1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
In my role as a whole, I test people's programs, test patches, test updates on programs, test different environments, conduct updates myself, implement changes on machines and remotely connect onto servers to run numerous forms of tests to ensure the health of the infrastructure is as it should be. In conjunction with this, as I do tests, do updates or implement changes I record my results, write the test reports, update the associate spreadsheets and email the necessary people if applicable.
Writing Test scripts, capturing project requirements and defining the project scope are all other fundamental tasks I do though, not as frequent as the work mentioned in the paragraph above.
In my role, I have frequent communication with many business professionals including Networkers, Developers and Integrators in order to get work complete. My job is probably 75% practical work, and 25% paperwork.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
"Learn while you earn" is a common motto or phrase people associate with Degree Apprenticeships, and this is because is it true. Whilst studying for my degree at the University of Winchester, I have development and acquired a plethora of new skills. This has been achieved by completing training courses funded by Fujitsu, creating, keeping and updating a Personal Development Plan and simply, doing my job. As each week I am exposed to new systems, interfaces, environments and I learn about each one.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
A Degree Apprenticeship programme is an amazing and unique opportunity to development as an individual, get paid, get a free degree and learn about the business world. I have thoroughly enjoyed my programme as the work is different each week encountered new people, broadening my networks. My team is fabulous, and are always willing to me help as compared to them, I don't have as much experience. Fujitsu always put their employees first and follow an optimistic company culture. Welcoming apprentices and gradually easing us onboard into the world of work.
It successfully meets my expectations. I wouldn't say my expectations where correct as I had no idea what a Degree Apprenticeship would be like nonetheless, Fujitsu and the programme has impressed me.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is well structured. We had an induction when we joined. We get lots of opportunities to undertake training courses which are funded by your employer. My team provide me with support if I am stuck with work. My manager ensures I have an adequate amount of time to study for my degree. Upon joining, I had a buddy - which was an apprentice in the year above me - for close contact and to welcome me. In addition, I have a work mentor to help guide me through work and university where, we have regular meetings. In my team, there is a clear team hierarchy where I always know my position in Fujitsu.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I receive lots of support from Fujitsu. I have my Line Manager where we have check ins/catch ups once a month (some people might work with their line manager but, in my case I don't). I also have my mentor who supports me through my degree and work. Where we discuss issues, have a chat or just generally updates. Fujitsu have a support centre as well on our internal network which is easily accessible.
I can say, Fujitsu's main priority are their employees and thus, offer a range of support for us.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
I have a university mentor and work mentor who both act as a bridge between me, work and university. My university mentor will have a meeting with mentors of apprentices at Fujitsu, who then passes the information down to us.
The support is good from my training provider, they deliver lots of materials for us to see and work on for our degree qualifications, they call us from work to see how everything is going and they have a keen interest in our development, to support us through the apprenticeship.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
This is a mix of yes and no. Yes, it supports me in helping my performance in my role as we cover modules which are appropriate for my role. Such as Software Development, Cyber Security and Software Testing. However, there are modules which are still technical, though don't have much relation to my role.
Nevertheless, this isn't a criticism because, when I rotate around Fujitsu, a module I have previously studied could provide help for my new role in the future.
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.)
At Fujitsu, there are lots of extra-curricular activities such as the GAP (Graduates, Apprentices & Placement) community. Where we all meet up outside of work for a night out somewhere. Its a great opportunity to meet new people at the similar age as you and to expand your networks. You can get involved in Charity events to raise money for our selected charity partner. Moreover, there is a football team 5 v 5 (I don't participate) in Basingstoke.
Fujitsu holds talks as well, where army veterans come into the office and talk about their life story in the army, which is extremely fascinating. Other events include the annual reception party, Christmas do and cyber hacking events.
9a. Would you recommend Fujitsu to a friend?
Degree Apprenticeships are fantastic. Bringing so many benefits to you at such a young age including getting paid, experience and having pension.
And why Fujitsu? because it is a welcoming company where they focus on their employees the most. Ensuring we are all happy working, and will want to rectify any issues we have as soon as possible. Moreover, Fujitsu is a massive multi-national technology company and saying that i work for them at the age of 19 really boosts my confidence of me currently, and for my future. Plus, it looks incredible on your CV!
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Fujitsu?
1. Patience as the application process can take a few months. There a thousands of applicants and they only select couple of dozen (roughly)
2. The application process isn't testing your ability on knowledge as they collect this information from your CV. The application process is mainly testing your skills in co-operation, communication, teamwork, working with people you have never met before, listening, cognitive and critical thinking. Therefore, put yourself in a business perspective and treat it as like you are co-operating with people you have not met before.
3. In interviews, be yourself, be confident, don't rush in speaking, be clear and present yourself as knowledgeable individual who knows what they are talking about.
4. Be different as well. What I mean by this is for my final interview I had to create a 5-minute presentation on why I want a Degree Apprenticeship and why I am suitable for one. Therefore, for my presentation I thought out side of the box, was creative and brought something new to the table.
5. Be prepared.