Business Analyst Training Reflections

Open Capital Advisors recently hired 12 new business analyst to join our team. The business analyst program starts with 2 weeks of intense training and continues with on the job training through the project work. Two of our analysts shared their initial thoughts on the training program.

“The two weeks of training were an amazing learning experience – intense, but every minute was worth it. I especially liked the Excel training because of the many new functions I was introduced to and a short while later I could apply them in the financial modelling sessions. The level of detail and precision that cut across every session really surprised me. For example, in the PPT trainings the amount of detail that needs to go into formatting each slide was mind blowing.

During training, I enjoyed meeting and working with people from diverse backgrounds both in terms of ethnicity and academics. My team happened to have a Zambian with a background in Advertising, a Kenyan with a back ground in Electrical Engineering and a Burundian with an Actuarial Science degree. While training was fun, it was also challenging because we had to figure out each other’s strengths and weaknesses in such a short time as we worked towards each deliverable. At this point, the OCA values of believing in each other’s strengths to deliver, questioning each of our decisions boldly, acting together to deliver on our assignments, and owning the outcomes of our actions really helped in smoothing out the challenges we faced. Aside from the buddy/mentor catch ups in the future, I’m most excited about the amount of learning that lies ahead and the skills that I’m going to pick up on my journey with OCA.”

Jonathan Maraka recently joined our Uganda team with prior experience in the insurance industry and holds a degree from Makerere University.

“Once I set foot in the OCA office as a Business Analyst in training, I was immediately struck by a warm welcome and friendly environment from the receptionist and fellow “OCA-ers”. This affability characterized my first day in the office and every other following morning.  Our first training was carried out by the company Partners.  It was a great introduction to the firm’s mission, vision and values. It helped us gain perspective on what the firm intends to achieve and what role we were expected to play. It was particularly inspiring to see the Partners illustrate how applicable the OCA values are throughout the presentation.  They welcomed us with warmth and eager expectation for us to be part of their team.

During the first few days of training, we had multiple courses on the firm, its culture and standards of practice.  These courses helped us build on our past experiences and all the trainers were supportive and most importantly exemplified by action and example what they taught us. In our second week of training, we had more technical courses and partook in an interactive case study that gave us a window into day-to-day work at OCA. We quickly found ourselves working late trying to gather information, synthesize it and present it in a bid to solve the business case.  We harnessed the collective efforts of the team members to meet deadlines and deliverables, albeit flustered and uncertain at times. More senior OCA team members supported and guided us throughout the case study and technical training. Over the course of the training, we were introduced to other staff members over an office sponsored breakfast, lunches and a welcome dinner. We developed a rapport with other staff through these interactions, which was a nice break from the training intensity.

I look forward to my OCA experience:  the rewarding intellectual challenge, constant learning, exposure to growing businesses, broadening my network, and finally building stronger African economies.”

Ivy Akumu joins our Kenyan team with prior experience in consulting for companies in the Financial, Agricultural, Energy and Automotive industries on their tax compliance obligations and areas of tax exposures. Ivy has a B.A. (Hons) in Economics from Hamilton University in NY and is currently in the process of acquiring an Association of Chartered Accountants Certification (ACCA).