Alissa Proctor is a solutions architect with Escient who studied computer systems and engineering at Adelaide University. She started her career in the defence industry before moving into consulting.
Solutions Architects are in demand so Alissa has the pick of job opportunities. She has been with Escient for nearly six years, and prides herself on being employee #1 on the payroll.
In this interview, Alissa tells why working at Escient has helped her build a career she loves.
Why did you become a consultant?
I like being able to work on a range of projects. That’s why I chose consulting.
I had the option to move to an in-house role and was offered the second in-charge of architecture but I felt it would be more of the same.
I also like the stability of a team. While I work on-site with clients, I know I have the support and resources of the Escient team Australia-wide.
What does a Solutions Architect do at Escient?
Being a solutions architect is about finding creative solutions to problems. It involves finding patterns and applying them in new ways.
I work on multiple projects with multiple clients so it never gets boring. I enjoy being able to learn from others, both my colleagues and clients. For example, I work with a client in the power utilities sector. We have formed a think tank with 5-6 other teams working on geospatial data and we’re collaborating to find new and innovative ways to solve problems for the power sector. What I like about Escient is I’m encouraged to work collaboratively. It’s not just the Directors who have relationships with clients, I’m driving these important conversations. There is also an innovation fund, which means there are formal processes to commercialise new ideas and get them out there.
You’ve worked at other consulting firms, what’s different about Escient?
I like that Escient sees you as a whole person. You don’t have to put on your ‘work face’ when you walk through the door.
They have also been great in terms of supporting me as a working parent. The previous consulting firm didn’t provide part-time opportunities for consultants. I have a seven year-old and five year-old, and I’ve worked part-time from day one with Escient. I work 30 hours a week across four or five days. There is the odd occasion where I need to do more but Escient is very respectful of my family and keeping reasonable working hours.
How do you keep your professional knowledge and skills up-to-date?
I started the Technology Strategy Group at Escient. Once a week, we meet for a stand up meeting and co-work through technology issues. The concept is to share and learn from each other.
I also learn on the job. With our engagements, Esicent tries to pair up a senior with a junior. The senior is responsible for strategy and the junior is there to support with delivery, but also to learn the strategy side on the job.
We also collaborate with our clients. I work with people across a range of professions, so I learn a lot from them too.
And there is professional development, paid for by Escient, both in-house and via formal education providers.
Thinking about your next role? Then please get in touch and explore the Escient difference:
- See our current jobs
- Read Alexandra Zhong‘s career story and learn how she’s building a career she loves as a change manager with Escient
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