Susan Vongkhotsombat

Business Systems Analyst

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.


Tips and Info:

  • There is a great need for project management skills from business systems analysts.

  • Becoming an expert in Microsoft tools (Excel, Word, Visio, Project) to visually translate information is very helpful for this role.

  • Being able to interpret what non-technical users are telling you and conveying that to technical users is essential.

  • Decisions are data-driven for upper management; being able to understand data at a higher level and do forecasting is highly sought after.

  • It's important to be able to facilitate meetings and take good meeting minutes.

  • Be sure to detail what was on the agenda and what action items the team has.

  • Share your meeting minutes with attendees to make sure everyone is on the same page.

  • It is helpful to understand data management, trending, and collaborative tools.


  • What's the difference between a Business Systems Analyst (BSA) and a Business Process Analyst (BPA)?

    • A BSA is more involved with application software and development.

    • A BSA needs to understand what the user wants while developing requirements.

    • A BPA deals with process changes involving work instructions, standard operating procedures, and organizational policies.

    • Both roles are very engaged with stakeholders at a high level.

  • Work hard, take initiative, and never burn bridges.

  • Honest is the best policy, as well as transparency.

  • Transparency makes sure that team members have insight into what you're doing and allows for more effective collaboration.

  • In order to be a productive team, it's important to be honest and upfront.

  • Recommended book:

  • A degree can help you secure an interview, but it's not going to secure the job, it's your characteristics that will.

  • Be genuine, trustworthy, and someone who takes initiative while also being a pleasure to work with.

  • Show that you know how to prioritize tasks and that you're able to adapt to change.

  • "Figure out how to figure it out" - Professor Blair Baker

  • Certifications are also key. Bosses want people who can get things done now, so someone who is certified in that task has an advantage.

  • Recommended certifications:

  • It's good to build rapport and shadow IT, they can help you learn and understand the tools you use.

  • Try not to be around complainers, or at least try not to engage or participate.

  • Never say "I don't get paid enough to do this" or "this is not my job" with things that need to get done.

  • Staying motivated is a mental thing; it's what you tell yourself.

  • Meditation can be a great tool for mental strengthening.

  • During times of uncertainty, don't dwell on negative things, be grateful for all the things and people you have.

  • When feeling overwhelmed, deal with what's immediately in front of you, then deal with the rest.

  • Reduce anxiety by having things that you can control in your life. Cooking, reading, working out.

  • Having a hobby really helps balance work and life.