Confidently Transitioning into a Senior Business Analyst Role in the Cybersecurity Industry: Michelle Bosomworth

Today we meet Michelle Bosomworth, an ACBA and Senior Business Process Analyst in the Cybersecurity industry from Southwestern Ontario, who recently acquired a senior role in her company while sharpening her skills through The Business Analyst Blueprint® certification program. 

What we love about Michelle’s story is how she was already a business analyst, but knew The Business Analyst Blueprint® certification program would provide her with the skills she needed to solidify her skillset and gain the confidence she needed. 

In this interview, you’ll discover: 

  • Why Michelle chose The Business Analyst Blueprint® certification program over other certifications. 
  • The specific skills and lessons that Michelle learned through the program that gave her confidence in her senior role. 
  • The templates and tools Michelle uses in her job to provide structure and clarity for the leadership team. 

 

Beverly Sudbury: Good day. I’m Beverly Sudbury, an instructor with Bridging The Gap. And today I am very happy to be here with Michelle Bosomworth, from Southwestern Ontario, who is currently working as a senior business process analyst in the cybersecurity industry.

Today Michelle is going to share with us her journey and show how her participation in the Business Analysis Blueprint Program contributed to her success. 

Hello, Michelle. Welcome.  

Michelle Bosomworth: Hi Beverly. Thank you. 

Beverly Sudbury: Hi. Thank you so much for being here to share your story. I really appreciate it.  

Michelle Bosomworth: Yes, I’m happy to. Thank you.  

Beverly Sudbury: Thank you. So shall we get started?  

Michelle Bosomworth: Sure. Let’s go.  

Beverly Sudbury: Okay. Can you take us back to late 2020, early 2021 just before you joined the Bridging The Gap program for the certification? Where were you in your career at that time and what were you looking to achieve? 

Michelle Bosomworth: Sure. A couple years ago, well, actually five or six years ago, I started as a business process analyst. It was a mid-career change for me. Previously, I had studied journalism and I had been working as a copywriter and a technical editor for some software and non-profits and working on a lot of process documentation in my role on those teams. 

I had this opportunity. There was a reorg in my team at my job at the time where I had this opportunity to work on some strategic and process-related initiatives coming up. A year or two ago, that’s where I was. I was working on some process initiatives, mostly related to our technical documentation process and the tools that we use with the vendor. 

Also, I had the opportunity to build from scratch a new translation process working with our vendor and our internal teams on how to translate our software UI strings and our technical documentation. That was an interesting project because I was able to look at all of the different facets – the stakeholders, the processes, the tools, and also the money. The end result there was over a few years, we were able to realize some hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings just by streamlining this process.  

Going back to 2020, that’s kind of where I was. I had been working on these initiatives for a couple of years. I was hoping to move into a more senior role and work on some more strategic initiatives. I was very happy to have the opportunity to be promoted to a senior role, about this time a year ago, actually, just before the Blueprint started.

What I was looking for with the blueprint program was to sharpen some skills that I already had, but mostly learn some new ones and get some tips and tricks. And also some of the modules were related to some areas that I hadn’t really gone deep into. So, I wanted to learn more about those and grow in that area.  

The key thing that I liked about the Blueprint, because I had attended many of the information sessions in the past was the targeting of people in that career transition and how to grow their capacity as a business analyst. 

That was really exciting to me and the idea of getting a certification at the end of it and going through all of that hard project work at the end was very enticing to me. I’m really happy to have attained that certification.  

Beverly Sudbury: Sounds like quite a journey you had even before you began with us. It sounds like you did achieve a lot which really is very beneficial, I’m sure to how that helped you through the modules in the program. 

Michelle Bosomworth: Sure. Yeah. The first module with business process analysis, that was sort of my bread and butter because that’s the one I had the most workplace experience in up to that point in time. But then as they progressed, I was really happy to dive deeper and deeper into the different levels of data with the other modules and grow my experience there.

The key thing is although I work within the engineering and QA department at my company in my role, I’m not a very super technical person. I am coming more from the communications and the business side of things, the strategy and the focus on customer experience and user satisfaction. What I really liked about as the modules progressed, my ability to learn more and more about how to better understand and talk to the technical side of the business. 

Being situated there in the middle as a business analyst, the certification program provided a lot of value and insights for me there.  

Beverly Sudbury: Yes. And I know one of the things, because I was very fortunate to be able to talk with you during the program and work with you. One of the things you quite often mentioned was you were gaining confidence and you were excited about how you could implement these new skills. 

