|Politics, Economics and Philosophy|
|Politics and Economics|
|Own company, previously IBM, BT and others|
|Digital and IT services|
|Small business (0-49 employees)|
More about Stephen
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A day in the life of a IT Architect in the United Kingdom
My career direction post graduation was determined by the availability of work. I applied for economic and political roles and got no interviews. I applied for IT jobs and got one.
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
I have my own company. Previously I worked for ICL, Unisys, BT and IBM
What do you do?
I design or oversee a team that designs IT systems. I have specialised mainly in systems for telecommunications providers.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
My education was led by a desire to understand the society I live in better, why it is as it is. My career direction post graduation was determined by the availability of work. I applied for economic and political roles and got no interviews. I applied for IT jobs and got one.
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
I had previous experience in the sector before coming to York so it was a possibility that I returned to it, but not my first choice.
Describe your most memorable day at work
There are many. Good days are: when a team grappling with a problem finds an solution; when a presentation to a client goes well; when a proposal is accepted; when a system passed a major test phase and is accepted.
Are there any challenges associated with your job?
Keeping up to date with technology is a constant demand. Convincing team members and clients when you can see they are wrong must be handled appropriately. Communicating with people who do not understand the technology about why something will succeed, or a cause for a failure. Stopping commercially motivated short cuts that will cause problems later.
What’s your work environment and culture like?
Usually very collaborative within a team. With the client the environment can be competitive during the sales phase and contentious when things are not going well.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
I was Chair of Langwith JCR which provided lessons in leadership and delegation.
What would you like to do next with your career?
I am pretty well retired so my professional career is more in the past. If the opportunity arose I would be happy to mentor and provide guidance.
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
I had experience of working with remote teams, mostly in India, from which I learned the value of a period of face to face working together as part of building a productive working relationship. How new recruits can achieve that in the likely future remote working pattern is something that applicants should ask of any employer.
What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?
Ask anything. If I cannot help, I will say so.
If you like the look of Stephen’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Stephen a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Stephen to be your mentor.