graduates that show potential but might not have taken the most direct route into IT. They look for astute graduates with business acumen or other soft-skills, the rest you can learn.

Tell us about your current role.

As a Business Intelligence Consultant my work is extremely varied and is largely dependent on the project I am managing or the client I am working with. I usually spend a few months on a single project working on everything from gathering the business requirements, designing and building the technical solution, testing and running training sessions for the end-users.

What are the best parts of your job?

The best thing about being an IT Consultant is that you never get bored: the nature of the job means that you are continually learning and developing. I have a lot of responsibility in my role which I found really empowers me to develop fast as an individual.  Seeing the full project lifecycle is also particularly rewarding as you can see a concept grow into a working solution for high-profile Multinational Corporation.

What is the most important thing you learnt at Royal Holloway that you can apply to your professional or personal life?

The most important skill I learnt at Royal Holloway is the ability to teach myself. My degree typically had very few contact hours and so self-study and research were skills I developed early on. In my industry it is vital to be able to troubleshoot, research and find creative and new solutions. I have recently completed a project which analyses spend using SAP’s new Spend Performance Management tool; there have been very few implementations of this globally so I was working largely in unknown territory with little documentation. Research and troubleshooting are highly transferable skills that certainly give me an advantage as a Consultant.

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