The Student Room Group

Getting started in Business Analysis as a mature student

Hello everyone!

I graduated with a BA in Business Management in November last year as a mature student. Since then I've identified Business Analysis as a really good fit for me, so I'm pursuing opportunities through which to realise that career path.

However, I have not managed to get any interviews, despite applying to many junior roles. Granted, some roles -- even the junior roles -- have required certain skills and experience I do not have (and can only achieve through a BA role), but I applied anyway and hoped my cover letter and CV being tailored towards Business Analysis would help demonstrate how serious I am about this profession.

Does anyone have advice on how to get into Business Analysis? Is there something mature students without the relevant experience can do? Even unpaid internships seem difficult to attain. I've started to lose hope so any assistance would be appreciated!

Cheers
Maybe consider a broader graduate scheme?
Reply 2
Could do. I mean, these aren't graduate schemes I'm talking about. Just starter/junior jobs in the field. I tried all the schemes at the end of last year but go nowhere despite feeling a couple of the application processes went well.

Thanks, though!
Original post by ParkerCA
Hello everyone!

I graduated with a BA in Business Management in November last year as a mature student. Since then I've identified Business Analysis as a really good fit for me, so I'm pursuing opportunities through which to realise that career path.

However, I have not managed to get any interviews, despite applying to many junior roles. Granted, some roles -- even the junior roles -- have required certain skills and experience I do not have (and can only achieve through a BA role), but I applied anyway and hoped my cover letter and CV being tailored towards Business Analysis would help demonstrate how serious I am about this profession.

Does anyone have advice on how to get into Business Analysis? Is there something mature students without the relevant experience can do? Even unpaid internships seem difficult to attain. I've started to lose hope so any assistance would be appreciated!

Cheers


BA means different things to different people - do you mean the kinds of BAs that write SQL/interrogate data and produce dashboards/slide decks/reports, or the kind of BA that is the interface between software engineers and the client?
Reply 4
Original post by Blue_Cow
BA means different things to different people - do you mean the kinds of BAs that write SQL/interrogate data and produce dashboards/slide decks/reports, or the kind of BA that is the interface between software engineers and the client?


Hey! Thanks for the response!

I mean the latter sort. I have a friend who works for a banking group and describes the role more as asking questions and making sure the different groups are working to task (for the client). That's definitely what I'm more suited to and would actually really enjoy it, I think.

Any advice would be appreciated as I'm at a loss!
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by ParkerCA
Hey! Thanks for the response!

I mean the latter sort. I have a friend who works for a banking group and describes the role more as asking questions and making sure the different groups are working to task (for the client). That's definitely what I'm more suited to and would actually really enjoy it, I think.

Any advice would be appreciated as I'm at a loss!

Hm. It'll be difficult without prior experience through internships. Is your friend also a BA? Can he, or anyone you know that works for a company with junior BA openings refer you for the position to skip the early HR stages? I know you've mentioned that you have been unsuccessful with graduate schemes already, but do keep trying them in addition to referrals and general job applications. It's a foot in the door, and some technology grad schemes will include a rotation in BA or roles similar to it.

Have you demonstrated any prior knowledge/interest in BA with a degree like Business Management? Have you read any books, understand any of the processes etc?

As you are a recent graduate, you may have access to your alma mater's careers service - get in touch with any of the advisors that specialise in technology recruiting if they exist and get them to review your CV, cover letter, and see if they are aware of any opportunities or folks you can contact.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 6
Original post by Blue_Cow
Hm. It'll be difficult without prior experience through internships. Is your friend also a BA? Can he, or anyone you know that works for a company with junior BA openings refer you for the position to skip the early HR stages? I know you've mentioned that you have been unsuccessful with graduate schemes already, but do keep trying them in addition to referrals and general job applications. It's a foot in the door, and some technology grad schemes will include a rotation in BA or roles similar to it.

Have you demonstrated any prior knowledge/interest in BA with a degree like Business Management? Have you read any books, understand any of the processes etc?

As you are a recent graduate, you may have access to your alma mater's careers service - get in touch with any of the advisors that specialise in technology recruiting if they exist and get them to review your CV, cover letter, and see if they are aware of any opportunities or folks you can contact.

Hey, great response, thanks!

My friend is indeed a BA but the training-placement company he went through isn't taking applications, and my applications with comparable companies didn't go anywhere (and lots seem to have pretty bad reputations, and all sorts of strange contractual obligations). He actually put me in touch with a colleague and there was a job opportunity, but the colleague completely ignored my intro email and the follow-up. Very disappointing for my friend, as well as myself, but shows how inpenetrable the job market has become if even contacts don't even have the courtesy to respond!

I could try the OU's service, actually -- I'll contact them...good idea...

Yeah, my degree was Business Management, which has so much cross-over with the BA field, but employers aren't biting, unfortunately.

Another thing I can do is ask my friend for any internship opportunities.
Original post by ParkerCA
Hey, great response, thanks!

