It looks like I’m last up to write the final projects practice gradate blog. Best to last I guess! Thank you to all my graduate colleagues for their previous blogs and hearing how we have all progressed and settled into the company so well. This is my first EVER blog because I don’t really do writing, I’m a talker. However before I begin here is a little about me: I studied Information Technology Management for Business at the University of Hertfordshire and graduated last year with a First Class honours. I have 3 family businesses and I like food. Anyone who wants to win me over, food is your answer! I used to Box and reached a National level, however food took over my life. After 12 months at O2 as UK audio manager and my final academic year at University, I find myself within a growing company with endless opportunities, CC.
So believe it or not, it’s been a year since we started. I think it’s fair to say, it has not felt like it. It means another 8 months of the Graduate programme remain before we “graduate”. It’s crazy thinking this time last year I was at University doing what most University students do. I’ll leave that to your imagination but I was studying!
So before I get carried away, it’s right to begin by saying a huge thank you to everyone who has sponsored and supported the programme and a farewell to Martin Jones who without, the projects grads would not be here. Furthermore a huge welcome to Zameer Kaderkutty (Zam) and the new 2017 intake of Projects Practice graduates. I wish you all the best within CC.
So this week I had the opportunity to meet the new intake of grads and ease them into the world of CC. However it was odd knowing this time last year, I was sat there all ‘suited and booted’ thinking I don’t understand any of these acronyms. And there I was bellowing, “GIO, TRG, ISP” and so on… it’s now just second nature. The best advice I suggested was that it takes time to understand a complex organisation and how everything amalgamates therefore if it takes time to grasp, it really does not matter. Everyone in CC is welcoming and is willing to help so never be shy to ask questions or for any support/advice.
As my colleagues have previously mentioned, “Rotations” are up and we are now knee deep into project work. Customer sites, the travelling, the underground and dealing with customers is all part of the job and I am relishing every moment of it. I have learnt tremendous amounts by working on fluctuating accounts and projects which vary in size, risk and category but one key aspect I’ve learnt is that projects do not always go to plan but the transparency and commitment we deliver to keep customers as happy as possible is second to none. This is one of many reasons why I love working for Computacenter.
Other than my day to day job, I have been fortunate enough to be a Brand ambassador for the University of Hertfordshire. Attending many careers fairs has been a wonderful experience and there is nothing better to share how successful the programme and company has been especially to students my age. This has recently been certified as Computacenter has been ranked in the Top 100 Graduate Employers for second year running. This is a huge achievement!!!
For me there has been so many memories throughout the first 12 months but the one which comes to mind first is the Practice Wide Meeting held on the 5th May in Leicester. It was an insightful day hearing presentations from Chris Webb, Andy Moffitt and Martin Jones around key aspects of the company and how current and future progress looks. Other than being forced to dance to Mamma Mia in the competition in which Hatfield came third so well done all who participated (clearly thanks to my dance moves), it was a lovely evening to network and enjoy ‘down time’ with colleagues you spend a lot of time with day to day in a “working” environment. However, there was nothing better than seeing Martin Jones and all my colleagues on the dance door “attempting” Bhangra to Punjabi MC. I will leave it on that note.
Thank you for reading my first ever blog. It has been an amazing 12 months at the start of my career and I look forward to all the opportunities and challenges my role brings. It’s now onto the completion of the programme and hopefully promotion. For now, it’s been a pleasure!
Oh and here is me in fighting action (I’m in the black vest):
Hi all, I’m Shivani Mistry and welcome to the fourth edition of the Project Management Graduates blog update. First of all, thank you Meg for the insight into the graduate programme assessment centre and for the hints and tips. It certainly helped the candidates for their assessment centres the following week. We look forward to welcoming to new Projects Graduates later this summer!
As the Projects Graduates we each had the opportunity to facilitate the assessment centres and it was a great experience to see the other side of the recruitment process. It also brought back memories from my assessment centre, for the Projects Graduate Programme and my GIO Industrial Placement year that I completed in 2014/15. I truly am very pleased to be back at Computacenter.
The Projects Graduates have officially completed eight months at Computacenter and as cliché as it sounds, time literally has flown by. Our last rotation was with Service Management. Each graduate was aligned to a Service Director/Customer account. Whilst on my rotation I was aligned to a Service Manager as well as a Buddy, current Service Management Associate, Hollie Cousins. It is always great to meet people that have been through the same process as you. The extra tips and knowledge is always useful. As well as learning about Service Management, I had the opportunity to gain exposure of the Project Management Office (PMO) and Professional Services side of the customer account. It allowed me to see an overall view of how various work streams within Computacenter function together onsite and how we co-ordinate across these work streams to deliver the best services to our customers – one team!
