October Spartan of the Month: Varaidzo Meck13/11/2020
After finding a passion for Project Management during University, Varaidzo ‘Vari’ Meck sought out an entry level role in technology before coming across Sparta Global. Now 12 months into her technology career, Vari is excelling in the Project Management position she aimed for, working with countless internal and external stakeholders to drive exceptional project delivery and effect change.
Congratulations for being named Spartan of the Month for October! Can you tell us a bit more about how your journey with Sparta Global began?
I completed a degree in Management Studies at the University of Leicester before joining Sparta Global’s London Academy in October 2019.
I had been looking for entry level roles in the tech industry for some time and came across Sparta Global on my research. I applied, joined the BA course and graduated at the end of November 2019!
How did you decide Sparta Global was the right path for you?
I had always been in interested in working in Project Management, but I didn’t really know where to start! Although I studied a relevant course at University, I knew that a lack of theoretical knowledge and practical experience on my part would make getting an entry level role more difficult. Sparta Global provided the opportunity for me to develop my IT skills with relevant training, to achieve a BCS qualification and gave me exposure to different clients I might not have had access to otherwise.
How did you find your training experience at the Academy?
Training at the Academy was great. At times I did find it tough and challenging, but in hindsight it helped me to build up my work ethic and prepare me for the demanding nature of project delivery. The training allowed me to develop my knowledge whilst learning in a highly supportive and inclusive environment. I also had a fantastic trainer and mentor in Zoe Okereke whose experience and teaching methods allowed me to achieve great results.
How do you think your training prepared you for work?
I found the training to be highly relevant - most of what I learned has been applicable in both of my placements.
Some of the tools we used in training I rely heavily on to do my job effectively, so it was nice to be familiar with these tools from the outset. The theory and modules provided me with the fundamentals I needed to build-up my competencies and knowledge, while practical exercises allowed me to improve and hone my soft skills in communication, time management and critical thinking. These are skills I use every day when dealing people, working to tight deadlines and being confronted by challenging situations.
What was your favourite part of training?
The final project was my favourite part of training at the Academy! My class and I gathered and elicited requirements for two Product Owners building a real Phone App and I was appointed Project Manager. This proved to be highly valuable experience for me and it gave me a good sense for what working in Project Management might be like.
You are currently on your second client assignment, can you tell us a more about your role?
Currently I work as a PMO Analyst at a large education company.
As a PMO Analyst I generally provide support to the delivery of different projects managed by IT at a Programme level. My daily tasks can include project planning and reporting, resource and vendor management, risk management, change management, budget tracking and financial analysis. Due to the holistic nature of my role, I engage with a lot of different stakeholders on a day to day to basis and my interactions are widespread. Internally I liaise with Project Managers, Business Analysts, SMEs, different business functions, delivery teams and even Senior Management. I also have regular external communications with third party vendors and consultancies.
How did it feel stepping into your first technology role just a few months after starting training with Sparta Global?
Although it seemed daunting at first, I have really grown into my role and I’m enjoying it!
Every day looks different, which is what I enjoy the most. I’ve supported a variety of different IT projects, from new ecommerce websites to complex system migrations, all of which have exposed me to different approaches to control and risk mitigation. It’s also been valuable experience to see projects take shape from early planning stages right through to implementation.
Being able to take ownership in my role has allowed me to establish my own ways of working and build confidence in my capabilities. Working alongside some very experienced Programme Managers has also allowed me to see the results that come with good governance and controls.
Are you enjoying working in the tech industry and if so – why?
I’m really enjoying working in the tech industry. I have seen first-hand how technology acts as the backbone of successful businesses when implemented and leveraged properly. Everything has a technological solution, and it’s exciting to work in an industry that’s at the forefront of modern innovation.