When I began looking for a new career opportunity, I looked into the Microsoft Partner Channel. I came across MCA Connect, who had great Glassdoor reviews, and discovered their Functional Center of Excellence (FCoE) Program. It provided a six-month detailed, thorough, and hands-on training program. This was very appealing because, in the past, I had to rely on little to no training material to learn Dynamics AX.
My first two weeks in the program were spent in MCA Connect’s headquarters Denver, CO. All the people were very engaging, and I thought it was a great team building experience, resulting in several friendships quickly. I also enjoyed learning from MCA Connect’s Subject Matter Expert’s, like Santo Chisolm. There was a lot to learn; we would go through a couple of hundred PowerPoint slides a day, 2 weeks at a time (2 weeks in Denver, 2 weeks at home, and then 2 weeks back in Denver, etc). The program has evolved since then, now accommodating more for people who are brand new to this career path.
At the end of the 6-month program, I successfully completed a case study and peer review process and was placed in the Managed Services Department. Working within this department has allowed me to work within every version of Dynamics while working in a variety of different business sectors at a time. I’ve learned a lot more and much faster than I anticipated. There’s minor travel involved, and I have the opportunity to work closely with several different Solution Architects and Developers on a regular basis.
I love my career change so far. In my previous role, I was an ERP Department Manager which was enjoyable, but it was always reactive. There were two of us supporting 500 users and multiple offices. We couldn’t think much about future upgrades and projects because we were always so busy and the company wasn’t quick to adopt new processes. With MCA Connect, I get to work on something new every week and every client is different. I had a good career progression at my last company, but I find that my current role is more rewarding and has additional future opportunities just within my department. I think we’re a good size company for people to progress in.
I discovered that what MCA Connect advertises (company culture, programs, etc) is true. Everyone at MCA Connect is very nice to work with. I thoroughly enjoy working with everyone from our managers to our employees. I especially like how we are structured organizationally. I’m used to reporting to a director who has a significant amount of direct reports. I now report to a consulting manager who only has 5-6 people underneath them, allowing them to focus heavily on mentorship and development. I can feel a bit isolated working from home most of the time, but the other people on my team help by connecting with me often. It also helps to have a routine and structure.
If I was speaking with someone who was interested in the FCoE, I would tell them that they’ll succeed if they are a problem solver, not easily put off by a challenge, and can effectively manage their time. Those traits are the core of someone who will succeed here. It’s a great career path. The program is easier for someone who’s worked in a corporate environment. It’s easier to adapt when you understand traditional operations roles and how they fit with the business processes (in relation to the software you’re working with). If you later decide to go back to corporate after being a consultant, you’ll walk in with a lot more knowledge than someone who grew through the organization internally for a decade.