Trainees at SNP: Well prepared and quickly in the thick of things

Michael explains how his physics degree helps with his work at SNP.

1/22/2023  |  4 min

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Interview with Michael Rayner, Consultant Technical Transformation at SNP

Michael talks about his personal experiences as a former SNP trainee and about the process and content of the programme.

Michael, how did you come to SNP in the first place?

I discovered SNP whilst browsing on a UK graduate jobs page. The Junior Data Migration Consultant job offer stood out to me as it was in the data/IT space. Furthermore, data migration is such a unique role that you don’t see often, so it caught my eye to read on further about what that meant. The role seemed interesting, challenging and most importantly a chance to be learning new technologies and software’s at a company at the top of their field. It also offered the opportunity to work on different projects with a variety of people & teams – it never gets stale.

What does the trainee programme look like and how did you get started?

The training programme in UK started with a 3-month learning period. Luckily, our cohort were able to be in office which allowed us to be around the senior employees and accelerated the learning. We covered a wide range in training from SNP specific technologies, to how SAP works and its data model, to ABAP & SQL, to general data practices & techniques. We also had many discussions with people from all areas, even beyond the technical team, which really helped us to grasp what the company does from top to bottom. Having had no SAP experience before joining was challenging as there is such a mountain of new information; however the team were extremely supportive – even beyond the mentorship programme, anyone on the team is truly willing to help you if you ask. Over time repeating these concepts they began to sink in.

Do you think a technical degree is an important prerequisite for SNP trainees?

I think it’s pretty helpful, however not the only valid prerequisite. My physics degree meant that I was comfortable working with complex data and various software and gave me a start to coding which made things like ABAP & SQL easier even though I’d never done them before. However, the kind of problem solving I do at SNP is quite different to during my degree which was more mathematical based. Working on an ERP within a finance team gave me knowledge I would have never gotten from my degree. So, if you are open to learning new technologies & processes (and being patient with them), I think you can be a successful SNP trainee with or without a technical degree.

What happened after the bootcamp and how quickly did you gain your first project experience?

We had our passing of bootcamp announced during the company’s teambuilding event which was nice and a good time to celebrate. Afterwards we joined the delivery team awaiting projects. I was assigned to projects very quickly, however it took a couple of months for these to fully kick off; in the meantime, we continued our training. Once we started on projects things began to click for me more than during training. The kinds of challenges we face during real projects are very different to training systems (which are near perfect systems) so it’s interesting to see this in person. Also, in projects there are a number of teams working together so good communication is vital.

How was the cooperation with the team working from home?

During bootcamp training we did most of it in office. It was a great way to meet everyone from the team and made learning easier especially during the initial stages when there’s a steeper learning curve. Now after training we follow a hybrid working concept which I really enjoy, having the balance between the two modes. Just like when you are in the office, if I have questions at home, I can message anyone freely and they’re willing to help and then maybe even schedule a call to discuss if needed.

How are you doing today with your job as a consultant?

I’m very much enjoying the job and the people I’m working with. The more experienced I get the more I really see how much there is possible to learn and do at SNP, with the range of technologies & software to use. You never stop learning new things here. Working on projects keeps the work feeling fresh too because it’s always different teams and different tasks/challenges each time, no project is ever the same. You can tell from the atmosphere at SNP UK that everyone in the team trusts each other to deliver to their best and the talent on the team is great to learn from.