Rory Gallagher, Head of QA, SQS
What led to your choice of career and why?
When choosing your career path, it is important that the decision is based on criteria that reflects your personal values, temperaments, and skills. My choice in becoming a Quality Consultant was not made lightly, rather it was reached through careful consideration and a process of reflection whereby I evaluated what is/ would be important to me in my professional life, and why.
From an early age, I found myself challenging why things were done a certain way and often queried if there were better ways to do and improve certain processes. “That’s the way it’s always done” was never an answer I accepted. During my college years, I chose the courses that gave me the tools not only to challenge the norm within an IT world, but also demonstrated ways to provide solutions and encourage problem solving also. When I started my first professional role as a Test Analyst I knew it was the right path for me as it allowed me to question how solutions were coded and delivered, and also gave me the opportunity to work with development teams to provide insights into how enhancements could be made.
Your current role
My role as Head of Quality Assurance (QA) in SQS, provides a wide breadth of responsibility, accountability and satisfaction. Working with our clients, I am involved in providing and delivering high-level quality and innovative solutions in addition to building and maintaining strong and authentic relationships. An important part of my role is the continued development of all employees in the QA stream, especially our graduates, as it is key for us that all SQS employees are presented with both the opportunities and the means to reach their full potential throughout their career.
Employees that join the Programme will receive constant support and learning throughout the 11-month programme as well as tangible rewards. Graduate employees in SQS will engage with Senior Consultants on a regular basis, they will help to ensure our Graduates get the right experiences, support and coaching, helping them to grow and develop within their role.
Further training and study
Learning and development has always been important to me in order to allow for continued growth and development on a personal level. On a professional level, it is a significant part of my role to ensure that I am up to speed on all the latest trends and technologies so that I, in turn, can ensure we deliver the best solutions to meet ever-changing client demands. I’m fortunate that the company offers a wide range of learning and development options to aid an employee’s development in line with their development plan and career aspirations. The offerings in place provide options for our employees to enhance their skills in their current roles and also to upskill for different areas of the business.
What do you feel is the strongest asset you have brought to your current position and how did you develop this skill?
Strong communication skills- these are vital in my role whether it is listening to employee feedback on process improvements and innovative ideas, or working with our clients to identify their needs. Good communication is key in delivering a client solution that will work. As Consultants, we must understand the situation our clients are in, take that understanding and convert it into a workable best practice solution, in line with industry standard and trends. In addition, flexibility and adaptability are also crucial. With the rapid developments in the IT sector it is important that we are flexible and adaptable to new innovations or processes so that we can deliver the best results for our clients.
Tips & advice
There are a large number of graduates entering the workplace every year so it is important that you make yourself stand out. An impressive CV is a must, but it will only get you so far. Companies are looking for graduates that are passionate and knowledgeable about the job they are applying for. Take the time to think about what career you want, where you want your career to take you in the future and work on your soft skills to ensure that passion is evident during the interview process. This will separate you from other candidates and ultimately help towards securing a successful outcome for you with your chosen employer.