‘I’ve felt part of everything at Guidewire from the very start’
Snehal Bhatia, a software consultant with Guidewire talks about her career with the technology company, why it matches her values and how her career has allowed her to take on new and exciting challenges.
What’s your current job at Guidewire and, if there is a typical day/week, what would it involve?
I am currently working as a Software Consultant at Guidewire, and my job responsibilities involve helping our customers achieve their business objectives and goals by configuring and implementing Guidewire’s software solutions. A typical work-day for me would start with a daily stand-up meeting with my project team, where we discuss our progress on our tasks and user stories, in an Agile environment. I also collaborate with the customer’s team to ensure that their expectations are met. I particularly enjoy playing a game of pool with my colleagues after lunch in the office, and have certainly gotten better at it since I joined!
Tell us about your time at university, your journey to Ireland?
After completing my Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Engineering in India, I moved to Ireland to pursue a Master’s in Computer Science at Trinity College Dublin, attracted by the vibrant culture of Ireland and the ever-emerging IT landscape.
During my education, I pursued multiple internships, mostly related to research in artificial intelligence and computer vision. My academic projects were technical in nature but also very focussed on practical applications and innovation. I also participated in multiple entrepreneurship-related ‘hackathons’ during my Masters, where I discovered a passion for bringing about transformation through the power of technology. Ultimately, that led to my decision to build a career in consulting.
What was your memory of the application and selection process and why do you think you were successful?
I first came across Guidewire at a gradireland careers fair where I got to connect with some very enthusiastic people from the company. I found their roles to be very interesting and aligned with my career objectives, so I applied via their website and got a call from a recruiter, who explained how their selection and interview process works.
First up was an online coding round, focused on my skills in Java, and upon clearing that I was invited for an in-person interview. It consisted of three rounds: a group activity focused on the assessment of soft-skills and team-work, a whiteboarding round which was similar to the online coding interview, but more detailed, and finally a culture round to ensure that Guidewire’s environment would be the right fit for me. At each step I received constructive feedback and the constant communication was refreshing. I had a final interview with the hiring manager, and based on my technical acumen, prior internship and academic experience and communication skills, I got the job!
What makes Guidewire a unique employer in the tech sector and why did they appeal to you?
Guidewire’s culture is very diverse, inclusive, and informal. Even as a fresh graduate, I’ve been able to take part in new initiatives with the social committee, be a part of the editorial team of our internal newsletter and take part in our office ‘hackathon’. Even the most senior members of the organisation are just a message away, and your opinions and suggestions are always respected.
I am very passionate about women empowerment , and with Guidewire’s volunteer days I have been able to contribute to initiatives like encouraging girls in high school to take up a career in STEM, and also to organise International Women’s Day activities in the office. The support from Guidewire to contribute to causes you care about is very important to me.
What support did Guidewire provide you with to help you settle in and how do you hope to see your career develop with the company?
Guidewire’s thorough training and development programme helped me gain product certifications and prepared me for my actual projects. The training was certainly a challenge for me, but I was assigned a mentor for the initial weeks in the company, who guided me through every step. As I was starting with my first project, we transitioned into remote-working in the wake of the pandemic, which was a challenge for me. I was initially hesitant to pose my questions and doubts, but all my colleagues have been enormously supportive and helpful, so I would encourage every new graduate to not be afraid to reach out!
Right from the interview phase until now, I have had frequent discussions regarding my projected career path and future possibilities, and my personal growth and development are always at the centre of it. I hope to move into field consulting after gaining some experience, where I would get to work on the customer’s site, and be more involved at the strategic level in planning and projects.
How has the company supported you during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Guidewire’s response to this global crisis has reaffirmed my faith in the organisation, and the response from the higher management has been incredible. Employee wellbeing and flexibility have been the focal point these past few months, and ‘No-Meetings-Fridays’ have been recently introduced to reduce that ‘Zoom-fatigue’. We have been having virtual coffee breaks and social events, weekly chat sessions with our CEO, and open discussions about how we can adapt better. I’ve also been able to set up a comfortable home office thanks to the generous work-from-home allowance we received. I feel very proud that we have schemes in place that help us support local businesses and restaurants and give back to society during these unprecedented times.
To find out more about careers in Guidewire, listen to our audio interview with software consultant, Anam Ali, here.
Find our more about graduate careers with Guidewire here.
Also, make sure you visit their careers hub on gradireland.