Ben Johnson – currently Junior Developer at Intellica Ltd. I have been at Intellica since January 2021, when I started as a Junior Data Analyst before being promoted to my current role in October the same year.
Why did you choose this profession?
I had been interested in reading about business for a long time before I even considered a career in pensions, but some of the knowledge I gained from learning about different companies, including pension deficits at companies like BHS and Arcadia in 2016, and scandals involving pension funds like that of Mirror Group Newspapers in 1991, fitted naturally with the role. When I graduated from Liverpool Hope University with a Masters in Data Science, my main instinct was to get my career started as soon as I could, and what I learnt from my own interest matched what my employer, Intellica, were looking for.
What attracted you to your role?
At the time I joined, Intellica was starting to expand and get itself noticed in the pensions industry, and the company was seeking dynamic new talent to take it forward and join their graduate programme. It was an exciting time as Intellica had recently partnered with Capita, one of its largest clients at that point. I had developed a solid and disciplined work ethic throughout my education, and the prospective demands of the role as Junior Data Analyst guaranteed that I would be in a position to put this into practice.
What are your main duties?
My role primarily focuses on building in-house applications for Intellica, which helps it to become more efficient in implementing regular company procedures; however, I have also made some contributions to projects that benefit its clientele. In most cases, these programs use industry-standard frameworks including C# and SQL, but I have worked with other programming languages like Python on occasions. Often, we create working groups for these projects so we can communicate on a regular basis about the work, and members can suggest areas for improvement that will enhance the program’s functionality.
What skills are useful in this profession?
It is essential to have good communication skills with people as you will be working with working groups most of the time; that means you will need to consistently update them on your progress and ask for feedback on your work from time to time. In this sense, addressing other people’s feedback is also a necessity as it shows you are willing to acknowledge your mistakes and correct them, thereby forming a more nuanced and professional understanding of the work you undertake on a daily basis. As the pensions sector undergoes a transformation with the forthcoming introduction of the Pension Dashboard, technological expertise will be an obvious benefit as it shows you could help to modernise the way pension schemes are administered and, in turn, make it easier for future generations to access their workplace pensions.
What would you like to achieve in the future?
With the delays to the roll-out of the Pension Dashboard, combined with the challenges of achieving GMP equalisation, implementation of the McCloud judgement, etc., there remains a multitude of issues for millions of pension scheme members across the country. At Intellica, we have already gone far to establish ourselves within the sector, with connections to some of the largest pension scheme providers. Over the coming years, I hope I will have the opportunity to add to my current responsibilities and help even more clients to modernise their pension schemes and make them more accessible to their members.