November 16, 2016

Kicking off a career in Bid Management with the Gen-T program

Victoria Saravas

Junior Bid Manager, Tieto

I can't believe it's been two months since I joined Tieto! The sheer amount of introductory sessions and training programs that have been prepared for us shows just how well we're being cared for.

The Gen-T trainee program, which I am a part of in Finland is a Nordic-wide scheme that gives recent Master's graduates the chance to gain valuable experience for a period of 10 months within a branch of Tieto. Not many firms today are prepared to invest that amount of time to help nurture young professionals' careers. This speaks volumes about Tieto's commitment to its trainees.

The job that caught my eye seemed too cool not to apply for: Bid Management. Who wouldn't want to do that? You get to see all the opportunities that come along inside the organization; you get to work on the biggest deals across various industries and assist in the strategic growth of the company. And then there's the chance to work in a project management environment, something that's really important to me. I'm a meticulous person, with an obsession for constant planning, and an urge to get things done. Now I'd found a role where these traits could be put into practice on a daily basis. So I thought the job was perfect.

When I told my friends and relatives that I was going to work in a bid team, many would look a bit blank. It took me about half an hour to explain to my 75 years old grandmother what my job entails. I think the word “bid” confused her very much - in fact it seems to confuse a lot of people. I guess people associate “bidding” with auction rooms and eBay. Add the word "proposal" and you've got the perfect recipe for bemusement; for some reason it evokes images of romantic, down-on-one-knee invitations to tie the knot.

So I usually shed some light on the topic by explaining that I work in sales, competing with other service providers for the same case; that the best way to ensure you win is by doing everything in your power to meet your customers' needs; and that the job's ultimately about proving to the client you can do the work, and at a reasonable price.

As of today, I definitely cannot call myself an expert in the area, but there's a lot of information available in Intra, coupled with relevant trainings on the topic. In the end, it's really up to us to learn the job as thoroughly as we can with the help of the appropriate data, and by networking with colleagues who have been in this business for quite some time and are usually more than happy to share their expertise.

As for the overall working atmosphere, I feel incredibly lucky at having the chance to enter this field through a trainee program. Usually when you begin a new job you're the only new person in a team; you have to adapt to an unfamiliar environment all by yourself, get to know people, learn new rules, etc.

These processes can be a stumbling block when you want to gain hands-on experience. Within the Gen-T program we're a large group of driven young professionals, all going through the same experiences and sharing new things openly with each other. Although we're assigned to different roles and don’t necessarily get to work together (at least for now), we stillsee one another almost every day for lunch breaks or after-works. We've really formed an awesome team.

I know that Tieto expects great things from us. With this in mind, I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can, and I also want to make my own positive impact on the organization. There’s going to be a lot to absorb along the way. So here I go - with fingers crossed, and ready to push forward!

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