1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As a Higher Level Software apprentice within Atos I am involved in the 3rd line support for various applications across a number of accounts. This can involve working with customers to resolve issues and to provide advice and guidance. I also work in the SharePoint team to develop SharePoint solutions on sites as people request and also provide advice when customers require it. I am responsible for ensuring that the tickets, incidents and requests that are assigned to me meet SLA's and are resolved in a timely manner. I will soon be transitioning into an Automation role where I will be developing automation solutions for routine daily tasks.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have gained a number of new skills across different areas of IT. These include an appreciation of programming languages, project management techniques, analysis, design and more recently the fundamentals of SharePoint 2013. These courses were all completed externally as part of my apprenticeship training. I have also completed a number of internal training courses that Atos make available to all employees.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
It has been good in the sense of what I have learned and the experience that I have gained during the time. As a whole, it has been a slow process transitioning from the initial training into a working role. I feel, as an apprentice, the time around and between the training could have been utilised better to use me in a more productive way to the company, instead, a lot of what I learned on the training courses went unused and has since been forgotten.
4. How valued do you feel by Atos?
Internal management appreciate the work that I and the team do. Customers are also grateful for the support solutions that I provide to them. It varies though as i'm sure it's the same in a lot of companies that people come to you when they want something and then disregard you once you have done them a favour, especially from people higher in the business.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
We had a company induction that was completed a number of weeks after our training had started. The training was well organised by QA who also assigned an assessor to us on the first day. We then had 6 weekly meetings with him to discuss our progress and mark our work. Internally, it's not overly structured and a lot of the time was spent waiting for tasks to be assigned and to be given proper work to do. We have 6 monthly reviews with management to discuss our thoughts, feelings and progress.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
We had 6 weekly reviews with our assessor that the training provider provided. He was really supportive throughout and was available on the phone and email when required. He was also prompt in sending marked work back and confirming when exams/assignments had been completed.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Management are available to discuss problems with whenever this is required. HR are also available to contact in this respect or to discuss other things. People within the company are also readily available and willing to help.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Quite well - for the work that I do it could be better as we do the same as people on significantly more. As i don't live that far away from work it doesn't cost massive amounts in petrol. The opportunity to work from home is also available for those who work further out and want to save on travel costs.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
No. We have an annual christmas meal and that's it. There are voluntary activities but not in my area.
9a. Would you recommend Atos to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
The opportunities for growth and development within the company are there, you just have to go and find them yourself and push management to fit yourself in. The benefits of working for a big company too are worthwhile, you just have to be patient with the apprenticeship programme and mould yourself into a role you see yourself doing.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Atos? *
Stick with it, always keep looking to take new tasks on and try new things. Don't sit around and wait for work to come to you, go out and find it. Continuously look to develop yourself as this will only stand you in good stead for the future. Never be afraid to ask.
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