Fiona O’Sullivan, Senior Solution Architect at Capgemini, shares how she launched a career in IT, why she loves working for such a fantastic company, and her career advice


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Senior Solution Architect receives world-class support at Capgemini

Senior Solution Architect receives world-class support at Capgemini

Fiona O’Sullivan is a Senior Solution Architect at Capgemini. She offers technical guidance and solutions to business problems from an architectural perspective to her clients. Fiona shares her career journey so far and why she loves working for such a fantastic company.

Launching her career in IT

Fiona completed Business Studies, Information Technology and English Language A-Levels at college and then started her career with a large IT company. She joined as a Modern Apprentice and was given the role of Oracle Database Administrator (DBA) on a big public sector account.

After gaining an understanding of different technologies and holding responsibilities for a range of systems, including some high-profile ones, she progressed to being the Lead DBA of the account’s Business Intelligence area.

Joining the Capgemini team 

When Capgemini took over the client’s IT, Fiona transferred over to Capgemini under a TUPE agreement. She had already started on a pilot of the 'Degree for Modern Apprentices' but Capgemini continued her sponsorship, and she gained a first-class honours degree in Information Systems and e-Business.

"As a result of attending technical conferences, I realised how much I enjoyed investigating new developments in technology. I was keen to understand how they worked and had a desire to help my team use them as effectively as possible," says Fiona.

Building on these interests, she joined the Capgemini Architects Academy, an 18-month development programme where she undertook different  assignments from optimising a WAN, connecting data centres to decommissioning and consolidating IT systems.

"Who knew investigating orange and blue wires could be so interesting!" adds Fiona,

She then joined the Data & Analytics tower (a specialist group on the same public sector account) and worked on a project to replace a large and critical system. 

"The new system was implemented flawlessly in August 2015, resulting in the team being named 'delivery heroes' in a Capgemini award scheme," she says.

Enjoying a work/life balance

Fiona shares what she loves doing outside of work at Capgemini and how she gains a fantastic work/life balance.

"I am a Shropshire girl to the core. I was born in Shrewsbury and still live there. I love being surrounded by the beautiful rolling Shropshire hills," she says.

"I am the captain of a ladies’ cricket team – a position I’m extremely proud of, and never envisaged holding as I hadn’t played cricket until 4 years ago! What is special about our team is that there is no superstar who dominates every game; we all work hard as a team and play for each other."

"I am a very keen traveller and make it my mission to explore new countries each year on foot or skis. This year has included Cambodia and Thailand, and planning is well underway for my  adventure around Sri Lanka!" she adds. 

Thriving in a varied role

Fiona explains that there's no such thing as a typical day at work at Capgemini.

"I could be working within scrum teams discussing their latest developments or working alongside other architects designing end-to-end services," she explains.

"As well as my work on the account, I also get involved with a range of staff development programmes, which provides further variety."

Always developing and learning

Within all her roles, Fiona has always strived to grow and learn. Sometimes she's done this by going to conferences about the latest technologies, and sometimes by joining a development programme to advance her career. She has also participated in a number of development programmes, including the Modern Apprenticeship, her sponsored degree, and Capgemini’s Architects Academy and Future Leaders programme.

Fiona has also benefited from fantastic support network in the form of her reviewer and several mentors.

"They have been sounding boards, and their belief in me has undoubtedly been one of my inspirations for my career progression," explains Fiona.

Sharing career highlights

Fiona shares what her career highlights have been so far at Capgemini.

"Development, and helping people to realise their potential, is close to my heart. I’ve been an active member of the Architects Academy steering group, responsible for developing the next generation of architects for Capgemini across the UK. I’ve also created an Architects Academy within my local tower," she says.

"I’ve been involved in several other Capgemini development initiatives, such as one providing advice to new starters within the company. I’ve been showcased as a role model within my account. I’ve worked on a graduate training course on collaborating with clients, and was delighted to see how advanced the next generation of Capgemini is."

"Seeing people fulfill their potential and exceed is exceptionally rewarding. I’d say the highlights of my career were about watching people flourish after I’ve supported and motivated them," she adds,

Receiving mentoring and guidance

Fiona explains why she loves working at Capgemini.

"Capgemini enables fantastic flexibility within your career. The access to a wide range of careers and development programmes is second to none," she explains.

"The Architecture Group has been an immense support. It’s a network filled with role models who show you what you can aspire to. There’s a real family feel, and no request for assistance is ignored," she adds.

"The mentoring and guidance I have received have enabled me to acquire new skills and fine-tune those I already had. Having faith placed in you by experienced and inspirational people is one of the greatest motivators I have encountered."

Growing Capgemini's capability

So what's next for a talented women like Fiona? Within the Data & Analytics tower, Fiona and her team have a wealth of ground-breaking technology at their fingertips and on the horizon. She's looking forward to working out how they can best use it to satisfy our client’s requirements with new and exciting offerings. For Fiona, it's all about growing Capgemini's capability within the tower.

Outside of her “day job” at Capgemini, she is also looking forward to working alongside local schools, to inspire the future generations and show them that a career in STEM can offer amazing opportunities to change your life.

"This begins with a “Teen Tech” event, where I will be working with 300 children to explore and experience various technologies. It’s going to be a challenging and fun day!" says Fiona.

Giving great career advice

Finally, Fiona shares some great advice for women wanting to work at Capgemini,

"Grasp every opportunity with both hands. You’ll have world-class support and guidance as you do so."

Join ambitious women like Fiona at Capgemini

With an inclusive focus, Capgemini actively encourages and supports women at all levels throughout the company. If you feel you have something to offer to the team, then search and apply for current job vacancies without delay.

 

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