- Alessia Covello
- 28 years
- Employed since august 2016
- M.Sc. in International Marketing and Management, CBS
Can you briefly describe the business area you are dealing with and your primary tasks?
I work with IT Systems for Life Sciences. This is a broad area in NNIT. Specifically, I am an IT Consultant and I work in the technical department where IT Architects and Consultants/Developers are dedicated to design, implement, test and deliver IT Solutions. My tasks range from sales to solution design to implementation to testing. When presenting an offer to a customer my team and I must analyze customer needs and their current system landscape, then we must present a solution that can achieve their business goals. During a project I am on ‘the front line’ with the actual implementation (this can include system migrations, configurations and integrations) of our solution. To spice this up we are working in Agile Teams, which can be pretty fun as well as intense.
What are the most exciting and challenging tasks in your job?
I like to find technical solutions to people’s needs and I like to learn new technologies that can serve to this purpose. Working as a consultant gives me this chance, but it is both exciting and challenging, due to the changing nature of my work.
I am currently working in the implementation of a LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) for a big international Life Science customer. For this project I am focused on configuring the system, and I especially enjoy find technical solutions to address specific user requirements. For this project I also enjoy working in an agile team, which makes the work more flexible and fast-paced. It also allowed my team to deliver the solution through multiple releases (from an MVP to a complete release), so to hear customer feedbacks during the process and not just at the end of the project.
Working in Life Science has also the exciting and challenging component of regulations. In my previous project I worked on a data migration for another international customer. The customer had to prepare their vendors data to be moved to the EMA public database. There are some specific rules that govern how data should be treated and stored (EMA SPOR and IDMP for example), and I found the added complexity given by the regulations as a very interesting challenge to make me work with data. It is also exciting that the more you work with regulations the more you are familiar with them, the more you learn about the Life Science industry.
How do you use your education in your current position?
I hold a Bachelor in Business Administration from Bocconi Business School (Milan), and a Masters in International Management from Copenhagen Business School. With such a background my IT Consultant job may not be the most obvious next step.
Let me tell you that my business studies, focused on learning about organizations and people (customers or employees), are a key resource that I need in some aspects of my role.
The Enterprise IT industry is heavily process dependent, especially in the Life Sciences. This means that IT and organizational processes are intertwined. When selling or implementing an IT architecture it is essential that we understand what our IT Solution is used for, and how. People should be put at the center (How is the system interconnected across departments? when and where is the system used? Who are the users and what do they want to achieve with their work through the system?) and business goals are also at the center (what are our customer’s KPIs? Can we help our customer to achieve them?). Therefore, having a business and people focus means that I have a good ability to enter in dialogue with our customers asking relevant questions, and then I am able to draw users’ blueprint to understand the people and business process behind the system.
Eventually I am able to articulate precise offers with a business language instead of a deep technical language. All in all I can say that customer understanding, offering design and sales are definitely my biggest strengths provided by my education. And we should remember that sales is a big component of many of our job roles in NNIT.
For the rest, is probably needless to say that I have acquired specific technical skills while working, learning by doing or taking additional courses and certifications.
What are the three most important things to you in your work at NNIT?
What I believe is most important in a company like NNIT, in my opinion, is:
Taking care of my network within NNIT and with our customers
Don’t play the lone wolf game: be kind, offer help any time you can, do your best to add value. This does not only create a good working environment, but colleagues are also one of the best resources we have. Our projects are so complex that we will always need advice or help at some point.
IT industry is ever changing, so training and being curious about new technologies is on top of my list. I often suggest my younger friends to take into account training offers when they are evaluating a job proposal.
Ask what you need and be patient
Being able to be very clear on my needs and asking for support surely contributed to make my career move to my current position. In general “ask, don’t assume” is one of my favorite motto, and this can mean that you should not assume that people know your needs. Then being patient is equally important, as I believe you can only reach what you ask if you invest time and energy into it.
Why is NNIT an attractive company for you to work in?
One of the main reasons I appreciate NNIT as an employer is its culture. NNIT is a great place to work and its company values (being open & honest, value adding and conscience driven) are a part of how people interact among colleagues and make business on average. Our target with our costumers is to become trusted advisors and therefore delivering quality, adding value, and being honest about what we believe is best for the customer.
Great Industry, this is the other reason. It is an exciting time for working in the IT industry for the simple reason that IT at the core of almost any other industry. Here is where innovation and growth can be found, and the possibilities of employment are many and new will keep coming. On top of this, NNIT is an attractive employer for its rare ‘full stack’ knowhow (consultancy, development, implementation, outsourcing and maintenance of IT Applications and IT Infrastructures). Metaphorically speaking, NNIT builds and maintain cars and then also advice on how to build them! This is an invaluable knowhow that is shared across the organization. An example? What best way to learn about IT Infrastructure when people running OS and Servers are just across the corridor?