1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My day to day role consists of using a hadoop based big data warehouse to store sensitive data. To do this I have had the opportunity to learn and use tools such as Pentaho Data Integration studio and UNIX shell scripting. I am also responsible for making changes to the data warehouse when the client requires new information to be stored.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt many skills since I've joined and although I expected this, I really didn't expect to learn so many skills and so quickly. Since joining I've learnt Java, SQL, Visual Studio, UNIX Shell Scripting, Pentaho DI, Pentaho BA, Jira & Confluence, Python and QlikSense. The company has provided lots of training to enable me to learn these skills and colleagues in the work place have helped me actually put this training into practice for my day to day job.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I really enjoy my programme. Had I known about it earlier, I wouldn't have even considered the university route. It's not only enabled me to work for a reputable company, but also enabled me to gain invaluable experience from such a young age all whilst studying for a degree that the market is demanding. There are of course other perks such as the company putting you up in fancy hotels and £30 for food every night!
4. How valued do you feel by Capgemini?
I feel really valued by the company. The company have a really good system in place called Applaud which allows people who you work with to recognise you for the work you put in and reward you for it. For example, I was recently part of a project which required a large amount of extra work outside of the standard office hours. However, this was noticed and I was awarded £100 to spend on vouchers as a thank you for my efforts. I recently also took part in an internal competition and my team fortunately won! The company gave us a choice of prizes (I chose an iPad) and are also taking us out for a meal to congratulate our achievement!
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is very well structured. The initial 8 weeks training course was very well organised in the sense that we learnt the core skills we needed first such as SQL and built upon this foundation when looking at more complex technologies such as Visual Studio and QlikSense. After the training, there are ongoing meetings with my programme manager that happen at least once a month where we look at my progress over the last month, set goals for the next month and make sure I am on track to achieve my personal goals. I have found the programme really well structured and organised and this was more apparent when I started working on my first project as I had already learnt many of the skills I needed for my current day to day role!
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
The training provider is very supportive. During our initial two months training period, the instructor who was teaching us was brilliant! He would stay outside of the standard working hours to sit with me when I struggled on anything in particular to make sure I felt confident to take on the more advanced tasks the next day. On an ongoing basis, my training provider sends an assessor to see me every 6 weeks whom I meet with to discuss and assess my progress on the apprenticeship and make sure I am keeping on track in terms of my work load and meeting the deadline to step onto the degree in time.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employer is very supportive. Whether it be with personal issues or with work, there is always someone I feel I can talk to. I was very nervous to start on my project given I'm a school leaver and hadn't had any previous experience working in IT. However, the company have been very supportive with this. They assigned me a buddy who helped me settle in and explained what the project is all about and how it works. She is still my main point of contact for any queries I have with my work. I think have this relationship from the first day of joining has really helped me settle in better and feel confident with the work I'm doing. In addition to this, the company has assigned me a mentor to enable me to have someone to talk to about anything that I may not feel talking to someone about within the office. I can speak to my mentor about anything from personal issues to exploring potential career progression paths for the future. They have also been supportive in the sense that I am working away from home. I have been given 4* accommodation to stay in during the week, my fuel costs are covered and all my food costs are covered too with the £30 allowance given to me.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My salary and pay package easily meets my costs. The company pay for everything for you when you are working away from your base just as they would with any other employee. In my case, the company puts me up in a 4* hotel during the week which even has a gym so that saves me an extra cost. In addition to this, they pay for my fuel costs to travel to this site and give me an allowance of £30 per night for food. In terms of living costs, I have very little because so much is covered for me. The salary progression is also relatively fast with most people getting a pay rise after a year of joining.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are many opportunities outside of work. Within the office, we have a football group and every Wednesday a bunch of us go out to play football together. Not only is it a great way to keep fit but it's also a really good way to network and build better relationships with the people you work with. There are also many opportunities to give back to the company and to other youths through attending careers fairs and speaking in schools about the potential opportunities people could tap into that they may not have come across.
9a. Would you recommend Capgemini to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
I feel it is a great alternative to going to university as you not only get your degree paid for and save yourself lots of debt, but you also gain invaluable experience from a young age that many graduates don't get until much later in life. The lifestyle you get to live with this programme is also something I personally love. It enables you travel and work in many different places not just confined to the UK and there is always something different to experience. You get to live the lifestyle that an experienced graduate in the field would live right now, straight out of college.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Capgemini? *
My advice would be, be yourself. Yes it is clichéd but at Capgemini that's really what they are looking for. They want people who are truly passionate about IT and are willing to work hard to get what they want. They aren't looking for scripted answers- After my interview, the feedback was that they particular liked how my answers were honest and came across genuine. They want to know how you think and aren't trying to trip you up so just be open and honest and you'll do just fine!
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