Cindy, Junior Solutions Architect at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, talks about her journey through the business.
What is your current role?
My current role is a Junior Solutions Architect.
How long have you been at AI?
I have been working in AI for 3 years and 5 months.
Tell us about your career path.
I joined the company as a Graduate Software Engineer, having acquired a BSc Computer Science, landing my first project with one of our biggest commercial clients as a Junior PM. This role enabled me to work alongside BAE and Client-side Senior Managers and Directors. I then landed my first Software Engineering role with a Government Client not long after, where I worked as a backend developer, primarily Java. This was so very exciting and at the same time petrifying, as gone were the days of developing tic tac toe games and developing substantial systems to help save a vast number of lives. I was a Software Developer for a number of years and then wanted to get involved in other stages of the development lifecycle such as testing and requirement gathering. I always had a passion for designing IT systems and interacting with clients so wanted to eventually land into a Technical Architect role.
What are the three factors that have been instrumental to your career progression at AI?
Networking – taking the time to get to know your colleagues via events such as conferences or even day-to-day will build you companions and open up opportunities.
Having a mentor - mentors can help you identify and work on the skills you need to succeed at work and your career in general. They’ll be able to support and/or advise you if you are in need of any guidance.
Constructing a plan – identify the goals you would like to achieve and then start planning steps to get you where you need to be.
Can you describe your typical day?
A typical day would involve me attending SCRUM meetings for a project I am assigned to (1+). Creating and/or editing various architectural documents for the project(s) I am involved in or for general use by the architecture body that sits within a Government account. Liaising with the Strategy and DevSecOps body and providing overall governance with the support of the Senior Architect.
What’s your favourite thing to do on the weekend?
Playing tennis and giving my dog belly rubs!
If you could try one new thing what would it be?
Scuba diving - I think turtles are adorable, so would love to swim with them and other marvellous sea creatures.
What’s the best career advice you’ve been given and still use today?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn from them - this is very much true as everyone makes mistakes (yes, no-one is really perfect) and it is part of the learning and growth process.
What one piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Take each day as it comes. There is nothing wrong in planning ahead, but don’t wish your life away!
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