A Day in the Life of ... Catherine Harrisson

north highland catherine harrisson
Catherine Harrisson

I studied Geography BSc, followed by Management MA at Durham University. I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do when I left university so I joined a graduate management scheme at a construction company. The company was acquired and the graduate scheme was cancelled, which meant I had the opportunity to think about what I wanted to do next. I enjoyed my management consultancy modules in my Masters course so I started looking into management consultancy as a career.

I realised that the graduate scheme that I was on wasn't stretching me enough and I wanted more variety. I thought that management consultancy would be a good challenge and provide me with a diverse selection of roles, clients and industries.

I found North Highland (then called Qedis) through a graduate recruitment agency. I absolutely loved the interview process, which only took 10 days from sending my CV to being offered a job. There were three interviews which were fun and challenging (debating the case study was brilliant!). I knew after the first interview that North Highland was perfect for me and I really wanted to join.

My most enjoyable project so far was at a large retail company where I worked in the IT division to create process flows (diagrams that show activities and their owners) for how to deliver an IT project e.g. initiate the project through to close the project. It was my favourite project because I interacted with the IT leadership team daily and also worked with a team of representatives from across IT who provided their thoughts on what I was developing and also helped to train their colleagues.

The client was really pleased with the work and people throughout the IT division were exceptionally keen to get their hands on the document we produced – it was an A5 booklet that had everything they needed to navigate through an IT project. People even took to writing their names on their booklets so people didn’t try to “borrow” them!

A personal highlight of my time at North Highland was being part of the winning team for the quarterly client team award which was a meal at the Dorchester. We had six courses and then got a personalised chocolate cake at the end saying congratulations!

One piece of advice for new Analysts is be prepared to travel, both daily commutes and abroad, if required. In the last 5 years I have been in roles in Greater London, Milton Keynes, Manchester, Hong Kong, Jakarta and Tokyo.

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