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Meet FDM’s Academy Change Team

Meet FDM’s Academy Change Team

Covering Placement Support and Academy IT Transformation, our Academy Change Team are a key asset in the FDM model. They work with systems, processes and people, to look at ways they can improve the FDM experience for internal staff, our trainees and consultants. We caught up with some of the members of the team to learn more about their roles.

Liam Jons - Global Head of Academy Change
Location: London

I initially joined FDM as a consultant ten years ago and I re-joined as a member of FDM’s office staff five years ago. I like to see things improve first hand, so working with the Academy Change project team is great, as this constant improvement through ongoing support is what we’re working on most days. We’re hoping to be able to deliver a new Learning Management System this year to support the growing academy and our Learning & Development department, as well as several smaller projects that we hope to also complete.

Projects currently working on:

  • Academy Hub gives trainees/consultants a LinkedIn style profile and has already helped to find Consultants with specific skillsets or language skills, which was previously a much harder task. The system has been designed to grow with the business, and there’s a built-in feedback function to allow anyone to make suggestions on potential new functionality.
  • Active Directory involves restructuring the ‘backbone’ of FDM IT – making a significant number of tasks around the business much easier.  This includes accurate distribution lists, complete contact information available across all devices and a straightforward way to manage user permissions, which is especially important as the business continues to grow.

Favourite thing to do outside of work: I really enjoy DIY, which tends to take up a fair bit of any free time, finding anything I can in the house that needs ‘work’.  When I was younger it was martial arts, but as I’ve got older the body has got weaker, so if I’m in the right mood, I might just stretch to some yoga and meditation.

Fay Hayden - UK Placement Support Lead
Location: London

I’ve been with FDM for five years and three months. I am responsible for ensuring consistency of UK Placement Support processes, as well as driving improvements and change. The Placement Support team operate in each of our UK academies and they manage the consultants who are either waiting for their first placement, or who have returned to be beached and are seeking their next assignment. We support these individuals to ensure they are successful in securing a placement at the earliest opportunity, and we do this by offering advice, coordinating and encouraging upskilling, as well as working with the Account Managers to identify suitable job opportunities for the consultants.

I am happy to offer feedback on CVs, coordinate additional training, or answer queries – anything that will help consultants be successful. I am also quite process driven which helps me identify areas for improvement and working collaboratively with other parts of the business to implement changes. I’ve recently been working with the Sales Analysts to help implement a new CV process for consultants due to return to the academy. I also support the Learning & Development team coordinate Consultant Kit sessions aimed at the Signed Off and Beach, to ensure they build upon and enhance their professional skills whilst in the academy.

Favourite FDM memory: Hitting five years with FDM and being promoted to my current position was a proud moment.

Troy Blackwood - Systems Integration Analyst
Location: London

I have been with FDM around three and a half years. I transitioned from a third year Software Development Consultant to an internal member of staff in June 2018. During my time as a consultant, I’ve had two placements in the financial sector as a Software Developer and a Bi Developer. My current role at FDM is predominately based around understanding, coordinating and managing the process of new software being introduced into the business, allowing for seamless integration with existing products, allowing for fluent communication of data for our business needs. The thing I most enjoy about my role is the versatile and diverse work I get to do.

Projects currently working on: Active Directory, LMS, Course Request Management system, Onsite Training Request System, Academy Hub, Intuition and Pluralsight.

Amer Elharith - Business Analyst
Location: London

I have been with FDM for three years and eight months, previously I was an FDM Consultant placed at HSBC, Barclays and Historic England Swindon. My current role involves helping the various teams in the business keep up with the pace of growth and change in the company. Within my role I also find solutions to problems, put processes in places, and create a more efficient working environment.

What I enjoy most about my role is the variety; every day is different to the last. I enjoy planning my own work and working independently, but I also enjoy the human interaction – as my role is based on communicating with people from all departments of the business.

Favourite FDM memory: Having gone from working in fast food to securing a high-profile world-wide bank as my first client in the third week of my training.

Cormac Durkin - Project Support Officer
Location: London

I joined FDM in May 2016, I was previously placed with clients in Manchester and Birmingham as a PSO and PMO. I am currently working as the Project Manager of the Academy Hub Project. This involves planning the release schedules, creating and adhering to governance procedures, organising and carrying out training for each functionality release for the relevant departments amongst other tasks. I am fortunate to work with a vibrant and caring group of people. I enjoy the challenging nature of my role; there is often a wide variety of tasks, for example, any day could go from planning a release schedule to carrying out training.

Favourite FDM memory: Having come from the non-for-profit sector to working on projects in I.T., being offered an internal role within FDM after my two years on-site was a pleasing moment, as it signified that I was progressing in my career whilst learning new vocabulary and skills after a career path change.

Salwa Chowdhury - Beach Lead
Location: London

I have been at FDM for one year and three months. I am the point of contact for returning consultants who are beached in London, my job is to see if there is anything we can do to help them get placed with another client as quickly as possible and to assist in removing any blocks that could cause a delay in this. I really love meeting old and new consultants coming back to the beach and hearing about their experiences. Trying to find ways to assist them in getting placed or making the beach a more proactive environment is a part of my role so that consultants feel they can influence their chances of being placed quickly.

Favourite FDM memory: I adore my team, I love their humour and how we take care of one another, and an extension of this has been the banter amongst us when we have had events put on by FDM - including the races and the Consultant Party.

Sheri Ololade - Project Support Officer
Location: London

This is my second year with FDM, I initially joined as a consultant which has led me to a number of different roles providing a great insight into the IT sector. My first role was working as an IT Service Desk Analyst for a business client in Sheffield. I then moved onto a Business Analyst role working for a top bank in Canary Wharf. My current role allows the opportunity to liaise with all major stakeholders of the company while gathering requirements, as well as contributing to the processes being put in place within the company. The role requires supporting all departments within the company and refining or introducing processes and policies that allow for a more efficient and productive work environment. I appreciate the diversity of the team and the different skillsets that my colleagues have. I do feel that I am learning something new from everybody every day.

Projects currently working on: I am currently working on the remediation of FDM’s Active Directory which requires working with different people across different departments to ensure security groups are tightly organised and appropriate. This has provided the opportunity to get to know the business on a more personal level. There are other projects currently being worked on and no two days are the same, a new project could appear out of nowhere.

Doug McEwan - Software Testing Trainer and Beach Manager
Location: Glasgow

I have been with FDM for three years. My role involves delivering Core Training and Software Testing Training, whilst holding mock interviews and assessment day interviews. My role also includes supporting the beached consultants’ trainees and colleagues in the Glasgow office. I enjoy the interaction with people and the varied cultures at FDM and I always get something out of the day.

Favourite things to do outside of work: Golf, cycling, running, photography, bass and guitar playing. I also go to lots of gigs. My absolute favourite thing is cuddling up with my two little girls and watching a film with them.


Interested in pursuing a career in IT or technology? Our programme could be your next step you need to start a new career.

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