We are recruiting for graduates following developments with new clients and partners and an aggressive growth plan for 2013.
Job Title: Business Analyst
Salary: £18,000 – £24,000 (depending on experience)
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
The Opportunity: Following successful completion of our internal training programme covering our change management methods and programmes the successful applicant will be assigned to client projects to work on with the March ThirtyOne team. The main tasks involved will be client audits, data analysis, client reports and presentations. This is a very important client-facing role within the business and has a high level of responsibility attached to it. An element of the role will include working with the wider March ThirtyOne team on business development initiatives to attract new clients to the business.
The Ideal Candidate:
Degree Level Qualification or equivalent experience
Proficiency in Microsoft Excel, Word & Powerpoint
- Analysis and Reporting
- Customer Focus and Relationship Building
- Problem Solving and Decision Making
- Planning and Project Management
Nice to Haves:
- Consulting Experience
- Visual Basic & Macros knowledge
The Company: March ThirtyOne is a young, dynamic business improvement company delivering change management consultancy in the northeast with a team that has a passion for delivering results for our clients. Our culture is built on respect, trust and teamwork both internally and externally with our clients, partners and suppliers. We deliver a range of programmes that help organisations improve their financial performance and this year we are partnering with a local company to provide energy management solutions. Our strategic plan involves high growth this year and this is an opportunity to be a part of another northeast success story.
Career Development: This is an entry-level role and there is a clearly defined career path from this role through to Director level in the company. Our strategy is to recruit graduates and develop their technical and human skills, and promote from within to allow development roles for all of our team.
Closing Date for applications: 15th February 2013
Job Start Date: 1st March 2013
Additional Information: The Company will be recruiting several people into this role between now and the end of 2013, therefore applications are welcome from qualified candidates who would not be available until later in 2013.
Other: You must have the right to permanently work in the UK.
Contact Details: Please send through a covering letter with a CV to: email@example.com
Our website can be viewed at www.marchthirtyone.com
Since the formal timeframe of my internship has been completed, I’ve been fortunate enough to remain with March ThirtyOne and to continue the work that we’ve been doing over the initial ten weeks. We’ve pushed on strongly in our work with our large automotive client, travelling to sites as far as Leeds, Harrogate, Carlisle and Dumfries in order to promote, train and embed the nuances of the new deal that we’ve designed and agreed. Some sites have proven remarkably open and adaptable to these changes; whereas others have proved more challenging to convert and to drive improvements through.
Whilst this challenge has remained ongoing, we’ve also continued to grow our relationship with a major IT business located within the North East. The business has been through a significant period of inorganic growth, and there are internal challenges that we feel that we can address through using lean methods in order to reduce both waste and inefficiencies. The challenges here are of a different nature to our earlier automotive client, yet in some ways the same. It has exposed me to new experiences and problems, and I’m enjoying the practical challenge of grappling with them.
I’ve also had the opportunity to observe and contribute to some of the new projects that we have in the pipeline; including expansion plans, new joint-partnerships, new products and services, potential new clients and new opportunities. I’ve also been fortunate enough to meet a range of people outside the business who are engaged in positions that I’ve begun to greater understand and appreciate; everyone looking to build relationships, deliver value and drive revenue in order to secure and build for their own futures.
The difficulty of time-managing my academic workload with my workplace responsibilities has made me reflect and consider the relationship between the two. All too often students can become so intensely focused on their academic achievements that they neglect to develop and expand their horizons elsewhere. The goal is instead to complement academic technical excellence with the ‘street-wise’ commercial awareness and application skills that are necessary to succeed within the workplace. Many students come to the end of their degree with little idea of the career path that they wish to pursue. Whilst this is not strictly always a negative, the lack of life and/or career plans is often a substantial risk to their future. As graduate competition for jobs increases, it is becoming ever-more difficult to ‘stumble’ into a desired career; especially in one where competition for selection is fierce.
Whilst I’ve also been developing a range of technical and commercial awareness skills, the opportunity to be involved with an ambitious and growing SME has given me a front-row, interactive experience of the entrepreneurial mindset necessary to grow a business. Experiencing the raw challenge and full range of emotions that goes with it continues to be a thrilling experience. Many people (yet alone students) never get this close to the crucible of attempting to grow a young, ambitious business whilst simultaneously looking to deliver outstanding results. It makes me ever-aware, particularly in the current economic climate, that growing a business, delivering value and obtaining revenue streams is not something that “other people” should do. Rather, all of us (whether operating in the public, private or third sector) need to develop an entrepreneurial and innovative mindset now more than ever. Whilst this statement can heard so frequently that it is almost cliché, the very future of our employers (however large), is no longer guaranteed and set in stone.
I thoroughly enjoyed my internship with March ThirtyOne, and I’m extremely appreciative and fortunate that I’ve been allowed to continue with them. Being part of an SME, I feel a strong emotional connection to how we continue to build for the future. I’m sure that there will be many great successes and achievements to come, along with days of challenge and difficulty.
In doing this, one can begin to see business as similar to life; looking to grow every day, build and deepen our relationships with others, dealing with emotional highs-and-lows, and to add value to those that we come across. So far, my experience has been overwhelmingly positive. The prospects for the business going forward are both excellent and exciting, and I’m fortunate to be a part of it.
In life, education or the workplace, I find myself coming back to that familiar drive inside us all: building for a better and brighter future. Above all, the affirmation and realisation of this is my biggest lesson of all.
