Claire Harrower on her career in Consultancy and Computing & IT interviews Claire Harrower, Director at Alfa Financial Software Limited.

What's the best career advice you've ever received?

The best career advice I have received is to focus on what you enjoy doing and what you are good at; and to find a mentor who can give you advice and support along the way.

How did you choose what industry you wanted to work in?

I chose consultancy due to the opportunity to work on different projects in a wide range of organisations. The variety of work appealed as I knew there would always be new learning opportunities, new people to meet and new challenges.

What difference do you believe being a woman has made to your career?

In general women are less common in IT than men, so at times being female has probably helped me stand out. However, in general I don’t believe it has made that much difference to my career.

What have you had to risk/sacrifice to get to the position you have?

Nothing springs to mind – maybe the odd night out or two when working towards various deadlines!

What advice would you give to aspiring graduates looking to work in your field?

Work hard to ensure you have a sound academic background. In addition, make the most of all the extra-curricular activities available at university to show you have a wide range of interests and are well-rounded. Finally, look to gain work experience or an internship so that you are up to speed on the industry and can demonstrate your commitment to the field.

What have you struggled most with since starting your career, and do you have any advice on how to overcome it?

I can’t think of anything that I have particularly struggled with. At times the working hours have been long, or the piece of work has been pretty complex. However, this is to be expected in careers where you want to be challenged and continually develop your skills.

Do you feel diversity is an issue where you work?


What do you enjoy most about working in this industry?

I enjoy the project nature of the work which means you are working in tight knit teams towards regular deadlines. I also enjoy the people I work with as they are committed, hard-working and good fun.

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