I only recently joined the Alpha team as an ATS graduate and I already feel like a true member of the Alpha family! This is due to all the opportunities I have already been able to get involved with: client projects, internal projects, pro-bono work, socials and generally being in the Alpha office.
Week 1 – An Introduction to Alpha and Asset Management
Before starting I got to meet up with my Alpha buddy (your “go to” person for any questions, concerns or just a lovely chat). Knowing there is a familiar face in the office made my first day a lot less daunting.
During the course of the first week we came into the office early to have breakfast with a different group of people from Alpha before spending the day learning about different aspects of the firm through various talks and taking part in training sessions. Most of the sessions through the week were run by Alpha employees which helped build a picture of what everyone gets up to day-to-day. This, along with group lunches and evening socials meant that we met a large number of our Alpha colleagues during the first week which helped us all feel very welcome! Also, all of the graduates, both FMC and ATS, were together during the first week which helped to build a solid peer group base.
Weeks 2-4 – Developer Training
While the FMC graduates studied for their IMC exams, as an ATS graduate I took part in developer specific training during my second week. This consisted of working through online Salesforce training resources in preparation for our Salesforce training as well as taking the online Mendix Rapid Developer online course. By the end of the week I had gained my Mendix Rapid Developer qualification and felt ready for the Salesforce training. I spent the week in the Alpha office where all of the workspaces are hot desks, so I found myself sitting next to and chatting with different people every day. This helped me feel very at home and integrated.
Week three involved heading out of the office for Salesforce Platform Developer 1 training. This training served as a brilliant introduction into the platform that I would be working with on my first couple of client projects and set me up ready to start on client site.
Months 2-3 – My First Few Projects
Coming out of Salesforce training I was placed on a client project for two weeks, this helped me to see how I would fit into projects and the day-to-day processes you go through with clients. I was fully supported by other members of the ATS team and jumped straight in applying what I had learnt during the previous weeks.
After completing two weeks on my first client site I found myself on my second project. I got to see a completely different aspect of client work as I joined this project right at the start and was part of the entire first section of the project (4 weeks). The project involved working with Salesforce and I really found myself getting to grips with the platform. I was then able to apply this knowledge further when we kicked off an internal Salesforce product development project. This project involves the whole ATS team and is being carried out alongside our client commitments and has been great fun as everyone is very supportive and helpful.
After wrapping up the second project I moved straight onto my current project using the Mendix platform. I rolled onto this project at the start of the particular section I have been assigned to but the project has been running for over a year so once again, it has been a very different experience! I am now out on client site Monday-Wednesday, in the Gherkin on Thursdays and back at the office on Friday. But frequent socials and end of month company meetings have meant that I do not feel as though I have lost touch with Alpha and the office still feels like home!
Responsibilities at Alpha do not stop with client work, you are also encouraged to get involved with different areas of the company – there are so many other projects and teams you can get involved with. I was asked to join the pro bono project for Lucy Faithful, our Charity of the Year. This involved building a Salesforce database with another ATS graduate alongside my client work. We built the database from scratch working from the charity’s requirements and helped them to move away from paper based filing. We also got to take part in demoing the database and collecting feedback to further refine our build. This was a brilliant project because of how involved we were with the entire process and hearing just how happy the charity was with how it would impact them was really rewarding.
As well as this I have taken on the role of PMO for Alpha’s Wellbeing team, I help manage our Investors website, I am organising the Alpha Ski Trip and I have helped with events for SEO and the graduate assessment centres. The “early responsibility” that I have been given has really made me feel valued and part of the team here at Alpha.
To summarise, I finished my first three months at Alpha with a certification, various training to prepare to take further exams, experience on three very different projects, many other responsibilities and strong relationships with many new colleagues. I am so excited to be part of such a young, social, diverse and rapidly growing company and I know that everyone at Alpha feels the same. Alpha has surpassed all my expectations and I know the other graduates feel the same. I cannot wait to see what happens next!
Holly Wootten, 2017 Graduate Intake