Yaseen Patel – Graduate Analyst, Saratoga

Yaseen Patel, with a double major in Management and Information Systems and Honours in Information Systems from Wits, shares his insights about his new career as Analyst at Saratoga.

“I was really surprised by the idea of driving your own career. Saratoga supports the notion of focusing on your interests, which is definitely motivation to self-improve. I also enjoy applying my skills and knowledge to real business problems.”

Transitioning from university to workplace has been extremely exciting for me. My entire world changed, relocating from the ‘hustle’ of Johannesburg to the coastal city of Cape Town. I chose to apply to work at Saratoga for several reasons. I was lucky enough to be accepted for an internship at Saratoga during my Honours year. This is when I witnessed first-hand from Saratoga employees that the company hires based on attitude and personality.

Saratoga’s flat managerial structure creates an environment that makes me feel like more than just a number. The CEO, Mark, is often working across the room. However, this does not mean that Saratoga has immature business capabilities – which is proven by an outstanding track-record. It just means that I have the choice, first hand, to be part of the growth and success of the company. It also means that my opinions and suggestions will directly reach the ears of the strategic team.

I also felt that relocating would definitely take me out of my comfort zone and demonstrate that I have the ability to work with diverse people and teams. Cape Town is a beautiful city (truly an understatement) – but also considered the ‘Silicon Valley’ of the country at the moment.

I have learned so much and gained so many insights at Saratoga. To always be prepared for the unexpected. The domain of projects that arise can vary in terms of industry and nature of stakeholders. These stakeholders often have different personalities and thus need to be engaged with differently.

I have learned to ask for assistance because people at Saratoga are always willing to give a helping hand or advice. The answers you seek are always out there. I have also gained insight into the consulting world. I’ve learned to always maintain a level of professionalism and integrity in order to sell myself, and ultimately Saratoga, to our clients.

Learning is a continuous process of which I am partaking in on a daily basis.

Currently, I am conceptualising a mobile application for an existing client. I am in the process of designing storyboards, wireframes and prototypes of the app to be presented in the UK.

The aim is to use the app as a catalyst for charitable behavior and increasing generosity in the UK. The main problem we are trying to solve is: “how can we create and encourage a community to engage in and support charitable behavior”. This goes into details about functionality and design of the app that will create a unique user experience through the particulars of its look and feel.

In terms of my future path, Saratoga’s grad programme is intended to make us more competent in the industry by exposing us to a broad range of skills in a 2 year period. I aim to excel in my career through gaining knowledge and experience. Thus far, I am working towards certifications which are relevant to the industry, such as the ISTQB exam I am preparing for. I have also gained broad experience from the current projects at Saratoga. Mentorship and line management, although different, guide me towards the appropriate tools and resources in-order to improve myself and my work. The exposure is priceless!

My advice for graduates who may be aspiring to apply to join Saratoga is this: If you want to find your niche in this industry, particular areas in which you are passionate, and do not want to be pigeon holed in a large corporate, then Saratoga is ideal. But before that, gain a broad skillset in the SDLC (system development lifecycle), be enthusiastic about adding value to a team despite your title or responsibilities. Saratoga believes that skill can be taught but having the right personality cannot. So work hard, but for the right reasons. Learn before you earn!

If I could choose my first employer one more time, I would still choose Saratoga. The people are inspirational, knowledgeable, hardworking and fun to work with. I was never interested in the technical side of business consulting, however the energy at the monthly tech talks makes keeping up with current trends interactive and enjoyable.

If I could describe my experience of working at Saratoga in one word “worthwhile” should do it.

Become a part of Saratoga’s graduate recruitment programme and start building your career. Internships are also available. Go to join.saratoga.co.za/graduates/ to apply.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment