1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My daily role is mostly software development. I currently work in an Agile SCRUM team and I'm thoroughly enjoying myself. I'm gaining invaluable experience alongside like-minded apprentices and we're all working to deliver a great quality product. It also helps the company's enthusiasm towards our team and our work!
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Rating this as an 8 as for the first year of employment, I found it very hard to find work relevant for the role I had originally applied for. I took a long time for the company to react to my needs, which was infuriating. However, since October 2018, I've been working alongside other Fujitsu apprentices. We all get along and we all have a background in software development, which helps us all engage with each other and the work we do.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The apprentice program by itself is a bit irrelevant to the daily duties of an apprentice. It would be better if we received training relevant to our role. Sometimes this is left up to the business, but more training that is provided by the programme would be much better. I think this would engage the apprentices more too, bringing the apprentice board and apprentices closer together.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My programme is structured in the sense that Fujitsu run annual events to keep the apprentice community engaged. These events also ensure we complete our annual apprentice goals. In a sense, these goals motivate us to engage more with the programme. The board are also good at keeping track of academic performance for each apprentice, ensuring that each training provider is offering a good standard of learning.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My manager is extremely supportive of me and my aspirations within the company. I am able to move almost freely throughout the company to gain the experience I want. This facilitates my degree and improves my knowledge of my area of expertise. My manager is always there to coach me and support me with any issues work-related, which has helped me a lot in the past.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
My training provider is generally ok at providing support, as I know I have a student manager to whom I can go to for support and guidance. However, when it comes to the assessments, I find it difficult to understand what it really needed of me. The assessment briefs are rarely clear, not clear enough for me to get along with the assessment alone. The class usually have to contact the lecturers for more information, which sometimes results in more uncertainty. My training provider is also reluctant in authorizing annual leave - I know I can always take leave from work, but due to how my university run their terms, it is not very friendly to public holidays, which make it hard to maintain good attendance and a good understanding of what is happening in a module, as I need to catch up on learning I've missed. I understand this is something I have to deal with and it generally isn't a big issue, however, it would be nice if BPP ran their terms in conjunction with traditional universities, not expecting assessments during the summer and Christmas holidays, as this means I'm working almost all year round.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
Now that I am working towards my specified stream (software development), I'm finding my learning is relating to my work duties more and more. I'm currently doing a database module, which is actually helping me understand how our database at work is structured, and how I can work with it.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
There are many professional networking events. Our apprentice board arrange these as part of our programme. Throughout the year there are various charity events, careers fairs and other opportunities that apprentices can take part in. For events like charity fundraising, we are expected to take part in at least two of these a year, in order to meet our goals.
9a. Would you recommend Fujitsu to a friend?
I would recommend Fujitsu primarily because it is such a large organisation that can support your needs as an apprentice. I've known apprentices completely change job roles, simply because it is not what they want to do anymore, or because it no longer relates to their academic studies. If nothing else, it is certainly a good stepping stone, in order to get the experience behind you to go elsewhere.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Fujitsu?
I would advise others to always be confident. I'm not confident at all, and I've struggled to get along in the organisation. Because of this I've missed out on opportunities and training, simply because I didn't talk to someone who might know something about it. Being a people-person really helps and with the right social skills, you will find it easier to work your way up the organisational ladder.
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