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From PA to Analyst

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There’s a diverse range of careers and roles at DVLA and a huge focus on personal development within the agency. Jodie Lewis, an IT Business Analyst (BA), tells us about her career journey at DVLA.

First steps

I started in a temporary position processing online driving licence applications. I’d left a permanent position and I was terrified of not gaining permanent employment. But I learned everything I could, listened to all my feedback and six months in, I was made permanent. I was absolutely chuffed!

Two months later, I saw an internal advert for a personal assistant role in Human Resources (HR) and I called the contact for a quick chat about the role and submitted an application. I was successful at interview and that was the beginning of my journey into the world of HR. I supported DVLA’s IT Services (ITS) Business Partner and the knowledge and relationships I built from this point were important for everything that came next.

Jodie Lewis in the office looking at a whiteboard during a meeting

While working in HR I took every opportunity, including creating leaflets, monitoring recruitment figures and reporting back to the Department for Transport Resourcing Group (DRG). I learned lots along the way and was promoted to PA for DVLA’s Deputy Director of HR.

When I saw an opportunity for a completely different role as a secondment in our ITS Recruitment Support team, I knew I wanted to go for it. I had wanted to move into ITS for a while and a recruitment role seemed the perfect step to make that next move.

Steps towards Business Analysis

I first became interested in Business Analysis (BA) when supporting a DVLA recruitment scheme for a BA role in London as part of the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) project. I got to meet the candidates, saw their CVs and I quizzed the interviewers about the role, asking what skills they look for and the type of person they’d like to work with.

On my return, I asked to shadow one of the BAs on the DVLA team so I could ask some more questions, with the aim of understanding ‘a day in the life’. When the next round of recruitment opened up at DVLA, I was able to write about my skills in a relevant way to show how they could be useful in the BA role.

Learning more

There’s a lot to learn when you become a BA at DVLA. Before I started in the role I prepared by sitting the ‘Foundation in Business Change’ exam.

I’ve been able to develop my skills with training opportunities - even during the pandemic - and have taken several exams including ‘Foundation in Business Analysis’ and ‘Managing the Requirements Process’. It’s fantastic to have such focus on my personal development. The training is also helping me to prepare me for the BCS International Diploma of Business Analysis oral exam.

Jodie working on her laptop at home during the coronavirus pandemic

During training I studied the theory and methods but the real world can be a little different. I have learned a lot of this role ‘on-the-job’ and no day is the same. One day I am running a workshop with stakeholders to understand their requirements, the next I could be developing process maps or writing acceptance criteria for stories. BAs can work across multiple projects and can move as and when they’re needed.

I’ve had to get my head around technical talk with squads and am still learning about the drivers and vehicles processes.

Best things about the job

There are so many great things about this role. I enjoy the interesting nature of the projects I’m currently aligned to and seeing all the innovative things the squads do.

My ever-growing team have been so friendly and supportive. The experience between them is vast and it’s great to have people to bounce ideas off and discuss things that you may not understand or even to get a different perspective on things. I’m so excited to be in a role where I get to play a part in the changes that are happening within DVLA now and in the future.

It’s been a massive change of direction in my career but I’m thrilled to have the chance to do it. The role is challenging and there is a lot to learn but at the same time, I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity I’ve been given. Taking that temporary position was the best move I’ve made and I’d definitely recommend working at DVLA!

If you enjoy problem solving, building good relationships, asking challenging questions and can articulate your findings in a way that people understand then you’ll likely make a good analyst. Check out our latest opportunities on Civil Service Jobs.

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