Tell us about yourself ?
I Am Esther Olarewaju, a HR professional with Fidelity International. I’m currently upskilling by taking on an IFS Specialist Apprenticeship in Data Analysis. I am married and have a 16 year old daughter. I work in Learning & Development within HR as an L&D Apprentice specialist.
Where are you doing the Apprenticeship Programme?
The IFS Specialist Apprenticeship is a combination of college work delivered in a blended form of virtual learning/on-site lectures by the National College of Ireland, as well as work-based learning with Fidelity.
Were you always interested in getting into this line of work?
Yes, I have always been interested in Data Analysis. I love uncovering the well-hidden stories and business insights that this work can reveal. Behind data lies a lot of useful information but only when its analysed properly and presented in a useful way for management.
How did you come across the IFS Apprenticeship Programme?
I saw a flyer in the office, made enquiries about it and applied for the apprenticeship as it suited my career goals perfectly.
How’s the Apprenticeship going so far? What skills are you learning?
I’m learning data programming skills, like R and Python and I’ve been able to use my skills to deep dive into data and solve statistical problems. I’m upskilling on business analysis and project management and I’m learning all about the operational side of financial services companies.
How has the programme benefited you?
It has helped me to be more analytical and it has given me business, project management and data analysis capabilities that I didn't have before so I’m really happy to be learning things that will give me a better future in the industry.
So, what are the plans for the future? The plan is to complete the second year of the programme. In the next three semesters we will be learning more about Predictive Data, Machine Learning and the operational side of the business. I plan to use all of this with the work experience I have gained in work to push my business/data analysis career forward – that is exciting for me because I know the prospects are good.
What would you say to someone interested in doing the apprenticeship?
I’d tell the person to definitely go for it. The beauty of the IFS Apprenticeship is that the work experience is fundamental to the theory and learning at College. People often are educated in theory but don’t get to put things into practice but this apprenticeship is designed to give plenty of work based learning which includes getting a mentor (usually your manager) within the company and the mentor is obliged to make sure that the skills and learning gained in college is put into use in the office, so it’s seamlessly integrated into real life work experiences – that’s a great way to learn.