Meryem Nalbant

Where Are You Now? – From Retail to Royalty


 

Meryem completed our Network Professional Programme and started her career in IT. With experience from working in New Look as a Graduate to working with the Royal Household, she shares her story.

You used to work as a sales assistant in retail, what made you choose a career in IT?

I graduated from university with a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. I applied for jobs and attended interviews, but ultimately I found that every company wanted experience which I didn’t have. After having no luck from any interviews I needed a job so I took one in New Look.

How did you hear about Just IT, and what made you choose us?

Whilst working at New Look, a friend from university told me about Just IT. I did some research and spoke to a member of the Just IT team who invited me in for a chat. After talking the course over with my dad and hearing about the job guarantee at the end of it, I decided to enrol on the course.

Have you taken any further certifications/training since Just IT?

Yes, I’ve done my SDI Exam and ITIL foundation. I am now studying ITIL Intermediate and have completed module 1 with 4 left to do. I also attend the Service Desk Institute annual conference in Birmingham to learn about new technologies.

Your first job was with the Royal Household, what was it like working for the Royal family?

It was amazing. When I was put forward for the interview by Just IT, I underestimated myself and wondered why they would want to hire me. I had lots of encouragement from Toyin which helped my confidence, went for the interview and was invited back. I started in a 1st Line role as a Systems Analyst where we would support Buckingham Palace and St James’.

Did you ever meet any members of the family?

Yes on many occasions. At first I was quite nervous but you soon get used to them. They were so polite and would always greet you. While there I was promoted to Senior Systems Analyst, which meant I would travel with the Prince of Wales when he was staying away so I could set up the networks.

You are now a Team Leader for the Bank of England, what does your role consist of?

Our department has 26 analysts split into 3 teams; I manage a team of 7 analysts. I don’t like to micromanage people, I encourage their ideas and growth. Together we support around 4000 users, split between the bank and its agencies. As well as the team, I am responsible for managing the stats and making sure we are meeting them. If the bank wants to bring in new technologies, I have to make sure we can support them and put forward what training my team will need to do this.

What’s the main purpose of the Bank of England?

This is where all the money is designed and printed. When new money is brought out, the bank has to dispose of all the old. As well as keeping records of all the serial numbers, this can be used to help the police in cases of theft or laundering. We also have vaults deep underground where we keep gold, not just from England, but from all over Europe.

Have you had to overcome any hurdles in your career?

Not really, my career has gone quite smoothly since Just IT. The only hurdle was trying to get my 1st IT job offer after university.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Well, I will finish my ITAL certifications and hope to become an ITAL expert and a Service Desk Manager.

What’s the most memorable moment in your career to date?

Whilst working for the Royal Household, I got to travel with Prince Charles on a private jet to May Castle in Scotland. It was such a fun experience. Another was also the Queen giving us Christmas presents.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about a career in IT?

Honestly, I don’t think you need to go to university and have a degree, as what you learn is just theory and you don’t apply it in a real job. You just need to be passionate about IT and like working with people in customer service. Technically you are better off doing a course like Just IT and get your certifications and work experience.

Iphone or Android?

iPhone

Laptop or Tablet?

Laptop

iOS, Linux or Windows?

Windows. I grew up with it and every job I have had has used Windows.