Aoífe joined Kainos over 5 years ago as EAYL student. She’s currently working as an Integration Consultant in our Workday Practice. Find out more about her story and see what it’s like to work in one of our Workday teams.
Tell us a bit about your background before joining Kainos
I joined Kainos as part of the Earn As You Learn (EAYL) scheme – so straight out of school at 18, just after finishing my A-Levels. I studied a 5-year Computing Systems degree part-time 1 day a week while working in Kainos the other 4 days.
Before joining Kainos I had no industry experience and no experience of Workday.
How was your start in the Workday Integrations team?
Before I joined the Workday Practice, I spent some time in other Business Units. When I joined the Workday Integrations team I had a few weeks of downtime and learning before travelling to Amsterdam for a week to complete the HCM Core course. Following this, I had another few weeks of internal training before I completed the 2-week Integration course (virtually). During these courses, the team was on hand to help me with any issues. Upon joining I was assigned a mentor in the Workday Practice and have regular meetings with her. My mentor helps me with any issues or concerns I have – work-related or otherwise!
The Workday team in Kainos is great for support – both in integrations and the functional areas that go hand in hand with integrations! I have built a great relationship with many people in AMS and in the Implementation teams and have my regular “go-to” people for certain areas. At times I also reach out to the wider team – there is always someone willing to help!
So far, I have been in the Integrations team for over 2 years, and it’s been my favourite department to work in at Kainos.
What does an average day look like in your role?
The Integrations team support the integration of Workday with other 3rd party systems e.g. payroll systems, time tracking systems and recruitment systems. I am a part of the Integration Application Management Service (AMS) team. I support customers that are already live with Workday. When clients have issues with the data being sent to 3rd parties, want to set up new integrations or understand how the integration works – they raise a ticket. Tickets are then placed in a queue, and as you have the capacity – you pick up the top priority one. Being in the AMS team I work on a range of different issues in a day – one day could be all about why Joe Bloggs didn’t come out in the Payroll integration, and the next could be adding new benefit plans to the benefits integration. No 2 days are the same – there is always something or someone keeping you on your feet!
What appealed to you most about a career at Kainos?
The people! I was still in school when I first heard about Kainos. After going to the open day and speaking to other EAYL employees, Kainos sounded like a great company to work for. Pre COVID we had monthly Pay Day Drinks, team lunches and nights out. Kainos employees are fun and approachable.
As a fairly shy young girl, I barely spoke to anyone at University Open Days I went to, as it felt forced and awkward. My mummy was starting to get annoyed at me for driving me to all those different events just for me to say nothing. When we went to the Kainos Open Night, the employees were engaging and not at all intimidating! Mom couldn’t believe how much I opened up and chatted away to the guys at the Kainos. She said she has never seen me so comfortable, confident and at ease as she did that night.
What set of skills is needed to be successful as a Workday Integration Consultant?
You need to have some people skills and confidence in yourself. In AMS you are the main line of contact with the customer (although you always have other consultants and the Engagement Managers to help), so you have to communicate with them via tickets or via phone calls. If you don’t feel comfortable leading these calls yourself the Integration Leads will be there to guide you and help out initially. Some technical skills are useful too, as you do use XML a fair bit – you are constantly learning on the job!
What is the most important thing you have learnt during your time here?
Ask for help – no one is an expert in everything! If you don’t know something – reach out and ask. There is no such thing as a stupid question!
What advice would you give to someone thinking to apply for a graduate position?
Go for it! Kainos is a great company to work for!
I appreciate Kainos much more after the challenges this past year has brought us. We are still supported by our managers and all employees have even been additionally rewarded for our hard work. Pre-COVID we had monthly Pay Day Drinks (who doesn’t love a few free drinks – alcoholic or otherwise), team lunches and dinners, go-live parties and more. We have a Skills for me program where you can learn a skill unrelated to work and get some of the cost reimbursed. We also have flexible working hours along with the ability to work from home.
Learn more about careers at Kainos here.