With Service Management rotation finishing in January, it meant that our six months of rotations were officially over. By this point we were really looking forward to our first real project that we were going to be assigned to. We were finally going to start our role as Project Coordinators/Junior Project Managers and start testing our knowledge gained through the rotations and use our invaluable skills gained throughout our training. It’s always different when you’re shown how to do something and when you actually do it yourself. End of rotations also meant that the graduates were now parting ways into our new regions. We were all Hatfield based for the first six months. Whilst Will and Gaurav are still Hatfield based, Meg and I are now part of Midlands region and Oliver is now Manchester based.
Since joining Computacenter everyone that we met has mentioned the fantastic opportunities there are, and how everyone is willing to help you develop your skills. I certainly agree with this and so do the other Projects Graduates. Whilst on my Service Management rotation I was given the opportunity to remain on the customer account and was allocated my first project. As well as being a Project Co-ordinator, for my development, I have been given the opportunity to complete a project as a Junior Project Manager. Although it was quite daunting to start with, I am now well settled into the account and I am enjoying it. The support that I have had since joining has been incredible!
Thank you for taking a moment to read my blog. My Computacenter journey has been great so far and I look forward to the new experiences and challenges ahead. Stay tuned for the next Projects Practice Graduates blog update from Gaurav Saroye.
Hello everyone. I’m Meg Roberts and welcome to the third instalment of the Project Management Graduate Blog. This instalment was due to be written by Angela Vane, however she has found another role within Computacenter and we all wish her the best of luck!
The last blog was brought to you by Oliver Lamont when we were nearing the end of our rotations. We have now finished them, and we are Project Co-ordinators! It is scary how quickly the time has gone, but now we are in the role we can see how priceless the connections we made during our rotations really are.
I know the assessment centres are coming up for next year’s project management graduates so I thought I’d take the time to give you a few hints and tips about what the day has in store.
There are two group exercises in the morning, both of these aren’t really to catch you out. It’s important within this role to work well as a team and show that you are able to listen to the ideas and opinions of others. However, it is key you can articulate your own ideas and push for them if you really believe your idea is the best to achieve the end goal.
On my assessment day, the other candidates and I really helped each other and this made us all calmer and I believe improved our chances. When Computacenter tell you these days aren’t a competition, they’re right – the company are only looking for the best candidates for the role. You aren’t in direct competition for a set amount of roles; so work together!
Also there will be a one-on-one interview. This is to get to know you better and to learn how you have dealt with situations in the past. Single interviews will always be nerve-racking but remember you aren’t on a time limit so if you need to pause, do so! One of my best feedback comments from the day was that I personalised my answers with examples not only from previous employment but also day-to-day situations with friends and family. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Project management is all about people skills, therefore demonstrate that you have them. While some candidates are being interviewed, the rest of the group will have the time to ask current and previous graduates, and experienced Project Managers, questions. This isn’t scored, or put against your chances of being offered the role. So use the time to ask the real questions!
Finally, you will have your presentation. The best piece of advice I can offer you is to choose a topic you feel comfortable with and know like the back of your hand. It will make you feel more relaxed, and more prepared to answer any questions. Preparation is key for this part of the day so use your time wisely, and practice. The questions aren’t designed to catch you out – they are just to see how prepared you are, and if you know about the topic you’re presenting.
It seems like a lifetime ago since we had our own assessment days, as time goes so quickly. Overall just thoroughly prepare for the day, and try to enjoy it as weird as that sounds! Oliver and Shivani were both on my assessment day, so remember you never know who is going to be offered the role so ensure you work together.
Good luck to you all!
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I have really enjoyed my time at Computacenter so far and I know this is a company has many opportunities for us all. I look forward to what the future brings with Computacenter! The next instalment of the Project Management Graduate Blog will be bought to you by Shivani Mistry.
Welcome to the 2nd edition of the Projects Practice Graduate Blog. A big thank you to Will for sharing his experience of his first few weeks at Computacenter along with many of the useful tips he gave us regarding how best to utilise our time here at Computacenter. The rest of the Graduates are now coming to the end of their rotations and the time has certainly flown by. I think we would all agree a lot of information has been taken in (usually in the form of a slide deck). Nonetheless it is fascinating how far we have all come since starting four months ago and scary that in just over 2 months we will become fully fledged Project Co-ordinators.
Looking back it seems as though we’ve been to almost every area of the company now. When Will last posted we had just completed our two week rotation with members of the Solution Sales team. Since then we have been exposed to many other divisions within the business. Given that our time rotating around the organisation is coming to an end, and Christmas is fast approaching, I’d like to take a look back and highlight some of the most valuable experiences I’ve come across so far. I have undoubtedly grown my knowledge of the company, have a understanding of how we deliver IT services using the Tempo methodology and have built up a network of very helpful people to make my transition into working life that bit smoother.
