At Computacenter, we are proud to offer a range of different career paths for people looking to start or progress their careers in IT, including our award-winning graduate programmes. These programmes are structured in a way to give candidates access to all parts of Computacenter, helping to accelerate the best fresh talent into the technology services industry and world of business as a whole.
This year, we are delighted to welcome Emily Gaskell, Sam Jones and Sharon Odozi as Graduate IT Consultants in the Platform and Hybrid Infrastructure Team (PHIT). The three talented young individuals have only been part of the team for a matter of days but are already settling in well.
In this blog, they share their insights and experiences over the last two weeks, exploring how their preconceptions of what a global, FTSE 250 organisation might have been like were changed:
Joining our new team
Two weeks ago, three of us started our new adventure at Computacenter as Graduate IT Consultants as a part of the Platform and Hybrid Infrastructure Team (PHIT). We each took a journey here through QA Consulting, a branch of QA where we all undertook a 12-week training program; Emily trained in Azure and Data Science while Sharon and Sam studied AWS and DevOps.
On our first day, we arrived feeling both nervous and excited. We expected that Computacenter, as a large organisation, would feel somewhat impersonal. The preconceived expectation was far from the truth.
Our team members Vicky and Neil gave us a very warm welcome and encouraged us to take part in icebreakers to get to know each other. We have, of course, discussed our background when talking to and networking with other members of the organisation, but this gave us the opportunity to discuss hobbies, interests and our families which has made it easy to quickly build relationships.
Meeting other graduates
On our second day, we met some of the project managers who had recently completed grad schemes at Computacenter. It was great to hear their thoughts about starting out at the company and how they had found the process.
Working with different areas of the organisation
As a large organisation, we had the expectation that there would be a rigid hierarchy at Computacenter which would determine who we could and couldn’t talk to and who we could and couldn’t work with. This absolutely wasn’t the case.
Since joining, we have had the amazing opportunity to meet lots of people from different areas of the company and with different levels of seniority. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet Martin Provost, Head of Consultancy, who was easy to talk and relate to.
Everyone has been really excited to have us onboard. It’s made us feel inspired about the future and is so nice to know that we have a voice in the company.
This was especially apparent when we found out about Fresh Minds – an internal initiative which allows fresh talent to connect, network and have their opinions heard.
Another facet of the company that really stood out for us in the first two weeks was the overwhelmingly large warehouse in the Hatfield Ops building, that we only actually saw a very small part of. As we had no expectation, and little knowledge of the inner workings of the company as a whole, we were unsurprisingly blown away by the sheer scale of their physical technology production system.
The second we arrived into the warehouse we were inundated with rows and shelves full of a wide variance of technology all being prepared for prospective customers. It’s safe to say we could easily have wandered around the maze that were those laptops and servers for hours without finding an end or discovering everything there was to discover.
Strangely, this sense of awe and scale was shared when a week later we were exposed to the Cyber Defence Center. Despite being much smaller physically than the warehouse the CDC was truly impressive regarding the technology and systems they use to monitor the company as a whole. We were deeply impressed by the tools utilised by the defence centre.
We were so impressed with how lovely everyone has been when giving us these tours and inside looks into the company, it has truly made our first two weeks that much greater.
We would like to end this blog by saying a big thank you to Neil Walters and Vicky Mellor for the past two weeks, specifically for being so warm and accommodating, and for facilitating fantastic opportunities for us.
We are very much looking forward to developing our careers at Computacenter!
Interested in one of our award-winning grad schemes?
Earlier this week, we were lucky enough to be joined by some of our fantastic apprenticeship partners in hosting an Apprenticeships Roadshow at our Hatfield office.
The event was hugely successful, providing a great opportunity for staff who are interested in developing their skills to meet with our apprenticeship experts.
Following on from this fantastic event, we take a look at some of the many incredible benefits of doing an apprenticeship.
What is an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are a form of learning that combine study with a full time job.
