Who am I?
I was very active throughout my school life in Manchester: involved in all the sports teams, the choir, the orchestra, etc. I was deputy head girl in my final year of high school. In sixth form I studied A-level biology, chemistry, psychology and ICT. I fell in love with psychology and was planning to study it at university. Then, close to my final exams, I heard about apprenticeships.
I had a look around and found there were apprenticeships in lots of sectors. After thinking hard about where I planned to take my career, I realised that although I loved to study psychology, it was more of a hobby. This is when I began thinking about IT. I had always been good at it, and it excited me. I realised that technology was something that I really enjoyed, and that’s what drew me to an apprenticeship with Capgemini.
Starting my career
I always knew that I wanted to study towards a degree. When I found out about Capgemini, the icing on the cake was that it was one of the first UK companies offering a degree apprenticeship. I couldn’t say no to applying, and I’ve never looked back.
I’m now an Oracle applications developer, working alongside other Oracle applications consultants within Capgemini’s Oracle business unit, and delivering systems for clients. Outside my project work, I’m heavily involved in promoting apprenticeships and technology careers for women.
My typical work day
My typical work day starts with a “stand-up” – an informal meeting – with the rest of the project development team. During this, we discuss completed and outstanding items of work, including priority levels.
Following this, I spend the major part of my day in the office problem-solving, finding logical ways to fix bugs within the system and developing the code for these issues.
I study alongside my day job, so I have to be really committed to make sure I can fit everything in, and deliver what I need to. It is hard work, but I love the fact that I get to put into practice what I learn immediately, and that I can share new concepts from Capgemini with my lecturers, that they’ve not heard about!
Planning my career
I joined Capgemini four years ago as an apprentice in what is now called the Degree Apprenticeship programme. My career plan hasn’t changed in this time; however, I do feel I have become more ambitious.
My plan right now, is to complete my five-year apprenticeship, graduate from university with a good degree classification, and continue to gain knowledge and experience in my working life. Then I can start on planning the next five years of my career.
Managing my development
During the Degree Apprenticeship programme, my development is coming from several places. I’m building my knowledge of technical theory and general life skills through my degree, while also developing my professionalism and technical application skills through my working life.
I regularly meet my manager to discuss my next steps. I’m always striving to reach the next grade by taking on board feedback and advice from my reviewer and my assignment managers.
Highlights so far
My highlight so far has to be my involvement as an ambassador for Capgemini in promoting apprenticeships – in particular, “females in STEM”.
I’ve taken part in many events, from school fairs to appearing live on Sky News. I’m always striving to spread the good news about apprenticeships and what they can offer.
Best thing about working here
The best thing about working at Capgemini is that I’m surrounded by so many highly knowledgeable colleagues: colleagues who have helped me gain the knowledge and experience that I have today.
Support that I value
The element of Capgemini support that has been most valuable to me is my supportive colleagues. They are always happy to help, whether it’s with work or a personal matter, or even if I’m struggling to understand something at university.
Next for me is the final year stretch to graduating from Aston University in September 2017.
Advice for new joiners
I would advise anyone joining Capgemini to network. I have found it incredibly useful to have a large network of people to fall back on for support, guidance or help. Capgemini are very good at encouraging networking!
Why working in tech is great
The best thing about working in the tech sector is making a difference for our clients. Whether it’s improving the business processes that they follow or making their jobs easier through the use of technology, it is very rewarding when a project reaches completion.
Read more In Her Shoes profiles here.