Meet Ayisha, a Graduate Consultant in our Futures Business Unit. We chatted about her journey on our graduate scheme so far, how she’s already taking the lead on client projects, and who she’s backing for the F1 season.
What were your career plans before joining Roke?
Before Roke, I studied at the University of Surrey, my degree was in Business Management and I always knew I wanted to go down the consulting path, either strategic or management. I tried to get internships and summer schemes to strengthen my CV but COVID made that really difficult. I’d planned to do an MBA at some point but was keen to get experience in the industry first, and this is where Roke’s graduate scheme came into play. It was the perfect opportunity to learn on the job and gain incredible exposure to some great people and exciting projects.
Personally, it was the graduate scheme that sparked my interest. I knew I had a lot to learn as although I did a year in industry, at a marketing firm, and gained a lot of useful transferable skills, I also needed the core competencies and training that Roke offered. From research, I could tell Roke really cared about its people and their development, it was a no brainer for me to join somewhere where I could learn in the conventional sense but also from experts in the industry.
You’ve joined our graduate programme. Please tell us about the programme and what you’ve learned so far.
At the start we had a six week intensive training period, introducing the basics of our professions, the senior leadership team and general life at Roke. It helped us ease into our roles and it was a good way to build your internal network from graduates and more senior members of the Roke team. Since then, there have been regular development check-ins with both my line manager and a senior consultant who was in my exact position a couple of years back. It’s useful to speak to people who have experienced what you’re going through first-hand and gaining support from your line manager helps to shape and drive your goals.
So far, I’ve learned that even if you don’t necessarily have the skills you feel like you should, at this point in your career, or feel like you’re suffering from imposter syndrome, they’ll come naturally as long as you apply yourself. It’s about giving everything your best shot. Being able to work smart effectively is important and the rest will come. What I love about Roke is the lack of judgement, there’s never a stupid question and the support you receive from everyone is great.
Tell us about the tasks you’ve worked on so far and the skills you’ve learned
My first project revolved around stakeholder engagement, subsequent requirements capture/analysis and implementation. The work was a challenge, I was given significant responsibility within the project. However, I never felt alone throughout the process. Being able to lead meetings with the client and their team gave me a lot of confidence and taught me how to build relationships and client trust.
Since moving off that project, I’m now working in the strategy space which is all very exciting and very much aligns with my long-term goals. Similarly to my previous project, the team are great and looking at how changing technology will impact certain aspects of communications is interesting.
How has Roke supported you so far?
Everyone at Roke has been a great help, I can’t thank my team and line manager enough for creating a safe and friendly environment to share ideas that you know will be respected. Given my lack of technical knowledge, I was concerned that this would limit my growth and opportunity but you learn as you go and are always put on projects that play to your skill set rather than against them.
What is the best thing about working for Roke?
For me it’s the access to people and variety of work, everyone is easily accessible and is always up for a chat – whether it’s work related or just wanting to catch up about the weekend. I think having an environment that is open minded is very important, especially as a graduate where it’s more often than not our first real job.
As graduates, we go onto multiple different projects over the two years, no day is ever the same – especially in consulting. The variety of clients and industries that we have opportunities to work with is really exciting. As a new starter, this is exactly what you need as I’ve always found the standard office job quite mundane! No one treats you like a graduate, here, and you’re entrusted with a great deal of responsibility right away. Your ideas are respected and you’re given support along the way so you don’t feel alone.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I like catching up with friends, I try to go to the gym three times a week (trying to get summer ready) but most importantly I love Formula 1. Unfortunately everyone at Roke seems to a Max fan but I’m team Lewis – there’s been many heated debates about who is better than who in the office!
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