1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As a Database Administrator we are responsible for the maintenance and support for the databases of over 15 companies we supply the services to. This involves troubleshooting, problem solving, patching as well as providing advice to customers for all things database related. There is a lot of ongoing project work which runs alongside daily support activities, and some of this can require performing tasks outside of office hours.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt a great deal about databases and the language uses to interact with them - in my case mostly SQL. I have built two wholy new skills sets, using SQL Server Management Studio for those who prefer Microsoft's offering, as well as Oracle/Unix skills, for those that require it. I've still got a lot to learn when it comes to Unix, but its fun to learn new things along the way. We have received training for all manner of things, from presenting in front of an audience, to effective communication as well as the technical side of things.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I thoroughly enjoy the program I am on, there is a good atmosphere in the office, and everyone is willing to lend a hand or answer any questions I may have (of which there are many). The company culture is good, a lot of charity work and reaching out to the community, as well as pushing forward with cloud and emerging tech.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The program is well structured, with a 5 week 'Boot Camp' to jump start your training before starting the regular schedule of 1 day a week in training and 4 days in work. We meet with our assessors in work once a month to ensure we are making good progress on our coursework, and to answer any questions we may have. We are each given a designated mentor in the office to be our go to for any work related queries.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Lots of support is available if you need/want it, its in their best interest for you to succeed at work and on the course. My mentor is there for any technical queries and my manger helps my navigate the sometimes confusing internal structure of the company. Everyone is supportive of the apprentices, and as a second year apprentice I'm all too happy to support the new intake as well.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Our tutors are very helpful, creating a good atmosphere in the classroom where no-one is afraid to ask questions. Support is available for all students, for physical/mental health, or any number of different issues. A lot of the tutors have experience in the IT field so they know what its like outside the classroom in a practical, working environment. I enjoy it, and will miss attending training when I complete my apprenticeship.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The skills I have picked up by the qualification come in useful every day in work. The boot camp at the start was a great idea, and gave me some basic practical skills to take in to the workplace. For example, I had never remotely connected to a server to perform admin tasks before, something I do every day now. I have also applied skills I picked up in work to my tasks in training, and am the go to 'database guy' for the class. I feel the qualification gives me a good start in my IT career, setting me up for future success.
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 is an annual Apprentice Forum, which we have just attended, allowing us to meet and network with other apprentices from throughout the UK, in all manner of different fields. There are plenty of charitable activities constantly ongoing, sponsored runs, raffles, bake sales etc. The company does reach out to the community to gives some computer skills to those who are lacking, or visit schools for an 'Hour of Code'.
9a. Would you recommend Fujitsu to a friend?
Getting a job here is probably the second best decision I have made in the last decade (second only to getting married). It really has transformed my life for the better, from working long, unsociable hours, to working sensible office hours and being able to feel like you are bettering and upskilling, instead of doing the same thing day in day out. I have recommended the apprentice program to a few former colleagues as well.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Fujitsu?
Be patient. It's a big company and HR can take a while getting all their ducks lined up. Go in to the interview with a smile on your face and relax. It's an IT company full of people who don't have Computer Science degrees, so you won't be expected to know all there is to know.
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