Lauren Collis

Spartan Consultant

"Despite being slightly older than other Spartans, the academy made every effort to support me and I really enjoyed the learning environment."

Lauren Collis is a Spartan Consultant at Canada Life in Potters Bar. While the journey from primary school teacher to technology professional was challenging at times, Lauren has carved out a position at Canada Life as a valuable mentor in agile solutions and processes. We talked to Lauren about her journey with Sparta Global and the benefits of helping to prepare companies for a digital future.

How did your adventure begin with Sparta Global?

Before I joined Sparta Global, I had worked as a primary school teacher for four years. At the same time I lent my knowledge of the education sector to a start-up and it was while working with them that I developed an interest in coding. I wanted to know how to build something myself, and after attending some short coding courses, knew I wanted to take it more seriously.

After finding Sparta Global online, everything happened very quickly. There were only a few weeks between my application and acceptance and I started training at Richmond Academy soon after.

Despite being slightly older than other Spartans, the academy made every effort to support me and I really enjoyed the learning environment. I developed good friendships with my teachers and mentors too, who have continued to help me in my role at Canada Life.

What is your role at Canada Life? Have you seen your work make an impact?

I was introduced to Canada Life as a Business Analyst and now spend about half of my time analysing and half of my time coding. I’ve had the opportunity to grow out projects, perform cross functional tasks and train other team members – all while acting as a full time scrum master.

My teacher training and the skills I developed in the area have proved beneficial too. After seeing the impact of introducing agile solutions to Canada Life and sharing new training techniques with some of Canada Life’s most long serving employees, I now spend time teaching, training and upskilling people around me. I run a coffee afternoon every week where I talk about agile, share experiences, run workshops and teach new processes. I am hoping to hold an event in the coming months that will demo the Spartans’ work to the entire company too.

Is there a particular project you are most proud of?

I have just spent 3 months rewriting and redesigning a system at Canada Life, with the aim to make the system more reliable, more modern and more cost efficient. In the financial services sector all of these factors are critical things to consider. There is a real internal impact for companies when they make moves to improve internal systems. Saving money is great but saving time is equally as important. I’m excited to see the impact my work will have and how efficiencies can be improved across the entire organisation.

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