Who are you?
Hi, I’m Jack Christoffels. I work as a Business Analyst for RedEye Apps.
How did you get into this job?
My major project was on user behaviour analytics for one of their apps (analysing how people actually use apps), which lead into an unrelated role acting as support for the other app they own!
Following that, I shifted around all kinds of roles, and have currently settled as a business analyst.
What do you actually do?
To explain my primary role, I determine what our clients (think businesses) need and how our systems can best improve their everything.
I liken it to being a weird kind of psychologist, except instead of sitting down one person on a couch, I’ll sit down a room of people in suits.
For this, I might fly out of Queensland to meet a client in their home state, or stay in the office and host a video conference call.
In addition, I’m looking after the metrics of the organisation, primarily involving data analysis, which always provides some interesting stuff!
What type of building (or otherwise) do you work in?
I work in an office that seems to be divided in terms of colour. On one end, there’s a colourful array of plants, cushions, chairs and desks and a Wii U!… Then on my end is a boring, drab, grey environment, deprived of all fun. That said, I do have a piñata sitting on my desk!
However, when I’m not working in my office, I’ll either be in other offices of decreasing levels of fun, or out in a field.
Sometimes I can find myself elsewhere; one time, I was in a hydro station in Rockhampton!
What STEM disciplines are involved with your work?
My primary STEM discipline is IT, though we operate in the engineering space.
What other STEM People do you work with?
Mostly IT, but also Engineers.
What does a typical day for you look like?
A typical day varies for me!
Some days will see me at my desk, processing through technical documents and ensuring the systems function as required.
Other days would see me talking to clients to gather information about their inner workings.
I might also dabble in the aforementioned metrics, creating pretty graphs and pulling numbers seemingly from thin air!
What do you like best about your work?
What I love about my work is the work-hard, play-hard culture we have. After a day of solid work, it’s not uncommon to find us playing table tennis or smash bros, or otherwise just having a good ol’ laugh and chat.
Another nice aspect is the “no stupid questions” mantra we have; anyone is free to ask anyone about anything. We’re all here and we have each others’ backs!
What do you like least about your work?
Outside of the often-stressful situations that arise, what I like least about my work is interacting with the clients to gather the information. To me, it feels as though it lacks soul. It feels as though I’m not solving problems for people, but instead for a massive machine that we call an organisation. There’s something just not fulfilling to me personally about all this professional business talk – everything from the body and vocal language used to the conflicts of moral and business mantras. I believe it boils down to a lack of personal connections, which is something I strive for in life.
What advice would you have for a high school student considering a career in the STEM field?
To a high school student considering a career in STEM, I’d strongly suggest taking some time to delve deep in whatever you are curious about, since that might just flourish into something far greater than anyone would ever dream! A classic example is Steve Jobs; one day, he decided to look a little deeper into his slight interest in typography. Now he’s left behind a tech giant in his wake!
However, where there is one shining success story, there are ten thousand other failure stories. To be honest, I’d consider my path a failure, since I find the activities of my occupation to be dull. If I’d taken the time to delve deep into all kinds of STEM-related topics, I might have found something that resonates with me.
What I mean to say here is that it’s important to find what truly makes you tick and what breathes life into a dull day for you. The world needs all of the STEM progress it can get, and the best kind of progress is made by the passionate and skillful. Investigate anything and everything that you have even a mild interest in; you’d be surprised at what grasps your undivided attention!
Delving deep will also serve you fantastically, because you’ll have a high level of knowledge in one particular discipline. Given the staggering rate of roles being created, there is bound to be something just perfect for what you wish to pursue!
Once this awkward thing happened…
I once forgot that a meeting was on. This might not seem like a big deal, but I ended up being over 30 minutes away from this very important meeting at a totally different event for a project. In addition, I was over three hours late.
Did I mention I was also in Adelaide?
Yep, that was certainly awkward and hilarious to explain! It’s okay though; my other event ended up being very important too. Lucky save!