Fiona Loftus

Every day is a learning day. The world of technology never stands still.

Who am I?

Launching my career in IT

After completing Business Studies, Information Technology and English Language A-Levels at college, I started my career with a large IT company in 1999. I joined as a Modern Apprentice and was allocated the role of Oracle Database Administrator (DBA) on a big public sector account.

I quickly began gaining an understanding of various technologies and held responsibilities for a range of systems, including some high-profile ones. I progressed to being the Lead DBA of the account’s Business Intelligence area.

Joining Capgemini

In 2004 Capgemini took over this client’s IT and I transferred over to Capgemini under a TUPE agreement. Before this happened, I had started on a pilot of the “Degree for Modern Apprentices” and Capgemini continued my sponsorship. In 2006 I obtained a first-class honours degree in Information Systems and e-Business.

As a result of attending technical conferences, I realised how much I enjoyed investigating new developments in technology. I was keen to understand how they worked and had a desire to help my team use them as effectively as possible.

Becoming a Solutions Architect

Building on these interests, in 2012 I joined the Capgemini Architects Academy, an 18-month development programme where I completed a range of assignments from optimising a WAN connecting data centres to decommissioning and consolidating IT systems. Who knew investigating orange and blue wires could be so interesting!

In June 2013 I joined the Data & Analytics tower (a specialist group on the same public sector account) and worked on a project to replace a large and critical system. The new system was implemented flawlessly in August 2015, resulting in the team being named “delivery heroes” in a Capgemini award scheme.

Outside work…

I am a Shropshire girl to the core. I was born in Shrewsbury and still live there. I love being surrounded by the beautiful rolling Shropshire hills.

I am the captain of a ladies’ cricket team – a position I’m extremely proud of, and never envisaged holding as I hadn’t played cricket until 4 years ago! What is special about our team is that there is no superstar who dominates every game; we all work hard as a team and play for each other.

I am a very keen traveller and make it my mission to explore new countries each year on foot or skis. This year has included Cambodia and Thailand, and planning is well underway for my 2017 adventure around Sri Lanka!

My typical work day

I don’t really have a typical day. I could be working within scrum teams discussing their latest developments or working alongside other architects designing end-to-end services.

As well as my work on the account, I also get involved with a range of staff development programmes, which provides further variety.

Planning my career

Within all my roles, I’ve always strived to develop myself and learn. Sometimes I’ve done this by attending conferences about the latest technologies, and sometimes by joining a development programme to springboard my career. I’ve participated in a number of development programmes, including the Modern Apprenticeship, my sponsored degree, and Capgemini’s Architects Academy and Future Leaders programme.

Managing my career development

In addition to the development programmes I’ve completed, I also have a fantastic support network around me in the form of my reviewer and several mentors. They have been sounding boards, and their belief in me has undoubtedly been one of my inspirations for my career progression.

Highlights so far

Development, and helping people to realise their potential, is close to my heart. I’ve been an active member of the Architects Academy steering group, responsible for developing the next generation of architects for Capgemini across the UK. I’ve also created an Architects Academy within my local tower.

I’ve been involved in several other Capgemini development initiatives, such as one providing advice to new starters within the company. I’ve been showcased as a role model within my account. I’ve worked on a graduate training course on collaborating with clients, and was delighted to see how advanced the next generation of Capgemini is.

Seeing people fulfil their potential and exceed is exceptionally rewarding. I’d say the highlights of my career were about watching people flourish after I’ve supported and motivated them.

Best thing about working here

Capgemini enables fantastic flexibility within your career. The access to a wide range of careers and development programmes is second to none.

Support that I value

The Architecture Group has been an immense support. It’s a network filled with role models who show you what you can aspire to. There’s a real family feel, and no request for assistance is ignored. The mentoring and guidance I have received have enabled me to acquire new skills and fine-tune those I already had. Having faith placed in you by experienced and inspirational people is one of the greatest motivators I have encountered.

What’s next?

Within the Data & Analytics tower, we have a wealth of ground-breaking technology at our fingertips and on the horizon. I’m looking forward to working out how we can best utilise it to satisfy our client’s requirements with new and exciting offerings. It’s all about growing our capability within the tower.

Outside my “day job” I’m also looking forward to working alongside local schools, to inspire the future generations and show them that a career in STEM can provide amazing opportunities to change your life. This begins with a “Teen Tech” event, where I will be working with 300 children to explore and experience various technologies. It’s going to be a challenging and fun day!

Advice for new joiners

Grasp every opportunity with both hands. You’ll have world-class support and guidance as you do so.

Why working in tech is great

Every day is a learning day. The world of technology never stands still.

 

Fiona Loftus
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