Grayce Alumnus, Jamie Stapley shares his experience working for a leading payments provider as a hybrid Project Manager/Business Analyst.
I’m coming to the end of my time on the graduate Development Programme, having completed just under three years with Grayce. I’ve been placed at a leading payments provider during this time, working across a number of areas, including compliance, credit risk, platform migrations, operational change and Brexit.
Working as a Hybrid Project Manager/Business Analyst
I’m currently assigned to a programme of work that will migrate all of my client’s customers onto a new payments processing platform, with my focus being on enabling the migration of specific customers verticals. As a hybrid Project Manager/Business Analyst, my responsibilities include identifying scope and planning the schedule of live proving platform functionality, running weekly meetings to ensure all pre-requisites are in place for this activity, and analysing defects raised with the platform and supporting with their development prioritisation.
My client has a mandate to stop processing transactions on its legacy systems, so it can continue to service its customer base. As their customers are some of the largest corporates in the world, anything other than a smooth transition of service for all merchants could cause significant reputational damage.
I believe the most valuable thing I bring to the client is my attention to detail and ability to be able to grasp complex issues. In an industry as complicated as Payments can be, taking in significant amounts of information quickly and using it to good effect is vital to being able to contribute to the projects you work on. Even small slips in understanding or implementation can have important repercussions, especially working in the area of Compliance.
In my current role, my biggest achievement has been the migration of customer processing in India onto the client’s new payments processing platform. This was not just delivered against an extremely tight deadline, but – above and beyond all the standard challenges of migrating a customer to a new platform – also whilst fulfilling some challenging new regulatory requirements surrounding data storage and deletion.
My Biggest Achievement
My biggest achievement during my time at the client has been the management and delivery of multiple work-streams as part of their Brexit programme. This was a complex programme of work, entailing a review of all existing customers’ legal contracts and their exact service provision, issuance of new contracts and a subsequent technical migration of their services. The entire project was played out against a background of uncertainty over exact scope and deadlines, due to the differing routes that the political negotiations could have taken and the separate implications this would have for my client. I also had some high-level stakeholders to manage, including the client’s General Counsel, Group Head of Tax, Vice President of Commercial Development and Compliance Director, so I am extremely proud of the fact we managed to deliver all work-streams successfully and with minimum customer impact.
As someone who’s first experience of corporate employment was on day one of my first Grayce assignment, learning to manage the large number of high-level and demanding stakeholders I was working with was tricky. I found it quite challenging at first, but with the support of the Grayce Management Team I’ve been able to work on building rapport and relationships, and managing expectations appropriately. I now feel comfortable working with stakeholders of any level, which has had a significant impact on my ability to deliver excellence on all my projects.
More Than A ‘Grad’
My client uses Grayce Analysts because they have a long track record of delivering excellence at the company. All the Analysts are passionate about providing the best service they can and will go above and beyond what is expected of them to do so. They’re seen as extremely dependable and are routinely given work beyond what would normally be expected of someone of their age and experience. They’re not viewed simply as ‘grads’ but as vital contributing members of any team they are placed in.
The most valuable aspect of the Grayce graduate Development Programme has been the experience gained of working on projects with the kind of profile and visibility graduates don’t usually get exposed to. My responsibilities have been beyond what many of my peers working at other companies have experienced, which I’m confident will give me an advantage when securing a position after Grayce. Beyond this, the project management training provided by the Development Programme has been invaluable. I’ve been able to apply lots of the theory and practical scenarios studied as part of my Agile and PRINCE2 certifications to help me succeed in my everyday work.
The Grayce Community is full of driven, friendly and like-minded people. At my client, we’ve got a tight-knight group of Analysts that have lunch together every day and are a valuable source of support and advice. I’ve made some fantastic friends who I will be keeping in touch with long after I have left the Development Programme. I’ve also been heavily involved with Corporate Social Responsibility activities during my time at Grayce and am extremely proud of the work that my fellow committee members and I have done to raise money for our nominated charities.
Through my Grayce experience, I’ve learnt that I prefer positions with a mix of Business Analyst and Project Management responsibilities. Having that variety of tasks to fulfil on a daily basis keeps me engaged and productive. The role has also confirmed to me that I want to work in industries with a great deal of depth and complexity. Payments is such an industry, and I’ve learnt that there’s nothing I enjoy more at work than getting under the skin of a challenging problem, working through solutions and then agreeing appropriate courses of action.
I am planning on taking a career break after finishing the Grayce Development Programme to live abroad. After returning, I’ll be looking to leverage my experience of working as a hybrid Project Manager and Business Analyst to continue my career in consultancy.