Michelle Bosomworth: Yes.  

Beverly Sudbury: What was the biggest thing that helped you gain that confidence within the course?  

Michelle Bosomworth: The confidence, the workbooks, they really take you to deep levels of a project and planning and thinking about it. So the more that I focused on the questions and the tasks and being really thorough in my answers, and I was working on a project that I’m trying to bring to life right now with my workbooks, that really…the more you work on those skills through that thinking process, I think the confidence just comes naturally because you are more immersed in the content and you’re getting feedback.

Listening to my peers in the program in the instructor hours or in the online lessons, the workshops, that was super valuable to me, too, because I could learn from other people and I could also see where people are experiencing similar challenges to what I was facing at the time. Just knowing that I wasn’t alone and that I was part of a community in this program and the feedback, especially, your feedback in the program was very thorough and very helpful because it really provided some thought-provoking questions that I had to really think, okay, I have to be more specific here. I need to be more clear here to communicate what I needed to communicate to the intended audience of that task. I think over time, the confidence grew. 

Beverly Sudbury: And that’s a good thing to hear, and I’m glad to hear that you’ve mentioned the thinking because business analysis is a very big thinking job and a job that we really need to analyze, for lack of a better word, what we’re trying to achieve. And it sounds like you were able to utilize a lot of the resources that were available from the Blueprint to help you with that. It sounds like you really were invested in this particular program. I appreciate that feedback because that’s really great to hear.  

Michelle Bosomworth: Yes. I love to learn and the modules were really clear and easy to follow. And the transcripts, you could go back and highlight the things you needed to make sure you were going to focus on when completing the workbook. The resources, the templates, many of them I’m using in my project work today. And I expect to pull them out of my toolbox on future projects when they fit the bill.  

The thinking piece, it really, having a live project that I was working on really enhanced that, too, for me, because I was able to really think about the situation that I was trying. It’s like a puzzle. What are these pieces I’m trying to put together? How can that puzzle, when it is put together, provide a really clear picture for the audience and the stakeholders that I’m trying to address in my work? That, I found a lot of value in. 

Beverly Sudbury: Very good. It sounds like you’ve got a little toolbox prepared for your future projects, which is a fantastic tool to have.  

Michelle Bosomworth: Yeah. I love to draw out those templates and the things that we learned in the last module, the master class, that really brought everything together because so much of the other modules was around the data and very specific tasks. This one was end to end process and focused, too, a lot on the business analysts role in that whole process and how they can prepare and pull off a successful project. I really appreciated having that template of a process to follow, as well, in my work.  

Beverly Sudbury: Very good. You’ve completed and you’ve received your ACBA certification, which is fantastic. Congratulations again. 

Michelle Bosomworth: Thank you. 

Beverly Sudbury: It sounds like you’re utilizing the teachings and the skills from the course. How is that benefiting your career now and your job now?  

Michelle Bosomworth: Sure. My peers and my manager are aware that I was participating in the program. They were very helpful in contributing at the points along the way in the process. How that’s benefiting me now is I have good communication with my stakeholders. I think it helps to elevate us respect, mutual respect for the roles that we play.  

I also feel, back to the confidence factor, I’m able to bring a lot more to the table, maybe, that I’m aware of that I’m doing that as opposed to before, serving up good strategic options, delivering solutions. I feel like confidence is a key piece of it, but I also now have a better clear vision of what I’m delivering with each project.  

I think I get good feedback from my peers and I feel like the way some of the templates and tools, the lessons talk about with agenda setting and hosting meetings, so stakeholder interactions and how to provide value. That also, ultimately, helps enhance those relationships as well.  

A lot of it is about communicating whether it’s on the page or in person. And I think that I was able to enhance a lot of the skills that I already had and learn a few tips and tricks and new ones during the program that I’m able to continue growing with, as we move along. Yeah.  

Beverly Sudbury: Good. It sounds from what you said, you said your coworkers are noticing your improvements as well. I imagine that they are congratulating you. You said you were getting feedback. Are you getting that congratulatory type of feedback saying you’ve improved greatly? 

Michelle Bosomworth: Yeah. In some meetings you might get called out to say, “Thank you for this job well done,” or, performance review time comes along and it’s great to see some of the feedback you get in a performance evaluation from your manager and peer feedback that may be communicated to you through that process. 

My teammates will come to me for help with certain question now. I’m starting to work with some different teams related to the beta program. That is my primary project right now. So I’m working with some new stakeholders, but I feel like I may also have just sort of their trust from the get-go, because I have a track record of success till now. The proof is in the pudding as they say. Right.  

