How looks like daily work as an HCM Consultant? Columb McLauglin shares with us his experience.
Who are you, what’s your role and what do you do outside of work?
I’m Columb from Derry, and I’m an HCM Consultant in Kainos’ Workday division. I have three kids, all aged six and under, so most of my free time outside of work revolves around them! What’s been really great about working for Kainos though, is that I have the flexibility in my job to be able to make family life much easier. I might have to travel occasionally as part of my role, but most days I can take advantage of things like flexible start/end times and working from home to make sure that my work/life balance is always in check.
How did you find yourself in the role of HCM Consultant?
I definitely took the roundabout route to finding myself in the role of a Workday Consultant! I spent my early to mid-twenties trying to figure out what I really wanted to do… I studied Law and Accounting at University but decided to go down neither of those routes after graduating, and then spent a few years working for a currency company in an operations role, which was great experience but not something I could see myself doing for my entire career.
During that time I realised that, despite always being really interested in Tech, I had somehow avoided IT from an academic point of view and never considered it as a career, which really needed to change. So I went back to University to take a one year Masters in Software Development, during that year I started speaking to Kainos and managed to get an offer to join the company after graduation. After my Kainos induction I felt that my work experience to date leant itself towards taking on the role of a Workday Consultant, which required a combination of technical knowledge, problem-solving and customer facing skills.
What does an average day look like for you in your role?
It’s not an exaggeration to say that there really is no such thing as an average day for me. On any given day I might be dealing with customers (face to face or remotely), helping with the design of new Workday implementations, configuring customer requirements, researching new Workday features, training others (or being trained), interviewing, making sure the other members of my team are ok, working with local schools or charities to promote careers in tech… the list goes on!
Whilst the work I do day-to-day is always varied and usually dependent on what stage the projects I’m working on are at – the one constant thing is that I’m always working alongside the best people at Kainos, who are very knowledgeable in their roles and about Workday in general; always friendly, honest and easy to work with; but most importantly supportive and willing to help out any colleague whenever needed.
Describe a highlight of your time at Kainos?
It’s hard to call out one particular highlight from the five years I have been at Kainos. My first year included trips to Amsterdam, San Francisco, Texas, Austria and Switzerland – coming from a previous job where I never got to travel outside of Ireland this was a real eye-opener for me and I’ve been lucky to have been able to visit loads more amazing places over the last five years. Alongside that I’ve been able to work with so many interesting customers across a wide range of industries, such as easyJet and Swarovski.
The role of a Workday consultant has challenged me in many ways but the biggest development for me has been in my public speaking and presentation skills. I was always someone who lacked confidence and dreaded group work and presentations at school or Uni, but my role has challenged me in this area and helped me to develop to the stage where I’m comfortable leading a roomful of people through a Workday demonstration or delivering a presentation at a conference, something that I never would have believed I could do five years ago.
I feel lucky to have a job where I can be based (and spend most of my time) in my hometown of Derry but still have a global reach where I get to work with such a diverse and interesting range of people, and be challenged every day.
What appealed to you most about a career at Kainos?
From my earliest time researching what a career in IT might look like, Kainos always stood out as a place where there was a culture of innovation and where the work would be varied and interesting, and thankfully this has proved true. The people who work at Kainos, and the great relationships we build with our customers, mean that work is never a difficult place to be – I hope the next five years are as interesting as my first!
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