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Contractor Spotlight with Taher – Business Analyst in Information Security

March 2017

We had the pleasure of doing a mini Q&A with Taher, one of our contractors in Texas who is a Business Analyst on a global Information Security team for an enterprise level financial services organization! After only a couple months on the team, Taher had received considerable glowing feedback on his attitude, approach, competencies, and overall contributions he was able to make immediately to a high-profile project! “Taher has made an immediate impact since joining the team. He displayed tremendous learning capacity adapting to the material we are currently working on immediately. He has worked cross-functionally with numerous teammates to make great strides on our project. Taher is extremely proactive and has displayed the ability to take responsibility for tasks without immense supervision. His ability has allowed other members of the team to focus on more macro themes in our everyday work environment. Taher has also gone above and beyond displaying intellectual curiosity and taking the time to learn different aspects of our work even if it doesn’t directly affect his role and responsibility at this time. Taher’s contribution has greatly aided in our improvement in our efforts these last few months and we look forward to his continuous contribution,” said the Assistant Vice President of Global Information Security.

Wow, that’s such incredible feedback! We had to speak with Taher to get an understanding of how he was able to make such a positive difference in only a few short months. Not only did we learn some valuable nuggets, but we were pleasantly surprised to learn about Taher’s love of photography, and then be able to see some of his work.

Q&A with Taher:

How did you get to where you are now? What was your career trajectory?
After receiving my Bachelor’s in International Business Administration, I started as a Business Analyst in the hospitality industry. I then moved to healthcare, supply chain, and now serving the financial industry. My current priorities are to work with our teams to help protect global user security and overall data protection.

What skills do you need to be a strong Analyst?
Analysts must be very detail-oriented and data-driven to be able to identify and address the root causes of problems. You need to do so in ways that minimizes risk and negative impact to the organization, and then be able to effectively present and communicate your recommendations to all levels. Lastly, you must be flexible to support project related activities by understanding and having a good grasp of the major tools Business Analysts use, such as Microsoft Office and various analytical software!

What are some of the major “lessons learned” you’ve had throughout your career? What are some of your “aha” moments?
I’ve learned that being able to work as an individual is important, but you can learn something from everyone you interact with! Therefore, strive to learn from every major interaction! Also, remembering that everyone is different, and therefore, you need to think through how to adjust your approach, message, etc. for those you’re working with and supporting. Lastly, I’ve learned to always “question the norm” and that learning as much as you can, continuously, is a good motivator for success and career progression!

Do you have a favorite “career highlight?”
Yes! At one company, I saw an opportunity for automation with a new piece of software. I brought the idea full circle, from doing all the initial research, presenting the idea, implementation, conducting end user training, and then acting as the SME and gatekeeper of the software.

What other advice do you have for someone who’s trying to become an “A Player” (i.e. top employee)?
I’m a continuous learner, and I’m constantly learning new software, seeking out relevant certifications, and trying to broaden my skills. I have my Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt and am a Certified SQL User, and pursuing my PMP certification. Again, learn and improve as much as you can from self-study, online training, certification prep, and those around you!

What are some of your personal interests?
I love traveling and photography. One of the pictures I took while on a safari in Africa actually got chosen to be featured in National Geographic!

Thank you Taher for the quality insights around becoming a high-performing contractor/employee! Here are some of the pictures Taher has taken from his travels. You can follow Taher via Instagram at @t.harazi to see more gorgeous city and nature shots!

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