1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Functional software test analyst working within the Co-operative bank. My day to day involves ensuring quality assurance of software systems and raising and tracking defects within the software.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt many new skills during my time at the Co-operative bank. My level of knowledge in IT has grown extensively and i have learnt processes which take place within a financial services company.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy working within testing and developing my knowledge in other areas. Although i feel there is a lack of downline communication from management, which can lead to a lack of work on occasions.
4. How valued do you feel by Co-op?
I feel like me, along with all other apprentices within testing, feel that a lack of communication towards us from management makes us feel undervalued.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
At the start of my programme I felt there was a lack of structure which lead to an absense of work for a long period of time. This was due to the apprentices withing Testing being overlooked when project resourcing tasks were undertaken. Although now i have branched out my network within the business, using my own intuition I have managed to work on a variety of good projects.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
From my training provider I have recieved an adequate amount of support. Although at times communication can become difficult and work may take a longer than desired time to recieve feedback on.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
From my employer I also recieve an adequate amount of support, although there is a lack of communication from management, which means any questions take a long time to get answered.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
I feel like my salary is acceptable and meets my costs. My salary is a lot more desireable than other apprenticeships which I have seen in the past.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Outside of work there are many opportunities, I believe this is also due to the sector in which I work being so large, so there are always available roles.
9. Would you recommend Co-op to a friend?
Although I feel like at the start of my apprenticeship there was a big struggle and I felt undervalued, once I have branced my network out I managed to find work in a lot of other areas, which did not come from Management. The experience I have gained from doing this is unparalleled.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Co-op?
I would suggest that they do not rely on management in order to recieve work and that they should use their intuition and actively search for work themselves.
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