My friend is indeed a BA but the training-placement company he went through isn't taking applications, and my applications with comparable companies didn't go anywhere (and lots seem to have pretty bad reputations, and all sorts of strange contractual obligations). He actually put me in touch with a colleague and there was a job opportunity, but the colleague completely ignored my intro email and the follow-up. Very disappointing for my friend, as well as myself, but shows how inpenetrable the job market has become if even contacts don't even have the courtesy to respond!

I could try the OU's service, actually -- I'll contact them...good idea...

Yeah, my degree was Business Management, which has so much cross-over with the BA field, but employers aren't biting, unfortunately.

Another thing I can do is ask my friend for any internship opportunities.

Ah.. yeah - you probably want to avoid those companies which offer "training" and then loan you out as a consultant/contractor to other firms. Looking at normal graduate schemes at a single company is far better - keep an eye out on Gradcracker and look out for roles such as technology graduate, technology graduate analyst etc - like I said, you won't be a BA all the time during these schemes but they should have a rotation in it, and that would be how you can break in.
Reply 8
Original post by Blue_Cow
Ah.. yeah - you probably want to avoid those companies which offer "training" and then loan you out as a consultant/contractor to other firms. Looking at normal graduate schemes at a single company is far better - keep an eye out on Gradcracker and look out for roles such as technology graduate, technology graduate analyst etc - like I said, you won't be a BA all the time during these schemes but they should have a rotation in it, and that would be how you can break in.


Oh cool, thanks, grad-cracker -- I'll give them a shot and see what comes up. It's been quite frightening so far, experiencing how indifferent the job market can be. We shall see...
Original post by ParkerCA
Hello everyone!

I graduated with a BA in Business Management in November last year as a mature student. Since then I've identified Business Analysis as a really good fit for me, so I'm pursuing opportunities through which to realise that career path.

However, I have not managed to get any interviews, despite applying to many junior roles. Granted, some roles -- even the junior roles -- have required certain skills and experience I do not have (and can only achieve through a BA role), but I applied anyway and hoped my cover letter and CV being tailored towards Business Analysis would help demonstrate how serious I am about this profession.

Does anyone have advice on how to get into Business Analysis? Is there something mature students without the relevant experience can do? Even unpaid internships seem difficult to attain. I've started to lose hope so any assistance would be appreciated!

Cheers



Apart from having the word business in the name there isn't much of a relation between studying Business Management and a Business Analyst job role. Business Analyst is a role within IT or software development which act as a bridge between the development team and the other stakeholders. They spend most of their time understanding the businesses IT or software requirements (eliciting requirements) and modelling it (process maps, user stories) in a way that the developers can understand. They manage the change of requirements and are responsible for ensuring functionality changes are documented and understood, then relay the technical changes back to senior stakeholders, end users and customers to ensure the loop is closed.

Now if the above sounds like something you're interested in, here is now to go about getting the job!

Firstly, there is no set path to becoming a business analyst. There is no straight path; you don’t need a degree or specialist training.
Some people start in other areas of software development or IT projects and fall into it.
It’s very common for people to start off as software test analysts, developers, project managers, project support and through accident or career progression fall into becoming a business analyst.

Step 1: Self study

Go to Amazon and get an easy to read book that focuses on becoming competent on the technical aspects of the role, the soft skills and the lingo and how to apply it in the work place. Some books I would recommend are “Requirements gathering for new business analysts” by Lane Bailey, “business analyst for beginners” by Mohamed Elgendy, and “Business analysis for dummies” by Kupe Kupersmith.

Business analysts often work on IT projects, so you need to understand basic project management, as “project management for dummies” by Nick Graham. Once you’ve understand the fundamentals you can into project management methodologies such as Agile, PMP, and Prince2.

Getting certified

Although a specific qualification isn’t required, a certification can give legitimacy and help an employer look past your lack of experience and chance on you. The BCS Advanced International Diploma in Business Analysis or BCS Professional Certificate in Agile Business Analysis are recommended, but there are other certifications too.

People and software process:
If you’re already working in a professional organisation, look at the internal business processes to understand how staff complete their job E.g. who they interact with, how the departments communicate with one another, the documents and forms that are created and who receives and processes, how and when staff IT software to record and process data. Then practice modelling it in a business process map diagram, wireframe or a user story.

Requirements:
Understanding requirements is important, first look at the software your current organisation uses, and make a list of all the functionalities, make a list of all the changes that could be made to improve the software, both from the point of view of an internal business user and from an external customer.

Documentation review:
In your current role, if there is a software development team, ask to review any technical documentations or user guides/manuals for any applications in development. This will give you exposure requirements and functionalities.

UAT:
Once you understand how the software works, ask to get involved in the user acceptance testing (UAT). It’s when you test and give feedback of an application from the customers or end users point of view. This will help you understand the requirements when developing a system.

Applying for a jobs
Make sure all the skills above are evidenced in your CV/resume with as much emphasis and passion as possible. In many cases it wouldn’t be possible to find an actual “Junior Business Analyst Role” with a matching title, so you need to expand to roles within software development which has some of the qualities of a BA role. This could be business support, business administration, project support officer, support analyst etc. Don’t get too hung up on the title, once your foot is in the door, you can apply for a more closely related role.


(edited 1 year ago)

Quick Reply

Latest