Harley Wilkie left school in 2009 and joined Star Refrigeration three months later. Having gone through different development opportunities and through different roles within the company, Harley is now committed to the successful upgrade of the company’s business management software system as a Business Systems Analyst.
How did you start working at Star?
It was via a youth employment scheme, just 3 months after leaving school.
What attracted you to the industry or Star in particular?
They wanted to offer me a job!
I was impressed by the focus on my development. I also like the idea of working for a company with a reputation for innovation and sustainability. Star is a family business renowned for their employee centred values and the benefits you receive from Star, from the start, are pretty good too!
What kind of training did you receive from Star - i.e. apprenticeship, NVQ, etc and how long for?
When I joined the business back in 2009, Star put me through a series of courses as well as less formal development opportunities throughout the business. Also various people gave me on the job training throughout my time here.
I first undertook an NVQ - Business Admin level1 & 2 (1 year), after that Star supported me with my plans to undertake a university degree and put me through Law school for 4 years until I gained an BA (Hons) Law.
What role did you move into after your apprenticeship/qualification? I moved from a Marketing Assistant to Management Trainee and then Assistant Management Accountant, before moving to my current role.
As I first started working here, I quickly became involved in the business resource and management system we use, offering user support, training and development. Throughout all of my roles I've always been increasing my IFS/systems development skills so the role of Business Systems Analyst seemed to be the natural progression route.
What do you specialise in now, or what kind of projects do you work on? How different is it to your previous role?
I try to ensure our processes and procedures are as efficient as possible. Trying to ensure data flow throughout the business is as good as it can be and making management information available easily. The main change in my role now is that I support and get involved in more departments within the business than I used to.
How has being in different roles been of benefit to you and the job you do for customers?
Having experience working in different departments have given me a variety of skills that I wouldn't have achieved if I had stayed in the same role all of my career.
What do you enjoy most about your job, and what are the biggest challenges you face?
I enjoy problem solving and making processes run more efficiently. My biggest challenge is to communicate changes effectively and manage the expectations/requirements from each department (which can often differ from each other).
Any general career highlights?
I have created a number of comprehensive reports which are used regularly by our management team to analyse job performance. I was also involved in the successful upgrade to the new version of our business management software system and look forward to getting stuck into the next upgrade this year.
What do you like about working for Star?
I like the level of autonomy and the trust I'm given to do my job without being micro-managed.
Where do you see your role progressing?
In the short term I see myself being heavily involved with our system’s upgrade as well as offering support to any new developments we introduced. Long term vision would be to aim for senior management team or even higher!
What advice would you give to young people who are just starting a similar career to you?
Work hard, act with integrity (always do the right thing) and be open to changing the way you do things.
Harley Wilkie - Systems Analyst