Katy Vallance

IT Business Analyst

  • Master of Arts, Geography and Business
  • Glasgow, University of
  • Placement Year (10 Months+)
  • TJX Europe

What did you do on a daily basis

My days consisted of meeting with business stakeholders to identify their requirements for future IT solutions. This included brainstorming sessions as well as organising requirements gathering sessions to gain a real understanding of what our business partners needed. I also wrote business requirements documents to capture our customers’ requirements in a formal way.

Other than Business Analyst specific tasks my days were also made up of knowledge transfer sessions where I would get together with various people from all over the company to gain an insight into the way TJX works and how IT projects fit into the wider organisation. I was also involved in meetings, answered emails and prepared presentations from time to time to share learnings with my team and the wider IT community. At TJX, no day is ever the same!

Highlights of the job?

One of the highlights of working at TJX was the culture of the organisation. I was immediately made to feel like I was part of the IT family and from day one was treated like a valued member of the team. Everyone in IT is incredibly friendly and always willing to help which made fitting in here very easy. Throughout the year the level of support I received from my team and the wider IT community was fantastic and this allowed me to develop my skills at an accelerated rate!

The job has been very varied and has given me a great deal of business knowledge through working with different stakeholders from all over the organisation. TJX is such a fast-paced organisation that every day is different and you are continually learning new things.

“It was great to be fully involved in projects and the level of responsibility given allowed me to experience what life as an Analyst is really like!”

How much responsibility were you given?

During the year I was given much more responsibility than I expected. At the start of the placement I was given a great deal of support within my role which enabled me to develop my skills in a risk-free way. As the year progressed and I became more competent in the BA role I was given the same level of responsibility as a full-time BA that has been working with the organisation for a number of years.

Throughout the entire placement I always had support available to help me along the way if and when I needed it. It was great to be fully involved in projects and the level of responsibility given allowed me to experience what life as an Analyst is really like!

How has your placement affected your career prospects?

The TJX Placement has greatly enhanced my career prospects! I have not only built great relationships with key contacts within the organisation but have also learned so many transferrable skills throughout the year. My communication and interpersonal skills have improved a huge amount through the work I have been doing as well as organisational and problem solving skills which have been vital for this role.

These skills will not only help me in my future career but also when I return to University for my final years. TJX as an organisation invest a great deal to ensure that placement year’s are filled with valuable learning opportunities such as Six Sigma and Situational Leadership training as well as ITIL and Skillsoft courses which will undoubtedly help me in my future career in!

“The organisation is fast-paced and great fun and it does offer great opportunities for your development”

What is a typical day on your placement?

A typical day included answering emails and setting up meetings with people from all over the business to learn about the way in which the organisation operates and to identify potential improvements in the way things are done. One week for example I worked on a project to introduce new ticket types into our stores. This project required me to gain an understanding of the current processes around ticketing, visit TJX Processing Centres as well as work closely with subject matter experts all across the supply chain to identify requirements for the solution.

Working on different projects throughout the year meant that no day was ‘typical’ within TJX and as new things crop up every day you are required to think on your feet and be very flexible! That was one of the things I loved most about going to work – every day was different!

Any top tips for a student interested in an internship with TJX Europe?

I think the best tip to give anyone if they think that TJX is for them is to be yourself! The assessment centres are designed to give you a flavour of TJX life as well as to determine if you will be suited for the role so it’s definitely a two-way street. It’s very friendly, relaxed and there is no formal preparation required. It is always best however to do your homework, so do some research about TJX and this will help determine if it is for you or not.

The organisation is fast-paced and great fun and it does offer great opportunities for your development so if it sounds like something you would be interested in then the best advice I can give would be to apply now, it’s definitely something you won’t regret!

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