7 August 2020

My Experience Of Being Virtually Recruited During Lockdown

By Samina Aklas,Trainee Data Analyst, Quality Improvement Team

It is always an exciting, but nerve-racking experience when starting a new job. Adapting to an unfamiliar environment, and meeting new colleagues is hard. It’s even harder during a global pandemicwhere there have been unprecedented changes in many areas. strongly believe that things happen for a reason.  

As it was still lockdown, I went through the whole recruitment process at ELFT virtually, but fortunately, it was a very pleasant and rewarding experience, and I managed to secure a position as a Trainee Data Analyst in the Quality Improvement teamAlthough two other team members also started their jobs virtually a few months before me, was the first team member to have been recruited virtually. See Figure 1, a Tweet I created before joining the Quality Improvement team 

Figure 1. A picture of my Tweet with notes I had prepared for the interview.

Starting the job virtually, was more of a challenge, as I had never been to the office before. Meeting my new colleagues in front of a screen for the first time, was incredibly anxiety-provoking. Despite my anxiety, the Quality Improvement team gave me a heart-warming welcome. In fact, in all honesty, it was the best welcome to a new team that I have ever experienced, as everyone made me feel so comfortable and at ease. Although I had to try and control my anxiety when presenting myself to the team for the first time on camera, after experiencing everyone’s warmth, my anxiety disappeared instantly. I felt as if I had known the team for ages. This really helped me fit into the team from the start. Receiving regular check-up calls, and messages from managers and team members, also made me feel valued. As it showed me how important my well-being and mental health was to the them. Similarly, daily ‘QI Huddles’ became an important part of my day, as it involved a daily check-in and communication with the whole team. Even if we could not meet face-to-face, virtual communication allowed us to at least meet regularly, which I really enjoyed. See Figure 2, a Thank You card received by every team member in the post, from the Senior Management team, before our ‘Away Day’. It was my first ‘Away Day’, which turned out to be a fun, exciting day for everyone to take a break from their work, and enjoy creative activities together.

Figure 2. A Thank You card from the Quality Improvement Department Senior Management Team.

Developing new skills using MS Teams and Statistical Process Control (SPC) charts

Although I had used MS Teams at my previous job, it was only when I joined the Quality Improvement team that I learned how to use the platform more effectively. Using MS Teams daily encouraged me to explore and learn more about its functionality. Most of the team meetings and communication occur using MS Teams, and it is a great tool to manage chats, deliver work, and connect with others.

When I joined the data team, I was told that Statistical Process Control (SPC) charts would play a huge part in my role, and that it was important for me to familiarise myself with them. Although a challenge, I tackled this hurdle by believing that every day is an opportunity to learn something new, and that SPC charts are stimulating. Developing new skills and learning has played a significant part in my growth in my new role. During my interview, I was given the task of creating a run chart for homework. Although I had no idea how to create a run chart at all, I taught myself how to do it, and managed to present it successfully during the interview process (see figure 3). I am very excited to continue learning more every day, particularly about SPC charts, and I believe practice makes perfect.

Figure 3. The Run Chart that I created during the interview process.

My long-term goal is to keep learning and growing exponentially, help my team prosper, and continue this exciting and stimulating journey into the world of data.

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