Katy Freestainton at Fujitsu Top Employer

Programmes Offered: Apprenticeship - Advanced Level (Level 3) Apprenticeship - Higher Level (Level 4/5/6/7) Degree Apprenticeship / Sponsored Degree (Level 6/7)
Industry: Digital Media & IT

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Katy Freestainton

Katy Freestainton

Client Support Analyst-Business Administration Apprentice

What has been your career path, how did you get to where you are now?

After completing my GCSEs and A Levels, I started studying BSc Physical Geography at the University of Glamorgan in Wales – very different to what I am doing now! I found after less than a year, that although I loved the subject and enjoyed studying, the lifestyle wasn’t for me and I wanted to get out into the world and start earning as soon as I could. That’s when I came across the opportunity to join Fujitsu as an apprentice in September 2012, studying for Level 3 Diploma in Business Admin.

Before I looked into the company, I believed that Fujitsu solely made cameras and batteries etc... I couldn’t have been more wrong! I’m constantly learning more about the projects and contracts that Fujitsu have and piecing together how we all work to meet customer expectations. As I’m not assigned to one particular project, but part of the InfraSale team; I’ve had a small insight into many different aspects of the business.

I recently signed off my Level 3 Diploma and have just begun working towards Level 4. I appreciate the opportunity to progress my studying alongside working as this was a much better choice for me than university – I’m gaining both knowledge and experience.

Can you describe an average day- is there such a thing?

My average weekday begins much the same as many of my colleagues – I arrive at work to check my emails and voicemails, and try to put out any fires that have come about overnight. I then grin incessantly at my fellow workers and ask if they would like some more orders to raise with the supplier.

No two days can be the same as there is always a new problem or issue that an internal project manager or a supplier will come across. Of course this makes the day more interesting as we try to solve the problems that arise.Every couple of weeks we’ll have a meeting within the team to see if we can improve any processes to make life easier for ourselves and customers. I also spend time each week on assignments and studying for the Diploma, so of course daily work is varied.

In the evening after work, I get back in my little Citroen Saxo, turn the music up, and if my brother doesn’t need a lift anywhere I go and see one of my friends for a cuppa.

What have you been most proud of whilst working at Fujitsu?

Since joining I’ve discovered so much about Fujitsu. Along the way I’ve earned an award for helping to ensure that PSTN orders for Costa Coffee have run smoothly – this was by creating a WIP report and call to keep on top of any changes. I also took part in the Children in Need call centre in Manchester – this was a great experience and I’d love to do it again.

As an apprentice, how do you see apprenticeships in the future being a differentiator in industry?

Already apprenticeships are becoming an important part of many industries, not just within the communications business. There is a growing market for apprenticeships due to the amount of students who wish to gain experience to develop personally, alongside gaining qualifications. They can provide a much-needed 'leg-up' into the working world.

Organisations that employ apprentices can be differentiated from others as they are taking on a corporate social responsibility – the number of people aged 16-24 in the UK who are currently unemployed is falling, and this has been helped by an increase in the number of apprenticeships available. It is important that the country maintains a balance of people who have working skills and those who have, for example, just finished university and have great knowledge with little working experience.

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