ION Academy: Emily's Graduate Journey

Friday, December 11, 2020

Emily joined the ION team as our first official graduate trainee back in 2018. This month as we launch our brand new ION Academy bringing in several new graduates, we caught up with Emily to learn more about her journey with ION.

Let’s start by telling us a little bit about your degree and how this led you to ION.

I studied Finance & Investment Management at Northumbria University but wasn’t sure what kind of career path I wanted to take after graduation. When I came across ION, I was intrigued at the thought of joining a growing tech start-up, and because ION is involved in Financial Transformation, I thought I could use my degree skills as well.

Have you found your degree to be a helpful factor in your job role?

Absolutely. My role is predominantly on the Financial Transformation projects, so I use a lot of the knowledge from my degree. Finance is critical throughout a business and similarly through the lifecycle of a project. Understanding this requirement and the challenges that our customers face helps me to identify solutions which can improve their business.

Tell us a little bit about your role at ION and what journey you’ve been on.

I am currently employed as a Project Manager and as I said before, I primarily work on our Financial Transformation projects which means we help businesses to manage their accounting and billing systems more efficiently. This might be connecting their accounting, billing and CRM systems, or can be automating a lot of their processes to reduce time and ultimately human error. In addition to project management I am also the Support Manager, leading and assisting our managed services business.

When I started at ION I worked as a Operations Assistant, doing this part time whilst I was in my final year of university. Over time I took on more responsibilities and got a lot more involved operationally, supporting the projects. I realised that I enjoyed the project management side and wanted to transition into a project management role as a graduate.  

The business has supported and promoted me over the last two years and I’ve always embraced taking on new activities or training opportunities. Currently I am undertaking my Prince2 Foundation and Practitioner Examinations which will enable me to take further leaps forward in my career at ION.

How does the company culture support graduates and new team members?

ION allows people to learn new things and gain experience in multiple areas. With it having a start-up mentality, every team member plays acritical role and everyone’s opinions are taken on board.  We are each given a lot of autonomy and ION trusts staff to deliver and balance your own workload.

So, what are the main benefits for working at ION and why would you recommend it to upcoming graduates?

ION has lots of great company benefits including flexible working and an employee share scheme. For graduates, I feel ION is a great place to start your career because of the exposure and variation of our work. I’ve really enjoyed working with a variety of different businesses, gaining an understanding of their operations and challenges, and helping them to improve through new technology.  

Not many companies give Graduates real hands-on experience straight away or provide you with such a high level of responsibility to aid development. In my two years here, ION has provided me with extensive training and development, giving me widespread exposure and helping me to set out the path to achieve my long term career goals.  

Actively recruiting for ION Academy Graduates 2021

ION is currently recruiting for several new graduate roles in our ION Academy. Intake for 2021 will be in three phases: November 2020 to January 2021, February to April 2021, and May to July 2021. To learn more about the ION Academy, the roles available and to register your interest, please visit our ION Academy Graduate Programme.

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