Consultant blog: “It's amazing to know more than a 1000 employees are using something that I have helped develop,”


I don’t need to report to a project manager or lead BA every morning and say; “What do you want me to do today?”. I am trusted to work independently and without someone looking over my shoulder 

James Doolan is a Spartan consultant at Christie’s auction house. After studying for a degree in Geology at Plymouth University, James’ desire to learn new skills led him to study BA, project management and software testing at our Birmingham Academy. Seven months after starting work as a Business Analysis consultant at Christie’s, we caught up with James to discuss his new role and how our training scheme has helped him kick-start an exciting career journey…

What drew you to Sparta Global’s Business course?

After leaving university I knew I wanted to find a role that offered me career progression. Having studied for a degree in Geology, I would need training to work in a business environment. When searching online I quickly came across Sparta Global and its business analysis (BA) course. 

Investing my time and energy into training would help me progress, which is what I wanted. With BA training I now have the opportunity to progress to roles in project management, programme management - even testing. BA roles really can act as a stepping stone, so I started my training at the Birmingham Academy as soon as I could.

You’ve been working at Christie’s for seven months now, how have you found the transition from the academy to work?

I quickly felt very confident in my role at Christie’s. Academy training made it very clear what was expected of an onsite BA and I was taught the logical, correct way to deal with problems and offer solutions.

In fact, I’ve learned that you really don’t need three years to learn everything at university! Although the academy training was intense, in a matter of months I had three qualifications. I think that learning in that quick, fast paced environment is a lot better than spending the whole three years picking up the same skills.

If you put the effort in during training, it really does pay off.

Tell us a little bit more about your work at Christie’s

In the short time I have been working as a BA consultant I have already been given opportunities to control my own work.

I don’t need to report to a project manager or lead BA every morning and say; “What do you want me to do today?”. I am trusted to work independently and without someone looking over my shoulder. I get on with what I am supposed to be doing and prioritise my own time. 

I will complete the work I have in my backlog - going through tickets and contacting the business for requirements - and only when I am lacking work will I go to the project manager. In addition to my day-to-day work I have completed user training, run presentations and taken part in software training – so it’s very varied.

Christie’s has recently developed a new software system for displaying information and we are developing a new report mechanism. I have been going through the old systems, updating reports, creating new reports and sharing my findings with software architects working on the project. 

You really have to understand a business to make changes within its IT department and I really enjoy meeting everyone in the business and gathering requirements for new projects.

Have you seen a positive impact from your work at Christie’s?

Definitely! The whole business is using things I have written the requirements and specifications for. It is amazing to know that 1000 employees are going to be using something that I have helped to develop. It’s incredible to see how much your own work has improved a company’s efficiency and how they complete certain tasks.