1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
In my day to day role, I will typically be working in a team of other developers, testers and business analysts to progress a piece of work. Usually this piece of work needs splitting down into smaller tasks that get completed over a set period (usually a few months). These smaller tasks can involve coding, component testing, component integration testing and system testing among other activities such as writing knowledge documents.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I love being in an environment where I am constantly learning and developing myself. The day to day work is usually challenging; there's typically new problems every day to solve and it feels like your work actually matters. The team I'm on currently is incredibly supportive and embodies Capgemini's culture (specifically their seven values).
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme begins with a week long induction within the business where you get to know other apprentices in your cohort and get your kit. After this, you spend 9 weeks at Aston just doing university work and living on campus (if safety measures permit, due to covid this has been done virtually instead). It's during these 9 weeks where everyone is taught java, python, ruby, and sql. After this, you enter the business. You're given 22 study days a year to use how you like to help support with studying (usually this is used for coursework and to give time to revise before exams). Lectures are mainly done online with some on campus days throughout the year (with the pandemic these have been done virtually as well). These lectures now take place nearly every week in the work day for 1-3 hours.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Capgemini has a very clear system in place for where you can seek support if needed. Every employee will have a manager and reviewer that they can ask for support and guidance with their career. Managers are also typically aware of the commitments apprentices have with university work and will be accommodating. Each area also has a GAP (Graduates, Apprentices, Placements) lead who will check in with all the GAP staff regularly to make sure they are doing okay and raise any concerns. When an apprentice first joins, they are also assigned a GAP buddy who is usually someone a year or two ahead of them on the programme who they can go to for advice.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
This varies between modules. Most tutors have flexible office hours so that we can seek advice and ask questions outside of our working hours. Some tutors however have office hours which are restrictive to 9-5 weekdays which conflicts with our working days, with there being some disconnect between the company and the university about whether we work full or part time. The general attitude of tutors is positive though, and I've mostly found it relatively easy to reach out when I've needed support with my studies. There are also more senior members of university staff that you can reach out to if you are having issues with your current tutor and they usually resolve any problems pretty quickly.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The degree covers multiple topics which I then use in my day to day role such as learning about different programming languages, various theory aspects (e.g. agile methodologies), and picking up soft skills such as reflection skills and team leading. After being introduced to these various concepts through university learning, I am then able to apply these to my day to day job, whether it be having a different approach to team working or making coding easier.
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.)
Capgemini strongly encourages apprentices to get involved with voluntary initiatives by either representing the company at career events or volunteering in the community by teaching business or tech skills. There are also initiatives such as Million Makers where you work in a team of other GAP employees with the aim to raise £10,000 for charity in a year, usually through organising auctions, quizzes, and other social events. Outside of volunteering, there are regular social events organised for the GAP community which anyone can take part in, such as quizzes and escape rooms. There are also various social teams you can take part in, like the gaming community and a GAP book club.
9a. Would you recommend Capgemini to a friend?
I really enjoy Capgemini's culture, everyone you work with is friendly and supportive and tries to get the best out of each other. There are a lot of opportunities available for those seeking them, so if there's a certain role or initiative you want to get involved with there's always people you can ask who will support you getting there. Because Capgemini is a global company with many clients, the work is often diverse and challenging and brings something new for you to do every day.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Capgemini?
Make sure to read up on Capgemini's core values and see if you relate to them, as the main thing recruiters will be looking for is if you're a good fit for the company rather than what technical experience you have (though technical experience does help when you're trying to put across your passion for IT, which is another thing they will look for). There are a lot of resources available online for the sort of things asked in interviews and Capgemini offers a practice digital interview which I recommend trying out.