1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role within Capgemini as defined by our terms of reference is a Test Lead which consists of Creating and managing Test Plans & Scripts, Test Execution, Test Recording, Defect Management and Test Completion exercises all of which I perform across different Test Stages such as Component, Functional, System, Integration, End to End, UAT, Automation and Batch/Client testing. I enjoyed my day to day roles as an apprentice because they could differ and give me a great understanding of the business.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I've been with Capgemini now for approaching 9 years, during the 2 apprenticeship years when I first started I feel the programme/courses I attended didn't offer training that was specific to my role at the time, but during the hands on work experience I developed many skills most of which were self taught and over time I've become an expert in many testing tools such as Toad v184.108.40.206, SQL+, PL/SQL Developer, Oracle SQL Developer 2.1, Beyond Compare, SQL Query Analyzer, Tuxedo 8.0/9.0, Tivoli Maestro 7.1 / Workload Job Scheduling Console 8.3, Advantage Gen 6.5/7.6, Hummingbird Connectivity Suite 2007, FTP, Telnet, Putty, XML Spy, PVCS, Microsoft Office... to name a few.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Casting my mind back 9 years ago when I first started I was at the time a lab rat in some respects as the Apprenticeship programme I was on was the very frist Capgemini offered. So with all new things it had it's teething problems as it was an unknown for them, the programme itself took me almost 2.5 years to complete, this is something that has drastically improved over the years as the Apprenticeship is now in house and not run by a third party so there's a lot more invovlement from colleagues you will see on a day to day basis and because of this the programme can now be complete in as little as 9 months. I didn't particularly like my period of being an Apprentice but having been with the company so long I can see how they've progressed over the years and it now looks something I would've enjoyed to have been a part off.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
As previously mentioned it was 9 years ago when I did the Apprenticeship with Capgemini so it wouldn't be fair to comment how the programme is structured as of now, but I do have some involvmenet in the academy and from what I've seen they have improved the programme dramatically in comparison to when I started. There's a lot more in house training and it gives you a better insight into how we work on a day to day basis, something of which was lacking when I started.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
One thing you can't fault Capgemini for is the support they offer to their Apprentice's, they're very hands on organising extra clases for more specific skills that are required to do the job, such as SQL & Unix classes and also more in house courses on testing techniques. What they offer in comparison to the training provider is training for my job specific skills, stuff you'll use on a day to day basis. I think that there could be room for improvement but overall i was really happy.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Well the training provider that Capgemini used at the time was a company called Zenos however they cease to exist now which is probably a good thing as they were like a bunch of cowboys tbh. I'm not sure of the current provider but what I do know is they're a lot more useful than Zenos ever were!!! I'm glad they don't currently exist as they messed us around so much and didn't provide any help and lacked any kind of service and support really.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
I feel as though the lack of support from Zenos has definitely hindered my education slightly and going forward with Capgemini. I think that if, as apprentices, we received sufficient support then the education would have been really enjoyable. Although the qualifications themselves are fairly helpful, the whole experience with Zenos was not worth 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.)
During my time at Capgemini i have made quite a lot of friends in various areas of the business. I enjoy meeting up with them after work for a drink now and again, but the company themselves have never (to my knowledge) organised a team/department event. A few ideas have been mentioned but nothing has come about of it.
9a. Would you recommend Capgemini to a friend?
Overall I would definately recommned Capgemini, even though my gripe surrounding Salary is a constant battle I can't argue with the benefits I do get and for a permenant employee I don't think I could find anything anywhere else near as good as what I have here. I think that even if you weren't paid it would be worth it as your education is free and you get the work experience too. it can be hard at times, especially when it can seem like you're doing the same work as people paid thousands more than you but eventually you will get to that point.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Capgemini?
Capgemini? * I've already given advice in Q.7 but to reiterate I'd by all means do the Apprenticeship programme but I'd aim to stay for only 3-5 years, because after that period you will have gained valuable skills and knowledge which will be worth a lot more elsewhere if becoming a higher earner was your #1 goal and as I said you can always come back 6-12 months later. I think that i would also suggest looking at what you can get out of the company as well and what your future career could be like with starting at Capgemini.
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