Life at Reveal Group – Aidan Fourie
Senior Consultant | Toronto, Ontario, CA
Tell me about your past. What is your background, and how did you get to where you are today?
After graduating high school in South Africa, I was uncertain about my university path. My cousin, who lives in Texas, said, ‘You need to go to university, and I’m going to pay for it, so pick whatever you’d like’. I felt massive pressure to decide, so I told him, “I’m going to become an engineer, just like you.” But he wasn’t sold on the fact that I was passionate about engineering. After some deliberation, I realized that my love for computers and gaming could lead me to a career, so I decided to attend a private university for graphic design. After two years, I felt that majoring in graphic design was a bit too creative for me, so I started studying all sorts of advertising, business theory, and what goes into making a successful ad campaign and I really enjoyed the psychology behind that. So, I switched my major to advertising.
I got my first job straight out of university after being headhunted as part of the top three individuals in my class. I started working at a property advertising agency, applying my ad and graphics skills, and stayed for two years. While there, I grew to dislike how subjective graphic design can be. I found it challenging to deal with ever-changing demands and client revisions. I experienced the age-old “everyone knows marketing better than the marketing person” kind of thing. I became drawn to the team of web developers working for the same agency. It was like they walked on water as they entered the building daily, whereas that was not true for the designers. I knew I wanted to be a part of the web dev crew. I spoke to my boss about the career change, and he said, “Here’s what we’ll do. I’ll give you three weeks to figure out how to build a website. When you come back to me after building one successfully, I’ll hire you as a web developer”. So, for three weeks, I studied web development day and night and built the worst website you’ve seen in your whole life. Luckily, he saw potential, and I got the role.
Shortly after, a partner at the ad agency started his own Search Engine Marketing business. He asked me to build their website, and I negotiated that if I did so, he would hire me as their first employee when the time was right. At this stage, I knew how to do graphic design and web development, but I realized the websites I was building were nothing without traffic. You could have the most beautiful, functional website, but it’s essentially useless if it has no users. I wanted to learn how to increase website traffic, so I moved to the search engine marketing company to continue growing my skillset. I ended up becoming a trifecta in the space.
After a few years, I got approached by a big company requesting me to take them on as a client. And with that, I opened my own business, which led to a couple of employees and an office space.
How did your journey lead you to an intelligent automation services company?
I was obsessed with the idea of moving overseas. My cousin worked for Reveal Group, so I put my faith in that opportunity and moved to Canada. Nepotism for the win! Just kidding. I went through the proper interview channels, and I believe my web development background was very appealing. I also love business processes and improving them. In previous positions, I always tried to find the best solutions for my team and the clients we served. Having a proactive, eager nature when it comes to serving clients allowed me to fit perfectly in the RPA world.
How did your web development expertise set you up for success at Reveal Group?
With experience as a consultant in design, search, marketing, and web development, I had already gained exposure to numerous client interactions, which naturally honed my soft skills. Additionally, I brought with me a background in development and displayed a proactive attitude in continually seeking opportunities for improvement within my daily tasks. This mindset and work ethic are particularly valuable in an industry such as RPA.
What was your experience like transitioning from role to role?
Coming from a creative field and wearing many hats had primed me to seek solutions for clients actively. In another sense, creative outputs are subjective and complex to quantify with clients, so it was challenging to feel like I was hitting my KPIs. This led me to seek out a more objective industry and role. It isn’t easy to start from scratch and not feel extremely knowledgeable or confident in my craft, but this is where I wanted to be, and I’m excited to add more to my ever-growing skillset and become an expert in another industry. Having done it once, I’m confident I can do it again.
Keeping up with certifications is a huge part of being an automation consultant. What is the most recent skill you have acquired?
I just wrapped up a three-day UiPath instructor-led Document Understanding (DU) training session. It was extensive, but I learned much about the technology and how to digitize documents and extract data. I’m proud I could build a UiPath DU workflow after only a few days and receive a diploma for that. I am certified in Blue Prism, so it’s nice to venture into the UiPath space and learn a second RPA technology.
At Reveal Group, one of our core values is “Learn from the past, look to the future.” How does this principle shape your career development, and how do you believe it applies to the clients you advise?
It helps to look back at what you’ve done as a learning opportunity. It’s important to not look back, see failure and say, “Oh, well, that sucks,” and do nothing about it but rather build from that experience and find ways to improve. Failure should be rebranded as an early attempt at success. I always reflect on what I just achieved, whether good or bad and then use that to model my next interaction, especially with clients. Having client management experience and working across multiple industries helped me become a more well-rounded consultant here at Reveal Group.
Are there any uncharted territories within intelligent automation that you are eager to explore?
I started my intelligent automation (IA) journey in the delivery space because I had a technical background, so that’s what I’ve been doing. I am intrigued by the wide range of outcomes offered by IA, and I’m keen to explore other areas like discovery, managed services, and Generative AI. There’s so much more to automation than simply delivering bots to production to automate processes. I feel that if I work in many areas across intelligent automation, I will be better equipped to advise clients on all fronts, not just delivery. I aspire to be a multifaceted automation consultant.
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