Beverly Sudbury: It sounds like you’re doing very well, and it sounds like a lot of the skills and a lot of the items you’ve learned have really helped you with your success. So congratulations on that, Michelle. That’s fantastic. 

Michelle Bosomworth: Yeah. Thank you. I sort of landed into business analysis six or seven years ago, just sort of by the organizational change and this role being available. But I really feel like I’ve landed into a spot that I can really grow and thrive in. I really love it so much. I’m excited about expanding and growing and working on more and bigger projects because it is really an exciting area to be in. 

Beverly Sudbury: Very good. We’ve touched a lot on how the business analysis program has actually helped you and how it’s actually benefited your career. If you hadn’t taken the program, where do you think you’d be right now?  

Michelle Bosomworth: Well, I think I would be doing a lot of self-discovery, watching YouTube videos and looking up resources online. I wouldn’t say floundering a bit, but do you know what I mean? You just sort of kind of case by case reacting day-to-day to what you’re doing and trying to do the best you can. I feel now like I have a bit of a more solid roadmap and I have some tried and true tools and methods and templates that I can use to pull off something successful rather than maybe trial and error. 

I have taken other training courses and watched webinars and YouTube videos along the way, just out of interest and to enhance my skills in some areas. But I feel like this really was a beginning to end, such a valuable experience to go through and to solidify my confidence and my skills, especially in some areas that opened my eyes. 

I didn’t even realize, for example, how beneficial something like the use cases in wire frames or the data modeling could impact sort of a business side project that I’m working on. I’ve been able to integrate some of those elements into the work that I’m doing because I went through and experienced those modules through the program. 

Beverly Sudbury: Great. It sounds like without that hands-on experience of actually doing the modules and doing the workbooks and doing the actual work that was requested. It sounds like it was a lot more beneficial than going and doing it another theory based type of lesson plan.  

Michelle Bosomworth: Yeah. The thing that attracted me to this certification is the hands-on element to it. I am still looking to obtain my professional certification with those more theory based programs. But this one, in terms of hands-on, it was a good exercise and convincing proof to myself, too, that I can get right in the dirt there and go through this process and be successful. That, I think, the hands-on aspect is a really nice element to an experience to have. 

Beverly Sudbury: Sounds fantastic. Now, you’ve gone through the course. You’ve been very successful and you’re seeing great results in your career now, which is all fantastic. What type of advice would you give to someone who is maybe starting out in their career or like you, was transitioning from maybe a mid-level career or start out of a BA career into a more senior role? 

Michelle Bosomworth: I guess I would say have fun with it. Be confident in yourself. Explore it. Even if you just have a little tiny bit of confidence, let that confidence grow. Give yourself the opportunity to explore. If this is a profession or job role that you’re interested in, then explore it. Because business analysis isn’t really just only a title, right?

People in multiple different careers perform aspects of business analysis, and it can really, really enhance your contributions to any type of project. I would just say have confidence and have fun with it and explore it because I’m really happy that I did. I just find the value really tremendous.  

Beverly Sudbury: Fantastic. Thank you, Michelle.  

Michelle Bosomworth: Thanks.  

Beverly Sudbury: I do appreciate your time here today. It was really fantastic hearing about your story and how much you enjoyed going through the Blueprint program and how much you enjoyed learning the new to you materials. Fantastic. Is there anything else you would like to leave us with for some final words?  

Michelle Bosomworth: Just that I can’t emphasize enough how much I appreciated the learning experience with both the instructors and my peers in the program and the lessons. They’re really valuable lessons that I can go back to when I need them. I’m really happy. I’m really proud to have attained the ACBA certification. Yeah. Thank you.  

Beverly Sudbury: Thank you so much, Michelle. And thank you, again, for your time today. It was really an honor to speak to you and hear about your journey throughout your career. I do really appreciate your time. Thank you so much. 

Michelle Bosomworth: Thanks, Beverly. It’s been lovely talking to you too. Thank you. 

Beverly Sudbury: Thank you so much.  

>>How to Learn the Foundational Business Analyst Skills (And Build Your Body of Formal Work Samples)

When you join The Business Analyst Blueprint® certification program, you’ll gain real-world experience in the industry-standard techniques and business analysis processes. You’ll create work samples vetted by experienced instructors and have the opportunity to become a credentialed business analyst as a recipient of the Applied Certification in Business Analysis™ (ACBA).

>> Click here for more information about The Business Analyst Blueprint® <<

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