What it’s like to work as a Workday Financial Consultant in Kainos? Do you need to be great at programming or have an IT background? Read this interview with Eimear McGuigan, one of our Financial Consultants, to learn all about her first steps in this role.
Tell us a bit about your background before joining Kainos
Hi everyone, I’m Eimear and I’m a Workday Financial Consultant in Kainos. I joined the Workday Practice in September 2019 as a Graduate Workday Consultant however I previously worked in the Finance Team as a placement student. With this placement, I was involved in the initial implementation of Workday Financials from a customer end where I discovered the world of Workday and the rest is history! As someone interested in both the business and IT aspects of the world with my degree in Business Information Technology, I believed a role in Workday was for me!
How was your start at Kainos?
My start with Kainos began with induction and internal training which was then followed with an intensive two-week training course in Amsterdam (unfortunately location is entirely random). Within these initial few weeks, I was allocated a buddy who was in constant contact throughout my training (and to date) and ensured I was fully ready for my certification. Following this, I immediately began my graduate life working in the Smart department. Initially, this was a shadowing capacity with constant support from a further experienced buddy in the Smart department who supported me. We quickly moved onto building test packs and carrying out customer calls for the various Workday functional areas from HCM to Payroll.
What does an average day look like in your role?
Today my average day is a lot different than it was a year ago! Due to the current situation (COVID-19 pandemic) and lack of waiting for public transport. I begin my work anytime between 8am – 10am and can finish between 4pm – 6pm due to Kainos’ flexible working policy. I get up, get dressed, and walk an entire 5 steps to my current work from home set up (provided by Kainos – thanks again!) and begin my day.
I usually start by checking up on my emails I may have missed over the past 24 hours and making a to-do list of anything I need to complete. I then check my calendar to ensure I’ve no upcoming calls I may need to prepare for and get to work! Depending on project work this may involve making configuration changes in a tenant, carrying out testing, reviewing workbooks, or creating a slide deck for an upcoming presentation. Due to our flexible working, we are also able and recommended to take breaks! Go for a coffee with a friend (socially distanced off course) or go for a quick walk to ensure you get to see the sun today! These things whilst often wished for were never possible when in the office every day as everyone rushed to ensure they got the earliest bus home, but with our new remote working life are some of the things we are keen on keeping up.
As Workday Financials Consultant I am involved in implementing areas of the Workday financial system. To date, I have implemented Business Assets, Procurement and Expenses for several customers. However, work is varied within Kainos and should project work be on the quieter side there is always the AMS department available to give you something to keep you busy. For those unaware AMS in Kainos is a specific department within the Business Unit where Kainos’ Workday customers raise tickets for any configuration issues they may have. This can be wide-ranging and might be something you have never had any experience with, however you are trusted to pick these tickets up. With a team of experienced, approachable consultants in Kainos, you are never afraid to contact them with any questions you have. Nothing is too small or too silly and everyone is more than willing to help!
What appealed to you most about a career at Kainos?
Growing up I always thought a career in IT would be for me. Once I went to university this dream quickly came crashing down! Programming was a different language to me and something I just could not grasp no matter how hard I tried. From that, I believed I would never get a job I would enjoy. Within the Workday Practice an IT background is desired, but it is not required and there is no need to have any programming experience whatsoever – this was music to my ears and exactly what I could see myself doing.
Everything you need to learn is provided through Workday and on the job training. To date, I have completed various certifications to further my job-specific knowledge – all to make me a better consultant. The support Kainos provides and invests in you is second to none and I could not imagine myself working elsewhere.
What set of skills is needed to be successful in your position?
To be successful as a Workday Consultant you need good communication skills first and foremost, a lot of your day-to-day work involves constant communication with other consultants and customers. You must be able to clearly articulate your ideas and opinions whilst presenting the Workday product. Do not worry if you think presenting is not for you as you will quickly learn the system and become more confident as you go on. This time last year I could have never imagined leading customer calls or giving customer presentations, but with the support of my area leads, I felt ready to do so, knowing others are always there to support you! You will not be leading customer calls within the first number of months, but you should expect to get involved in a shadowing capacity.
Highlight of your time at Kainos?
The highlight of my time at Kainos are the friends I’ve made throughout the different Business Units and projects I have worked on to date. You are constantly making friends regardless of the geographical boundaries and look forward to the regular social events which keep everyone in contact. The Kick Off, Christmas parties and payday drinks are a personal favorite and you can always guarantee a good night and sore head at these events.
What advice would you give to someone thinking to apply for a graduate position?
I would advise anyone thinking of applying for a graduate position to do it. Don’t worry that you don’t have any experience, or you have no idea what Workday is, as most of us didn’t either! Everyone is in the same boat especially within the graduate scheme and whilst it may initially feel like that is a sinking boat, it will not always be that way and you will soon laugh at how wary you were. My best advice is to reach out to Kainos employees, should that be on LinkedIn or Facebook, attend open days (even virtual ones) and ask questions! We are a friendly bunch here and willing to help wherever possible.
Learn more about careers at Kainos here.