Cerillion Graduate Scheme Interview: Natasha Ekrol

Cerillion Graduate Scheme Interview: Natasha Ekrol
Cerillion’s graduate scheme seeks the brightest and best to join the team and foster their professional development as they advance through the company ranks. Adam Hughes speaks with Natasha Ekrol, graduate turned resident Head of Training Practice, about her journey so far.

Hi Natasha, thanks for speaking with us – since completing Cerillion's graduate scheme, how has your career progressed and what’s your current role at the company?
Hi Adam – there's been lots of variety of project work with many opportunities to try new things and learn new skills. 18 months after completing the graduate scheme, I’m now the Head of Training Practice at Cerillion. This role encompasses managing and implementing our customer training for projects, as well as handling our internal company training programme. I also work with the Project Management Office (PMO) team on monthly reporting tasks.
For you, what are the highlights of the graduate scheme?
Firstly, the people at Cerillion. We work in an open environment, where everyone is accessible and willing to help. I am always learning from team members and know that I will be pushed to take on new challenges.
Secondly, the freedom to choose your own path. Graduates beginning within the Delivery team can progress in any direction within the company, whether it be towards Sales, Solution Architecture, Project Management, etc.

Cerillion encourages graduates to move around in different areas to find the right fit, and then support them on whichever route they choose to follow. This has allowed me to explore my strengths and interests and develop on them from there.

Lastly, the opportunity to travel to exciting new countries and experience different cultures through working closely with our customers is a major bonus. During the graduate scheme, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to Cerillion customer sites across Europe, South-East Asia and North America.
What knowledge or skills have you gained since joining Cerillion?
I joined Cerillion having come from a non-technical background, so initially, I developed technical knowledge in order to use the technical tools and languages needed to perform as a Business Analyst on projects.

Recently, I have been growing my leadership and managerial skills for my new position as the Head of Training Practice, which has been supported with access to and funding for external training opportunities, such as PRINCE2 accreditation. Cerillion encourages industry-wide career development, which allows individuals to flourish in areas they enjoy.
What has been your proudest achievement with the company so far?
My proudest achievement to date is becoming the Head of Training Practice. I was able to take a particular aspect of project work and run with it, and subsequently develop and take full ownership of an entirely new practice within Cerillion, which I intend to continue expanding and improving.
And finally, what are your career aspirations for the future?
I am looking forward to advancing the training department to the point where I can then take a more hands-off approach, and therefore can explore more of the PMO side of Cerillion, to build a solid foundation of understanding before hopefully taking on more Project Management responsibilities.
At Cerillion, we seek curious, creative graduates from any educational and professional background for all manner of roles throughout the company. Learn more about the UK graduate scheme here.