1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I work in the IT Security department and am currently just over half way through my three year apprenticeship scheme. I have moved through different teams under IT Security covering the administration and provisioning of access, dealing with security threats and ensuring that the company has a successful defence set up to prevent against any malicious or compromised network attacks. I have specifically been tasked with a project on reducing the amount of spam coming into the company and have received help and guidance to achieve success.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have completed multiple Microsoft exams covering servers, operating systems, networks and security, all of which I passed successfully. I have passed the ITIL foundation course and exam, and have had the chance to work towards achieving my Network+ qualification. I have attended professional development internal training sessions and have received guidance from my colleagues and managers on how I can achieve my own goals.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I love the work that I do since I think the work suits my personality perfectly. All of my colleagues think the company culture is outstanding and I would have to agree. I am encouraged to ask questions when I don't understand something and so I feel that I learn much faster. Also I am trusted to provide my own opinion on a topic which is often listened to.
4. How valued do you feel by Fidelity International?
I feel the value in terms of the opportunities which are sought out for me and the confidence which is put behind my opinion. As an example, I have an opportunity coming up shortly where I will be travelling to Tunisia to receive training from some colleagues there and I will also be able to assist some newer colleagues to hand over some work which I previously have learnt about. I don't think this opportunity would have arisen if I wasn't demonstrating success through my work.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
At the beginning of my apprenticeship I received an induction which covered meeting senior managers where I was able to ask questions, I had an overview of the company etiquette and what my goals were, I visited one of the data centres and was provided with an understanding of the infrastructure. I was shown the basics of some of the tools which I would come to use and my initial meetings with my training provider were organised for me. During my training I was provided with the relevant time to be able to complete any coursework and if I needed any guidance then help was never far away.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
During the first year of my apprenticeship meetings were organised to review the work which we had been completing. The training advisor came to visit our office each time a meeting had been set and since the training advisor did such a good job Fidelity have now requested that we would like to keep the same training advisor for the next year’s intake of apprentices.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The directors and managers in Fidelity are all very approachable. There have been situations where they have approached me to check how I am doing and have asked if I am enjoying my job. If I have an issue then I am able to bring this up with my specified mentor and I also have regular meetings with HR.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I understand that the salary which is provided is higher than most other apprenticeships which can be found advertised. All my travel costs have been paid for whenever I have needed to travel to a different office or to my training provider. I will even be travelling to an office in Tunisia for two weeks where all of my expenses will be paid for.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I have attended security conferences which have been recommended to me by my colleagues, I have also found out about related classes and training that can support my work. The work-life balance which is expected of an employee at Fidelity is one which I would like to see other companies adopt.
9a. Would you recommend Fidelity International to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Fidelity has employed very experienced professionals so apprentices are able to learn a lot quickly. The apprenticeship scheme is highly regarded internally as well as externally and seems to be constantly expanding to include even more departments. As long as an apprentice applies themselves to the tasks at hand then by the end of the scheme they should be a professional at their job with a good future ahead of themselves.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Fidelity International? *
I would like someone to have stressed the exact benefits by being more specific to myself as the role was being advertised. I wasn't expecting to be provided with so much help and great company benefits so I was surprised at the opportunities available upon joining. The assessment and interviews were relaxed yet I still feel that good candidates are being chosen each year despite this. During the application process then it would have been great if I was kept completely up to date about what was happening during the large time scale of my application.
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