This opportunity provides a great sense of achievement – Laura Stevens, ICAEW

by | Nov 15, 2019 | News, Volunteer Story

Laura Stevens is a Digital Project Executive at ICAEW.   Laura’s job is to manage projects in the Digital and IT sector.

“Managing a project can be done in four key stages.  Initiation – Taking a really cool idea and seeing if we want to build it. Planning – Figure out what we need to make the idea happen (materials, resources, people) Implementation – The fun bit, where we build and develop the idea for the Project Evaluation. I project manage in the Digital sector so I help build technologies such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Apps for devices. It’s a really cool and fun job and I enjoy almost everything about what I do, especially the team I work with every day. I have worked for ICAEW since January of 2017, but joined the Digital UX team (officially) in September 2019”.

“I decided to do a Career WorkOut session with Worktree because I always thought that the key areas of work as a school leaver was sale, retail and customer service . I wasn’t interested in further education at the time so other obvious choices, such as being a midwife, veterinarian or police officer weren’t options for me. It wasn’t until I gained actual work experience that I realised that, if you can think of it, there is probably a job for it out there.  I wanted to share this with young people”.

“I did my session at my old School, Ousedale School in Newport Pagnell. We sat with groups of 5 students at a time, let them ask me questions about my job for 6 minutes, and then the groups rotated and I got to speak with another set of student for 6 minutes. I attended 4 sessions in total, each lasting 1 hour, so I managed to speak with nearly 200 students in total”.

“Most of the students I spoke with had no idea what a project manager does, or that it comes in many different forms. When I explained I worked in the Digital and IT sector of Finance, helping to build AI (Artificial Intelligence) bots and Apps for devices, they became very interested and excited that such as job was available. It make me feel fortunate, grateful and very successful, especially as I had no educational skills in that field. I also realised I hadn’t asked myself what my role was, so I had to think a lot, and uncover the essence of what it is I do in it’s simplest form. It a wonderful ‘feel good’ experience”.

“I think my colleagues should do this because if provides a great sense of achievement, realising you were once in the students shoes, looking back as what you’ve gone through and achieved since leaving, and understanding what you could do differently if you could speak to your younger self. Talking to students about their careers gave me that opportunity, and I’d encourage anyone to do the same”.


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