IGNITE Analyst Spotlight: Caitlyn Tien & Quincy Alves

In June 2020, Maven Wave kicked off its pilot development program for new grads: IGNITE. The mission: Offering recent university graduates “the opportunity for a 12-month training program resulting in three Google Cloud certifications and a full-time position with the company.” IGNITE analysts use groundbreaking technologies and agile principles to support impactful technology initiatives for major brands and propel industry disruptors into the next era.

IGNITE Analyst

As a new round of IGNITE analysts prepare to join our ranks this summer, we sat down with some of our past program grads to ask them about their experience. Check out the full interview with analysts (and fellow Mavens) Caitlyn Tien and Quincy Alves below.

How did you hear about the program? What convinced you to join?


I saw the listing on Handshake (IGNITE is pretty eye-catching) and decided to apply because the idea of a 3-month rotation really spoke to me. After graduating and before going into the program, I knew I wanted to get into data, but there was a part of me that wondered: what if there is something else I like better? So, the program gave me a chance to experience a few of the horizontals to make sure the decision was the right one for me before actually committing to a team. 


While job searching on BuiltIn Chicago, I found IGNITE and researched a bit about the program and Maven Wave, and it sounded right up my alley! Soon after, I tracked down a Maven Wave recruiter on LinkedIn, and we set up a call. After meeting a couple of Mavens, I knew I wanted to join because they talked about the company and their colleagues with a sense of pride and enthusiasm. Everyone I met was doing such interesting work and was incredibly kind — the type of people I wanted to work with.

What is a typical day like as an IGNITE analyst?


In the first two weeks, there was a lot of foundational work to understand the cloud and the tools we use (and why we use them). Then, the team introduced the business case and assigned our groups. After that, we went into the horizontal rotations where we learned topics and skills to apply to our business case. We usually had morning learning sessions, labs, and office hours led by consultants in that horizontal, and then in the afternoon, we would collaborate to apply those topics and concepts to our own business case.


Just like they say about consulting, no two days as an IGNITE analyst are the same! Expect to spend some time listening to presentations from different groups at Maven Wave, doing interactive coding activities, and working together in project teams to build out your solution. Each rotation runs slightly differently, but the teams have plenty of time to self-manage scheduling and decide how the project work will get done.

What was your favorite part of the experience? Was it what you expected?


My favorite part was the business case. I really enjoyed learning these completely new concepts and applying them to create a product for the business case. I learned a lot about the cloud, and now that I’m on actual client cases, I can say that it really did mirror an actual project. I enjoyed collaborating and getting to know my team as well as having the opportunity to learn and meet with other Mavens in the company. 


As cliche as it sounds, my favorite part of the IGNITE program was definitely the people. I really enjoyed working with the same project team to build a solution to a difficult problem from beginning to end. Coming in as the only “non-technical” analyst, I didn’t really know what to expect, but it was rewarding to work together, learn about, and implement new technologies I had never even heard of prior to IGNITE. 

What kind of mentor support did you receive?


Each rotation was led by a few consultants from that respective horizontal. Despite their many client obligations, they still made room in their schedule to prep and present decks and host office hours for us to ask questions. They were extremely approachable and helpful and more than willing to answer any questions we had — whether they were about the business case or just general questions. Even after we left the rotation, they are still people many IGNITE analysts and I feel comfortable approaching and saying hi to!


Throughout the program, we were continuously mentored by former IGNITE analysts who were there for us when our teams had blockers or needed extra help. Following the IGNITE program, mentorship has continued via one-on-one meetings with my mentor for support, guidance, and feedback. At Maven Wave, if you reach out to people, you’ll find everyone will be more than happy to meet with you and chat! 

What advice would you give to incoming IGNITE analysts?


Don’t be afraid to ask questions! A lot of people will tell you this, but it’s true! Everyone at Maven Wave is extremely responsive to questions and more than willing to help. If they don’t know the answer, they’ll likely point you to someone who does. 

Also, embrace the culture! Maven Wave does a great job of fostering company culture by hosting various speaker events and happy hours as well as having an engaged Google Chat culture. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and meet other people — it’ll help you go far and make Maven Wave an even better company!


When first starting out, I think there’s a natural tendency to want to use only skills you already know, but I would encourage everyone to try and get out of their comfort zone and try new things as much as possible. Along with that, don’t be afraid to mess up! Working on teams with varied skill sets provides a great opportunity to collaborate and learn from each other in an unintimidating environment. Also, feel free to start introducing yourself to other Mavens during the program through quick Google Meet meetings! 

To learn more about Maven Wave’s IGNITE program (or submit your application), check out the info page here.

May 26th, 2022

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