While studying for a formal qualification, you’ll gain valuable experience and skills by working in a real job for a real company. From here, you are able to progress onto the next stage of your chosen career.
Who can apply for apprenticeships?
Despite the common misconception that apprenticeships are only available to people of school leaving age, they are actually open to those aged 16 or over living in England and not in full-time education.
Entry requirements for apprenticeships
Each apprenticeship opportunity is different, and vacancies will specify the different entry requirements and professional qualities that your employer is looking for.
Remember to check the job description to ensure you have the necessary skills that are required.
What are the benefits of apprenticeships?
Apprenticeships can often be seen as being for people who ‘didn’t do well at school’ or can’t get into University, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. They are a fantastic way to learn new skills, grow as a person and give yourself a brilliant start to your career.
Let’s have a closer look at some of the many benefits of enrolling in an apprenticeship:
1. Earn while you learn
Doing an apprenticeship is a unique opportunity, allowing you to start earning your own money, while also expanding your knowledge and helping you learn plenty of new skills.
While you may start out on minimum wage or a basic rate of pay initially, your employer should review this as you progress through your employment with them.
2. Discover new passions and interests
You’ll be learning every day, and with this comes a fantastic way to discover new things that might interest you.
It’ll also help you decide if your chosen career path is actually right for you or not.
3. Gain real life experience
In a recent study by UCAS, one third of employers felt that job applicants did not have a satisfactory level of knowledge about the job they’ve applied for.
Working in your role will equip you with invaluable knowledge and experience that will set you apart from other applicants for future job roles, who may not have these same skills.
Academic achievements are absolutely wonderful, however where some may have a degree, apprentices have real life exposure and an increased understanding into the day to day of your chosen job role or career path.
4. Get valuable qualifications
At the end of your apprenticeship, you’ll not only have work experience within an organisation, you’ll have qualifications too.
Apprenticeship qualification levels
There are different levels of apprenticeships that you can take part in, which are equivalent to the different qualifications you would receive if in full-time education.
|Apprenticeship Name||Level||Equivalent Qualification|
|Higher||4 and 5||Foundation Degree|
|Degree||6 and 7||Degree|
5. Start to build your professional network
You’ve probably heard the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
This is often very true in the world of work.
Building your professional network can be a fantastic way to strengthen your career. It can be a great way to exchange ideas with others in your sector, can help to raise your own personal profile, and can open up a world of potential opportunities in the future be it job roles, speaking slots or freelance work.
Starting this early can be invaluable; you never know where a new relationship or connection may lead!
6. Increase your earning potential
Having a degree can be hugely beneficial in the workplace, however it isn’t the only deciding factor in how much you eventually go on to earn.
A recent study actually found that apprentices often earn more than graduates, with the amount apprentices earning over the course of their lives outstripping that of graduates by up to 270 percent!
7. Receive one-to-one support
You’ll receive personal support from your training provider, who will be on hand whenever you have questions, worries or concerns.
8. Improve your employability
Having an apprenticeship on your CV shows your potential future employers that you’ve got the necessary skills to complete a qualification while juggling the responsibilities of a full time job.
It shows your dedication to your chosen field and your ability to build knowledge from the ground up.
9. Make new friends
Apprenticeships are a great way to meet new people and make friends with people from a range of different generations, backgrounds and cultures.
10. Develop as an individual
As well as earning a wage and learning valuable skills, an apprenticeship will also help you develop as an individual.
A successful apprenticeship programme will help increase your confidence, give you more independence and improve your understanding about yourself and how you work. Your communication skills will develop along with your time management and relationship skills.
Apprenticeships at Computacenter
Our apprentice numbers have grown from 5 to 70 in just over two years, with each individual developing their knowledge and gaining qualifications through work based learning. We offer apprenticeships throughout the UK, and have a real passion for developing young people in our business.
You can choose between a variety of different entry options depending on your level of educational achievement and abilities. With dedicated staff and structured programmes available, there is no better time to become an apprentice at Computacenter.