Intellus academy: The way to jump-start your career
Every year in September Intellus group organizes the Intellus academy. A 5-week academy hosted at our offices where our new starters get to learn all the basics needed to jump-start their careers. With a wide selection of subjects starting from the general data concepts all the way up to data engineering, data science and a final touch of soft skills, the Intellus academy is a must-follow for every young graduate starting in the professional world of data and business Intelligence. In this blogpost I will tell you my story of how the Intellus academy has empowered me to grow and improve in my first year at Intellus group.
Create generalists first, specialists after
An Important aspect of the Intellus academy is the broad coverage that it provides. Although my main focus is the SAP branch, I got the chance during the academy to taste parts of the Microsoft stack as well. In the academy I learned basic skills in tools such as PowerBI, Synapse, Data Factory, etc…. This knowledge proved to be very helpful in the data landscape of this day and age. At my current customer, the main data platform is SAP based, but most of the reporting happens in PowerBI. Thanks to the PowerBI training I followed in the Intellus academy I am able to assist here as well. Knowing how PowerBI handles data helps me understand why data is organized in a certain way in our SAP landscape. If the end-user reports in PowerBI, I know how to deliver the data so they can handle it in PowerBI in the most convenient way.
Having broad basic knowledge really helps me to understand the bigger picture of my customer. This bigger picture would be a lot blurrier without the basic knowledge that I gained during the Intellus academy. Having a generalist overview first helps you to become a specialist after.
Everyone knows that starting a new job, certainly your first one, might be a bit scary. Especially when you get thrown in front of the lions at a new customer that expects a “specialist” to solve all their problems and answer all their questions. Luckily this is not the case at Intellus Group. There are already lots of new people to meet and things to learn. So why not start internally? The Intellus academy is the Ideal steppingstone for this. Having a 5-week training with your fellow starters is a great way to get to know each other, both on a professional as on a more personal level. Not everyone has the same knowledge or interest fields professionally, but following the training as a group really helps you to learn not only from the tutor, but from each other as well. In the Intellus academy there was a nice dynamic of people helping each other. People with more affinity for SAP helping the Microsoft and Databricks enthusiasts and vice versa. Sharing your knowledge and helping your colleagues is greatly appreciated and makes the group bond stronger. It also gives you more people to beat in pool during lunch break of course!
Every subject is given by a different, and mostly, internal tutor. This way you get gradually introduced to more experienced colleagues. It also gives you an idea who is specialized in what. This is very useful information of course. When you have a question about a certain subject later in your career you know who you can contact to get your question answered.
The Intellus academy introduces you to the group feeling which is certainly part of the Intellus Group culture.
Go hard on soft skills!
The most impactful training of the Intellus academy according to me is the soft skill training. While this is often neglected and labeled as something you’ll learn with experience, a soft skill training as a starter can do wonders for your career early on. As a consultant it’s extremely important to have soft skills at your disposal. Being able to communicate clearly with customers is a must in our field. In this training we learned how to pitch ourselves, how to give presentations, how to debate, etc…. All very useful skills to have when starting your career. Don’t forget that although you have your job as consultant secured once you sign the contract, you ‘ll still need to do interviews at customers to be put on projects as well. So, learning how to handle this kind of interviews is no unnecessary luxury. Thanks to those skills learned at the Intellus academy I was hired at my first customer. They even complemented me on my interview!
In my first year on a project, I noticed that not everyone speaks the same language, not only literally but also figuratively. Explaining something to people that don’t have the same technical background as you is not always easy. Let alone convincing a group of people that your solution to the problem is the best for them while everyone has their own idea about it. Thankfully this are all things that I could practice at the Intellus academy, and it proved me well. Don’t sleep on soft skills, they are extremely useful!
Thanks to the Intellus academy I felt prepared and confident to start my professional career in analytics. There was a lot to learn but I feel thankful that I had the opportunity to follow these trainings. I found the things I learned in the academy to be very useful in my day-to-day life as an analytics consultant. It certainly gave me a jump-start! This year I will even give a training myself to help my new colleagues boost their careers.
Data & analytics consultant @ Cubis
Stef Uytterhoeven Is a junior analytics consultant that started his analytics journey at Cubis in September 2019. In the past year he has mostly been working on BW/4HANA & S/4HANA and achieved the openSAP certificate: Introduction to SAP Datasphere.