September Spartan of the Month: Christopher Brigham17/10/2019
“Chris has been with us for a long time now and it has been brilliant to see his progression - from being part of our first Northern cohort to being invited to travel abroad as part of his second successful client assignment. Chris has a real passion for the job and his own personal development. This enthusiasm has been reflected in his work on-site, his attitude towards relocation, travel and playing an active part of our Spartan community”.
Chris White, Sales Director at Sparta Global
Congratulations for being named Spartan of the Month for September! Had you always expected to be working in technology?
I am delighted to be named Spartan of the month. Before I joined Sparta Global I worked in the retail sector for six years. It was my first job and I worked continuously from the age of 16, but it was not what I wanted to do.
I wanted to be a part of the forever-expanding IT business sector, but with my lack of experience - and graduate internships needing a minimum of two years’ experience - Sparta Global offered the perfect opportunity! It has been a one-of-a-kind experience and it’s given me the chance to meet like-minded people, get out of my comfort zone to learn new skills, and even travel. Recently, I had the opportunity to go to Paris for work with my current client!
How did you first come across Sparta Global?
I studied BSc Multimedia Technologies and did an MBA (Masters Business Administration) at Sheffield Hallam University, and always knew I wanted to gain valuable knowledge and experience in industry with my two degrees. I found out about Sparta Global via an online job board while searching for an opportunity in the IT business sector. Reading up on it, the Business Analyst/QA Testing course seemed to fit the bill completely!
I went on to train at Sparta Global’s pop-up Academy in Leeds and studied on the Business Analyst/Test stream. I joined in December 2016 and graduated in Jan/Feb 2017!
How did you find your training at Sparta Global?
The training was intense. Your learning is squeezed into a tight deadline to get you on your feet and out into work to develop, but everyone is very supportive at the Academy and helps to push you in the right direction.
How do you think this training helped prepare you for work?
The training gave me a Business Analyst certification, while the Test side helped me enter into the industry as a QA Tester. Before the training I never knew anything about Test - but I do now!
The training also helped me be more confident when delivering presentations in front of real clients and allowed me to make lots of connections with people who I hope to keep in touch with in the future!
How have you found your client assignments?
I am currently a QA Test Consultant at a Global Television network company - which I absolutely enjoy! I am testing an OTT service system and have found bugs that would have affected the end product – something that makes the job fun on a day-to-day basis. You know you and the rest of the QA team have done a good job of helping the final product get to the point it can go live. You can’t even get told off for doing a bit of exploratory testing and breaking things – it’s your job!
I was also recently given the chance to train a department! This has helped my leadership skills and communication skills and my ability to adapt and develop to meet the needs of the industry. Last month I also had the privilege of travelling with my Test lead to Paris to gain valuable training for the system - and yes there was time in the evening to explore after work!
My assignment before this - and first technology role - was with a Global Transportation company, and I thoroughly enjoyed that too! It was the first stepping stone to my career and helped me achieve many accomplishments – while also pushing me to gain more valuable skills. While there, I took part in a Hackathon where I put my ideas forward to the team and we came second place!
What advice would you give to trainees about to graduate from the Academy?
First assigned to a client in Stockton-on-Tees, it was harder to get to communal Spartan events in London. But both my clients and Sparta Global have always been there for support. Always push yourself further when on client site and get involved as much as you can on a daily basis, this will help you develop yourself as an individual.
Don’t be scared to raise a concern with a feature of a product if you think a different way might benefit it. Clients will take your ideas on board and sometimes make those little features a reality.
I have also recently been getting used to the Londoner lifestyle and though it was a dramatic change at first - I now enjoy it. Don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone, you never know where it will take you. This makes the job at Sparta Global that much more exciting!
Would you recommend Sparta Global to other graduates?
Sparta global has truly helped me progress and has given me the knowledge and opportunity to kick start my career. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to have a career in tech!