We always love to catch up with our apprentices after completing one of our courses. After completing this higher apprenticeship, Nick has gone on to become co-founder and CEO of his own Software Development and Consulting firm with the mission to become a trusted partner in digital transformation for project organisations to enable AI-driven learning from experience and automation of deliverables through our platform. Read Nick's story below.

Q. A lot has changed for you since starting the apprenticeship. You got promoted at your current employer to a Project Manager, then joined a new one as a Digital Improvement Lead, and now you are also a co-founder at Inforecast.

Tell us a bit more about what inspired this progression.

A. The apprenticeship helped me transition quicker and more formally from construction project management to data & digital thanks to the behaviours, knowledge and skills enhanced during the programme. This enabled me to better and faster understand the underlying principles of data analytics and their application to projects as well as to better communicate with technical teams. As a result, I was able to faster grow into a leadership role at Mott MacDonald. For example, I led the digital team on HS2 Phase 2B to deliver bespoke automation and data analytics solutions to drive productivity and insights.

The apprenticeship also gave me greater exposure to the industry and the challenges that it experiences. This inspired me to help the whole industry by teaming up with experts in AI and Software Engineering across other industries to create InForecast. As a result, I can more effectively collaborate with the team at InForecast to create more impactful and useful solutions.

Q. From this apprenticeship, what was your long-term goal?

A. My long-term goal is to continue engaging with the wider industry, including the Project Data Analytics Task Force to help solve some of the most pressing issues that we are facing in construction today. My vision is to empower project teams to take advantage of the most advanced technology and foster a sustainable transformation to solve these challenges. I see InForecast as playing a core role in helping our industry thrive in the near future.

Q. How has the apprenticeship impacted your existing skills?

A. The apprenticeship enabled me to communicate more effectively with technical teams and even solve some of the challenges myself. In terms of technical skills, I feel that it impacted my python and power platform skills the most. I also acquired useful knowledge about other technology available such as Azure artificial intelligence and graph databases.

Q. What sort of daily tasks have you managed to automate off the back of this apprenticeship?

A. There are a few great ones. For example, I created and led the deployment of a solution architecture to fully automate emails containing the timesheet booking reminders. I also created a Machine Learning algorithm to classify the skillset based on the staff CVs.

Q.What tools would you say you'll now use most?

A. The greatest asset for me is my business analyst skills to capture the project team's requirements and communicate those effectively to technical teams. The apprenticeship can drastically support the industry and create more synergy between project and technical IT teams. 

Q. To what extent has the client's approach helped to influence your approach to PDA?

A. I feel that this depends a lot on the type of clients and their maturity to start implementing data analytics and automation. For example, HS2 are quite forward-thinking and keen to innovate and transform the ways of working. At the same time, some clients may be more reluctant to change. Working with clients to assess and communicate a clear value-add of the proposed solutions does help quite effectively at times.

We always love to hear the success stories from our apprentices and how the course has helped them develop the skills to succeed! For more information about our courses, please click here.

About the author:

Nick Stepanov

CEO and Co-Founder at InForecast 

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/nick-stepanov