At March ThirtyOne business ethics are of huge importance, our whole business is based around the concept of delivering value for our clients, often before we get paid. In order for us to succeed we need to be as good as our word and we work on the basis of under promise and over deliver.
Will Fatherley, our founder, was recently included in a roundtable discussion on business ethics in the north east held by the North East Times. To see how the discussion developed click here:
Due to other responsibilities away from work, we’ve mostly been working from home this week. This has given me time to review what we’ve done so far, and also to look ahead to the new projects that we’ll shortly be starting.
The time away from the office has also given me time to finish some reading that I’d been getting though. At the start of my internship, Will recommended a couple of books that he’d read previously that gave him fresh perspectives on business. The first of these is ‘Maverick’ by Ricardo Semler. The book tells the story of the Brazilian business Semco – which went from a small, underperforming outfit into a hugely successful business. In the book, Ricardo outlines some of the radical and unconventional organisational changes that he made in order to improve the business in every regard. Certainly, one will not find many (if any!) of his approaches in conventional management textbooks. However, I’d certainly recommend it to anyone interested in managing people and leadership, or simply looking for fresh business perspectives.
The second book that I’ve been reading through is the more widely-known ‘Influence’ by Dr. Robert Cialdini. In it, he outlines and discusses several techniques that are used in order to influence people – ‘weapons’ such as reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, authority and scarcity. Anyone reading the book will immediately recognise when some of these techniques have been used on them previously in the past! The book is eye-opening not just to the extent that it raises self-awareness, but it can also be used by the reader as a tool to use on others in future. It’s another book that I’d highly recommend to anyone!
As we move on from the deal that we agreed between our client and their supplier, we’ve been spending a considerable amount of time gathering data from the various sites from which the new deal will apply. As was mentioned earlier, data plays a critical role in both benchmarking and driving up performance. Without careful data analysis, we’d lack a true perception of what the situation is on the ground. Having examined some past data and juxtaposed this with our most recent data, we’re already beginning to see extremely positive and encouraging results.
Part of the fun of this task is being able to visit a range of garages in order to speak to the managers and to hear their opinions. Whilst there, it is very easy to be distracted by some of the exciting (and expensive!) brand-new cars that adorn the showrooms. Certainly an incentive to work hard if there ever was one!
Although we’re currently working hard on the deals with our current clients, we’re been making inroads into building two new relationships. We’ve had correspondence with both, and both appear to be extremely promising. We’ve had meetings with one of these two in order to outline potential project parameters, and we’re currently at a preliminary ‘discovery’ stage. It will certainly be exciting to see a project develop from the start! From the discussions that we’ve had, there’s certainly scope to add value here and help the organisation drive their performance even higher.
We’ve also spent some time this week having discussions about the future direction of March ThirtyOne. The business itself has been doing extremely well lately, and despite being reasonably young, we’ve made a lot of exciting progress and we’re delivering great results for our clients. As we move forward and continue to grow, it’s natural that we want to offer more services and to further seek new opportunities. Despite being an intern, it makes me feel extremely valued by the business that I have a serious input in the future direction that we’re heading.
On Tuesday this week, I was given time away from work to witness my younger brother graduate from his undergraduate degree programme. This was the first time that I’ve attended a graduation ceremony in the role of a spectator, and I was able to enjoy the event with a different sort of excitement. At the same time, it made me reflect on the work that I am doing and of the importance that work experience plays to all those who were successful in graduating. Whilst obtaining degree is a fantastic achievement, this must be examined alongside the overall well-roundedness of the graduates themselves. Hopefully this is never recognised too late.
The presentation that we gave the CIMA event was very well received by those in attendance. We used an alternative presentation tool – Prezi – which offers a different experience to that of PowerPoint. The theme of the presentation was ‘putting cost reduction on trial,’ and subsequently examining both the pros and perceived cons of cost-reduction. Often, cost-cutting can be seen as a synonym for cutting jobs – which leads people to being understandably sceptical of anyone involved in the business. We confronted these common perceptions and tackled them head-on; noting that increased efficiency can free up human resources to be used in other areas of the business that are not tangled in waste and inefficiency. In some instances, the money saved can even be fed back into wages – a win/win for everybody. Whilst there’s no doubt that some were sceptical before our presentation (and some would still be afterwards!), it appeared that our message was well-received by the majority of those in attendance.
The keynote speaker was Brenda Readman-Bell, the Group Finance Director for clothing brand Barbour, an internationally-famous clothing business based locally in South Shields. Brenda gave a fascinating talk on the history and values of Barbour, and how it has overcome difficult and challenging times in recent years to become a booming business. It’s great to see such a local, ethically-driven business doing well and promoting a positive image of business in the North East.
In the Q&A session afterwards, an audience member remarked on the contrast between Barbour’s accepting of higher production costs (a consequence of producing goods within the North East, and not outsourced abroad) with the “lean” message that March ThirtyOne endorses. After all, Barbour’s approach is clearly working effectively. However, we emphasised that Barbour’s production base is a highly marketable element of their products, and that this strategy compensates for higher costs incurred. This is not unnecessary waste that brings no benefit whatsoever to a business. The purpose of cost-reduction is ultimately to assist in enhancing the business to operate at its greatest potential – not to asset-strip it down to the very bare bones.