Business Analyst Flo joins E³ – How she made the leap from education to work

E³ Consulting’s new Business Analyst, Flo Bailey, has given her insights into the transition from university to work after her first four months at the company.

Flo

Flo was welcomed into the team as property tax specialist E3’s newest recruit in May 2021 after graduating from the University of Nottingham with a BA (Hons) in English and History. During her first four months at E3, Flo has been involved in a variety of projects from developing business processes, legal research, and analysis, to critiquing marketing proposals for improvement.

Flo said: “After months of job hunting, moving back down to Dorset and returning to a job as a waitress, I was living every graduate’s nightmare. And to make matters worse, we were amid a global pandemic! With no clear path and little practical experience, it was hard for me to break into the world of work. Despite my lack of legal/taxation knowledge, I have been able to use transferrable skills from my degree, such as research and analysis, to help me dive into projects and provide a fresh perspective on E3’s processes and marketing ideas.”

Alun Oliver, Managing Director, said “Flo has been a breath of fresh air – bringing her analytical skills to support our Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) case law library and grappling to understand the complex and convoluted CIL Regulations, from a standing start. We are delighted with her progress to date and delighted to have her on board as part of our team.”

Being totally new to the world of business and finance, Flo had to further develop her learning and processes, by being adaptable and open minded.

Becoming Self Aware

E3 has created an ‘Insights profile’ which is a type of psychometric profiling that gives an analysis of personality type and potential strengths and weaknesses and overall contributions to a team. Personality traits are analysed and then divided into four main colours around a wheel; of which individuals usually have more traits from one colour.

Insights can be used in any part of business and helps each member of the team to consider different viewpoints and ways to achieve efficient and optimal means of communication throughout the business.

A key part of Flo’s role was initially to help with legal research regarding the complex planning tax called Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). CIL is implemented across England and Wales by Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) who can choose to adopt it to fund services for wider infrastructure in the area. The complex and procedural nature of CIL is something that E3, as tax specialists, can often help with to avoid significant and unexpected charges. Developing research from Planning Inspectorate appeal cases has been valuable in helping the firm’s understanding, for technical advisory staff and marketing materials such as articles and adverts. Using Insights as a useful research point to help her, Flo began to lead on these marketing materials from the brief through to advert ideas and applied the principles to enhance her work.

Flo said: “The learning point from this is that the more aware you are of your own traits, the better you are able to communicate with others and contribute to the team. When creating a brief, it was important to think of how information is presented to appeal to each learning style. White space on a page and colourful images are useful for highlighting key ideas especially for visual learners. Data and statistics are key components of a brief as they appeal to those who are more results driven and curious. The audience for every piece of work should be at the forefront of business processes to ensure they are accessible.”

Changing Approach

When communicating with others it is vital to consider how ideas are expressed and the best way to learn and engage with information. David Kolb’s Experiential learning theory is heavily linked with personality styles as it highlights the importance of reflection and feedback, it is the process of doing, thinking, concluding, adapting, and doing again.

Flo explained: “Kolb categorises people by how they approach a task, so whether they prefer to watch or do, as well as by their emotional response to the experience, so how they think or feel. I identified that I was more of a Reflective Observational person as I preferred to see how things are done before trying it myself therefore it was imperative for me to understand how I could adjust and be more flexible, to optimise my contribution to the wider team. Kolb’s theory illustrates a learning cycle where learning is a continual process that depends on reflecting and redoing.”  

By using Insights at E3 each communication style and personality type are considered more, this is about respect and culturing an environment where employees and clients feel listened to. Psychological theories helped Flo focus on her strengths which include strong communication and research skills. This allowed her to tackle projects with an open mind, believe in the skills she had to offer, and overcome her perceived weaknesses. The psychological theories were used as a tool by E3 to support Flo in her new role and develop her business skillset from education, which can be very individualistic, to a more collaborative and dynamic work environment.

Moving Forward!

Flo has achieved a lot in her first four months at E3 and her input on projects has been positive.

She added that: “As someone new to the world of work, starting at E3 was daunting and I have adapted my working style significantly to achieve success in my work so far. E3 has taught me to adapt my way of learning and be more self-aware. Considering learning styles has improved the quality of all my work and the way I communicate with others both in and out of the E3 team.”

Thinking about how each person receives information, communicates and learns is at the forefront of E3’s working environment and delivery of technical advice to clients and their advisors alike.

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