Firstly I have to mention our Technical Resource Group (TRG) rotation. This was a really enjoyable experience where we got to take apart a laptop, visit customer sites and present our findings in the form of a gameshow. However taking a key board off a laptop proved a step too far for one of the Graduates as the keyboard lost some keys in the process…
Nevertheless it was great to get some hands on experience and feel what it’s like for the CC engineers who are constantly fixing and repairing products under increasing pressure from customers. Furthermore visiting customer sites was very impressive. I got to visit the likes of Eversheds and UBS to get a real feel for the projects that were going on there. To give a bit of background on myself I’m from a small village in the heart of Northern Ireland and am used to waking up to an array of fields and cows, so seeing some of these offices really was remarkable and I look forward to working alongside different customers in the future. Finally Bhupendra Hirani decided to keep things interesting by setting us the task of presenting TRG BrowzaPlus collateral in the form of a game show. This was definitely a twist on the end of rotation task but one that was clearly welcomed as some of the ideas were very creative, including the ‘Million Coin Drop’ and a mash up from one team including ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’, ‘Countdown’ and ‘Split or Steal’. Unfortunately no real money was to be won but chocolate made for a good substitute prize.
Another highlight of the programme was the Consultancy rotation where each day we were introduced to a new technology tower. During this week we all put our technical hats on and attempted to digest some of the information regarding the technologies CC are currently delivering. I feel we all coped well with the technical detail and as a result have an understanding of how these technologies are changing the way we work. It has highlighted the movement towards a digital workplace and workforce. From Cloud computing to virtualization we had our brains stretched but we came out the other end better for it and wait with anticipation to get involved in managing the delivery of some of these technologies in the future.
At present all the graduates are currently on their PPO rotations. I can speak on behalf of all to say this is something we have each been looking forward to. It presents a wonderful opportunity to start to apply some of the invaluable skills and tips we’ve learnt from moving around the business to a real life situation. I’m currently on the Hays PPO account where it’s been great meeting the team situated there and I have recently completed my first piece of real project work! I genuinely can’t wait to throw myself into the project over the next few weeks and welcome any challenges that will be thrown my way. The PPO rotations are a great stepping stone for each of the graduates to prepare us for becoming PC’s at the beginning of February.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I hope you found at least some of it interesting. I would just like to finish by reiterating that my journey through CC has been absolutely wonderful. The help and support I have received along the way has been second to none and I couldn’t have asked for a better transition into the industry. That’s it from me, thankfully, the next blog will be brought to you Angela Vane.
Hello everyone, and welcome to the first blog entry from the new graduates in Project Management. The first ever Computacenter graduate scheme in Project Management began in August this year, and this blog will run over the coming months to provide updates to the rest of company on our exciting journey through our eighteenth month scheme and into Project Management.
There are six new graduates on this scheme- all coming into Computacenter from a range of universities around the country- who will each write blogs over the coming months on our progression at the company. This first blog entry, as well as giving a general overview of the Grad Scheme, will highlight some of my experiences so far and what I’ve enjoyed the most since starting here at the beginning of August.
Time really has flied since the six of us started here just over two months ago. By now, we are all starting to find our feet and after information overload to begin with, different bits are starting to become clear and more and more of the acronyms are starting to make sense. I remember within the first week wondering what on earth any of this all meant, but pieces of the puzzle are clicking into place now and I’m looking forward to learning more and more about the business as the programme continues. Some of the best advice that I was given upon starting and would certainly recommend to any other new starters is to ask as many questions as you need to; there really are no stupid questions at Computacenter, and people are always willing to help you out with information or point you in the right direction. While all six graduates have been set a similar 18 month plan, our experiences and first impressions have all varied greatly already. From visits to customer sites, to the different people that we have met with, it already feels like we have done a huge amount considering we are only just over two months into our Computacenter journey.
What has become evident to me since starting here is the wide range of opportunities that are available from the start. These opportunities are opened up not only by the structure of our programme, but also by the people that we interact with every day. Already I have met a range of people across Projects, Sales, Consultancy and many other departments, that have all been genuinely willing to help us out, introduce us to more people and sacrifice their own time for our benefit.
One of the best examples of this has been on my sales rotation a few weeks back. This was a a two week period of shadowing within the sales department, where I sat in on calls and meetings, met with customers and gained a general overview of the sales division and where they fit into the company. On my second day with sales I was invited to a day with a major UK Bank in Hatfield, where we were providing an update on a particular solution. Over the course of this day I was given an insight into the customer and gained a great understanding of how groups including sales, projects, configuration and supply chain services interact and engage with each other. This day helped me to be able to apply all the information that we have been taught to an actual engagement with the customer. To gain this exposure less than a month into my time at the company was a great learning experience for me, and I hope there is more of this to come.
Overall, these first two months at Computacenter have been fantastic. I’ve already learned a great deal and met some brilliant people. I hope that the coming months are as varied and as exciting as the first have been, and that hopefully I will get to meet and work with some of you in the near future. The next blog will be written by Ollie Lamont, another one of the graduates, who will provide another update on our journey through Computacenter. Thanks very much for reading.