If you’re reading this, you’ve probably come across some stories about the extremely busy, notoriously never-ending schedules of consultants. But, before you turn your back on this career forever, our dear colleague Ivana is here to tell you that there’s another way to do this job. According to her, if you are someone who is well organized and knows how to set priorities, enjoys communication, is always ready to help and share your knowledge with others, and at the same time likes to travel and meet different people and cultures, then this is the job which you should take up. When it comes to IT consulting, rethink days of monotony: and therein lies the beauty of this position.
Meet Ivana Bisevac, a Microsoft Business Central Consultant at NaviPartner. We asked Ivana a few questions about what it’s like to be a consultant at NaviPartner, the typical challenges in a position such as hers, her tips for those who want to build their career in IT consulting, and who she is outside of work. Here’s what she had to say:
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I graduated from the Faculty of Economics, majoring in Finance, Banking and Insurance, and then got a Master’s degree at the same faculty, majoring in Accounting and Auditing. During my entire studies, I dreamed of working in a bank. I got my first bank job right after graduation, but I soon realized that it was not everything I imagined and wanted. I soon moved to Controlling in a cardboard factory and spent the next three years there, where I learned a lot and worked with a fantastic team of people from different business areas. At that workplace, I also met a colleague who pulled me with him, so to speak, into the NAV/BC world, and thus began my journey as a consultant. The desire to change my workplace first appeared due to the need for a more dynamic job that would also provide more opportunities for learning and personal development. This is currently my fourth year working as a consultant.
2. Describe a typical week in your role.
One of my favorite things about this job is that no week is the same. Of course, there are a lot of similar processes, but each of them is special in its own way. The day of a consultant at NaviPartner, in addition to resolving assigned cases, involves a lot of communication both with clients and colleagues from the same or other departments, as well as finding a solution for an existing problem or proposing a solution that can make our product better and in accordance with the requirements of potential or already existing clients.
3. What’s the most challenging part of your role?
I have always considered myself to be well organized (at least when it comes to work :D), and I think that’s the biggest challenge for a consultant. Knowing how to assess what a priority is and, in line with that, to organize yourself so that no one feels less than a priority is the biggest challenge for me which I think I am handling well, at least for now.
4. What’s the most rewarding part of your role?
My favorite part of this job is communicating with a great variety of people. Working at NaviPartner has allowed me to meet many associates outside of Serbia, as well as clients and partners. The trip to the Bangkok conference allowed me to personally meet up with the Malaysia-based partner whose project was my first big challenge in the company. Thus, working with them now is even more enjoyable.
5. What are the necessary skills in order to succeed in your role?
For me, a good consultant is a person who is well organized, communicative, curious, persistent, ready to help and share knowledge. Do I think it’s important that the person to be the consultant knows the client’s business process from the first working day? Both yes and no. It can be a lot easier if you come from college or from a branch where you perceived the business processes and they were made clear to you. You will certainly come up with solutions and ideas more easily if you have a foundation. However, in my opinion, it’s something that you will definitely learn if you want to.
6. What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career at NaviPartner?
Don’t be afraid of change. Just embrace it. Before NaviPartner, I was seriously considering giving up my consulting career and returning to Controlling but something told me that I should give it a try one more time and that was the best business move I could have made.
7. What is your favorite thing about working at NaviPartner? What makes NaviPartner’s business culture special?
As I’ve already mentioned, this is the type of job that implies that every day will be somewhat different from the previous one and it makes working at NaviPartner special. At the same time, the fact that the company constantly appears in new markets and there is continual communication with partners and clients from different countries additionally makes each new day more interesting and successful.
8. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Hmm, perhaps that’s the most difficult question asked here. I am quite determined when there is a problem and rarely listen to the advice of others in those situations. I usually try to find my own way. But something that I will always remember is a saying of my high school teacher: “He who does not risk does not win.“
9. If you hadn’t become a BC Consultant, what would you be doing?
When I was very young, I dreamed of being a car salesman, yes, yes… sitting in a car showroom surrounded by SUVs. 😀 In high school, I loved history and one of my wishes was to study it, but unfortunately the professional prospects in our country has swayed me to give up the ambition. If I were to choose an occupation interrelated to my profession but not linked with the current job, it would probably mean going back to Controlling.
10. Who is Ivana outside of work?
A passionate devotee of books, dancing, sweets and pastries, cats and travel. Of course, good wine is always welcome. 😊
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