Opportunity beckons…

By Omar Khalil
Find me on: LinkedIn 04-Nov-2016 12:01:21



I graduated from Kingston University with a degree in economics. I’ve always enjoyed learning. That being said, it was never about anything particular. One day it would be about making origami, the next it would be about Greek Mythology. The next it would be about the practicality of time travel (recent studies indicated it is sadly not). I got to the end of my degree not really knowing what I wanted to do.

My experience working for the university’s careers department stimulated my love for analytics, data and process but I was unsure how I could take that forward. I was working at one of the graduate fairs that the university held as a photographer and about an hour in, I spoke to Rob Walton, the COO of Intelliflo, who was representing the company alongside two other colleagues.

After a brief discussion, I felt that Intelliflo would be where I would be motivated to develop, to grow and that my opinion would matter. When I was told to record a brief two minute video answering a few questions, I was reluctant at first, but am glad I did, because since joining, I’ve found my initial thoughts to be true.

Before starting at Intelliflo, I scarcely knew a thing about the company, let alone the industry it operates in. Continuous improvement; customer success; lean principles were things I had seldom interacted with, nor were they terms I could confidently say I was knowledgeable of.

A year later and I have progressively developed a deeper understanding and appreciation of the terms and how they play a fundamental role, not only as part of the Intelliflo culture, but in the business world in general.

For the first few days, myself and my graduate colleagues were introduced to Intelliflo, the teams and their roles in the business. We were introduced to the Intelliflo culture. We were welcomed to the Intelliflo family. It was - and still is - awesome.

Joining the support team

From here, we joined the technical support team, a team that not only supported clients, but also supported us by providing crucial information regarding how the business operates, the products and services we provide to our clients and how the client base actually uses said product.

This provided me with information which has proved to be vital throughout my journey with the company, allowing me to ascertain a perspective that meant my actions had the clients and my colleagues in mind.

My time with the team motivated me to develop my client relationship skills; my ability to engage with a diverse range of individuals; my ability to work under pressure; my ability to operate independently, while still working towards a common goal. Joining a new company can be difficult, so starting off in a team that inspires unity and involves interacting with so many different departments and colleagues, whom you may not have interacted with otherwise, was comforting and I have been able to make valuable friends because of this.

Alongside my time in support, I was able to work on ad hoc projects which allowed me to develop my skills and find myself within the company. In my case, my projects revolved around reporting and the use of the Structured Query Language (SQL), in addition to other ongoing projects both for the support team and the COO.

Joining the PFP team

After my time in support, myself and the other graduates rotated into our current departments. I joined the PFP (Personal Finance Portal) implementation team, a team driven to promote the client portal and to assist advisory firms in adopting it.

The department was relatively new, meaning I played a key role in shaping the process and the way the department evolved into what it is now. I was encouraged to feedback my thoughts and opinions and I watched as those ideas directly impact the way we functioned as a team.

Furthermore, during this rotation I strengthened my ability to interact with a diverse range of stakeholders; to manage projects parallel to each other; to use excel to present data more effectively; to look at a process objectively and optimise it to reduce time and effort, while providing useful documentation for others to make use of said knowledge.

My experiences so far and the next steps

As the year has progressed, I have been able to put my knowledge of the SQL and Microsoft SQL Server to practical use by querying databases and producing reports and dashboards using a data interrogation tool, Splunk, which allows you to analyse and present data in a meaningful way.

My next rotation will be with the data migration team, where I’ll be using T-SQL in tandem with Microsoft SQL Server to assist with the transition of data from one system to another. In addition to this, I will also be working on ad hoc projects with the COO to automate existing reports.

From a data analysis perspective, these two experiences will prove invaluable, allowing me to not only better understand data structures and the ability to work with wide sets of databases, but to also better my ability to query data and strengthen my data analysis skills.

When you look at the graduates, we each have our own interests, our own traits, aspects that make us who we are and Intelliflo recognises that. They motivate us to develop and contribute our ideas, encouraging us to bring our own thoughts and opinions to the table and to help the business grow, be dynamic and fight the most dangerous phrase in business: “We’ve always done it this way”.

I’ve enjoyed my time here thus far and am excited to see what’s in store for the next year.

Find out more about our graduate scheme