1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Infrastructure Engineer with a focus on automation
I am responsible for creating python based automation scripts for our various data center storage backup and build opportunities. I work closely with other build engineers within my team, speaking regularly to high ranking managers (VP's and ED's).
I have no interaction with exterior customers (much to my delight) as my clients are all members of my team whose more tedious and menial tasks I am working to automate. I currently have a large scale project in which I am undertaking where I am working to automate the logical build process of a product we have entering the bank I the coming months - the project has huge value as it will save on average about 5 hours per build per engineer of this product (our most popular storage type).
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I am constantly developing skills and am pushed to attend classes and other tutorials for skills that may not even be beneficial to my job role, just beneficial to me as a person.
There are multitudes of different courses, including development based courses to improve programming skills (python, java and angular are the big three at the current time). There are also courses based around data analytics, seminars on mental health awareness and just general wellbeing at work.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy my program to a moderate extent, the JP Morgan side of the program is phenomenal and in my eyes, unmatched by other companies and competitors. The BPP (university) side is slightly lacking with common issues constantly arising (especially with coursework briefs and other small issues that should not be occurring in year two of a degree program).
JP Morgan work hard to resolve the issues with BPP, and are always engaging us in the calls they share with the University - so much so that each Cohort at JP Morgan has a BPP Rep, who gives feedback from students and tells students what BPP will do to remedy the issues.
4. How valued do you feel by J.P. Morgan?
I feel very valued by my company.
My manager consistently tells me in our weekly 1-1s how I am doing and how he thinks my work can be improved, always valid criticism as you would expect from a manager.
Internal recognition is also excellent, with every floor of JP Morgan Bournemouth hosting employee recognition moments every month (Go the extra mile), you can be nominated by anyone on the floor for any small or large thing with a chance of winning at the end of the month.
Apprentices at JP Morgan are not treated any less than regular employees, we are given access to the same projects and opportunities as Associates and higher. This is very exciting as we get to work closely with leading industry experts to further our skills and help out on projects that have real value to the company.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The program is very well structured, with two weeks of "boot camp", an intensive training course to prepare you for whats to come.
Induction into the office itself is very simple, managers will have a set of training courses for their apprentice to carry out, as well as shadowing and project opportunities to get apprentices involved from the off.
Our set study day is very useful, providing a space on campus but not in office to prevent distraction from work, with one day dedicated solely to degree work.
Task delegation is done on a skills basis, and can always be argued that any task that is given to anyone can be shared across the team you work within.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
We receive ample support from BPP, although sometimes it is quite lacking and communication can be very poor.
With serious issues BPP respond fairly quickly and with good answers, though more simple questions and issues deemed of less importance time can tick away before we receive an answer.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
JP Morgan provide an incredible amount of support, we have a dedicated schools team who provide support with BPP and managerial problems. An Apprentice always has a team full of experts that they can draw support from also, allowing them to have a wide network of support to draw from when required.
Any employee at JP Morgan always has time for an apprentice or fellow full time employee, there are no limits to stopping someone to ask for help in the office regardless of what their position or rank within the firm is.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Bournemouth is a very expensive area to live in, the first year of the apprenticeship on the standard wage of £15,000 was a struggle, especially with the cost of moving to Bournemouth from elsewhere also.
Year two is much more pleasant and my roll off salary more than provides for what I need.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There are ample opportunities outside of work, both with the apprenticeship scheme and just simply as a JP Morgan employee. The company hosts Christmas and Halloween party every year and all employees and all departments are invited.
The apprentices have regular nights out, organized by the apprenticeship committee who book entire clubs and other events for apprentices only.
JP Morgan are also heavily involved with the local community, providing charity support to a number of organizations including the RSPCA, RNLI and various others.
9. Would you recommend J.P. Morgan to a friend?
JP Morgan is like no other place I have ever worked, the people who work at the company are a joy to work with every day and I have never felt like I could not ask for help when struggling with an issue.
There are ups and downs, but mainly my entire career with the company so far has been an upward series of events. There is plenty of room for opportunity and career expansion - especially mobility across the firms various locations as it is a world wide company.
The job is not for the faint of heart however, it is stressful at times and you will be pushed to your absolute limit, which is a great thing and shows in the recognition you will receive.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to J.P. Morgan?
Be yourself throughout the application process, there is no reason to be anyone other than yourself (and the assessors can tell when people have created a persona for the assessment centers).
If applying for technology, learn about programming languages and other large tech firm initiatives beforehand (things like automation and data analytics through programming are massive up and coming topics at the current time).
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