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2 Weeks Into Grad Scheme!

I have been fairly quiet on blogging recently because of starting my graduate scheme, learning a lot every day and trying to cram so much in means that the evenings are more about rejuvenating for the next day!

That being said, I cannot believe that I have already been at Whitbread for 2 weeks. I am very grateful I got the opportunity to be on the solution architecture graduate scheme, and am very pleased I went with this job.

Already I’m getting stuck into projects and am lucky to have a really nice team around me to support me, as well as the other graduates. I didn’t realise there was so many types of architecture and what was involved, but I am looking forward to exploring it further.

For me I knew I didn’t want to be at a company that hire hundreds of grads where you have set rotations, some do and I’m not knocking that, but the fact I’m one of four IT graduates also has its benefits and I feel like I am truly in a role as well as being able to do rotations which I can discuss with my sponsor, line manager and HR to decide where I want to go next.

If anybody is in their final year of university or a year after you’ve graduated, I would definitely take a look at what graduate schemes are out there and apply early, there are plenty of websites such as Milkround that can help, but also research the type of company and role you think you want to go into! I was able to secure my grad job in December which took a lot of pressure out of final year… I wish you all luck!!

Now it’s the weekend and then back for my third week next week 🤓

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First Journeyman Dinner

Great evening at the WCIT Journeyman Dinner, it’s great that a charitable and well established livery company and the men and women who make it so great, care so much about mentoring the younger members! Very appreciated and I look forward to giving back how I can too!

If you’re interested in learning more about the WCIT, then feel free to get in contact or check out their website 🤓

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A Week It’s Been…

It’s been a week since I finished my last university exam and drove off to fly to Amsterdam where I had one of the best weekends ever, with some amazing friends.

When I returned to England, I came back to my parent’s house and went out for a meal to celebrate finishing university with my parents, sister, boyfriend and both sets of grandparents. I’m very lucky to have such a huge support system.

I then returned to Uxbridge on Wednesday to have lunch with my colleagues from GSK, nearly a year after I left and it’s great to be catching up with them, weird to not know whether I’ll see them again or not. That evening I went out for another meal with my dissertation group and tutor (Team Rob ftw!) which was great and we had such a laugh, really great way to end the year after all our worries and stress regarding our dissertation and the encouragement we got from our tutor.

Thursday was a great day too, I met up with a friend and we took her gorgeous little girl to a soft play area and out shopping! Later on I had a WCIT dinner at the Waterman’s Hall, which was magnificent to celebrate diversity and inclusion, much to my surprise I was sat at the top table and was mentioned in the Master’s speech, I very much appreciated his and everyone’s kind words. It’s really nice to be a part of that community!

Friday again was busy, met my friend for breakfast and then we helped with the Level 2 transition day for our department, anybody who knows me knows I love to talk, and I really do love chatting about how I found my placement year and this past year of university, giving them advice which I hope will be of value. I was also able to see one of my mentors, David Barker, on campus promoting the Placer app at the Brunel Careers Fair. After I rushed off to pack up my room into my car (not sure how it all managed to fit in my little Seat Ibiza), handed in my keys, and drove off into the distance. I am officially moved back to Hertfordshire now!

It’s been a hectic week but I love to be busy, better than having nothing to do!

(Now off to Corfu for a few days to actually relax… with nothing to do but read a good book whilst tanning)

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#eSociety

As a previous post shared to you all, in February I was fortunate enough to win the Outstanding IT Student Award 2018 given by the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (WCIT). Since then I have been getting involved with the WCIT and have met some great people, one of them being David Barker who has agreed to be a mentor to me. Upon meeting him he gave me his book, #eSociety, to read and I want to encourage you all to read it also, not because he is my mentor but because I related to a lot of what he wrote.

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As well as some great entrepreneurial business techniques that can be learnt from #eSociety, the book can remind us all that through the hardships, unfairness and down-right bad luck which everybody meets both personally and professionally at some point in their lives; there’s always options we have to choose from for how we can drive ourselves through these adversities and some may not be obvious. A mixture of faith, personal and business life all wrapped into one inspirational book. I can relate to some aspects even at this point in my life, having to persevere through education when my Mum’s health has been bad has been difficult, but I choose the path to be there for my family whilst pursuing further education, it could have been easy to go in another direction. Other parts of the book detailing David’s business ventures and continual goal for providing support to the unemployed youth, showed to me how having a passion to work towards is important and to stop at nothing if it is something you truly believe in. It was also really interesting to learn more about how David has got to the place he has got, the odds were against him growing up and if it wasn’t for an opportunity of a business giving him a chance and a government programme to provide that, there is no knowing where his life would have led.

Throughout #eSociety, the message “power of networking” rings through, something that I’m really getting into and enjoying, with the help of the WCIT, an organisation which also aided David in working on his social entrepreneur goals. I would encourage you all to go to networking events, meet as many people as you can, because you never know what may come from making a good impression, to people who will remember.

Overall, it was a great read in understanding how somebody else got to where they are, learn about other’s hardships and successes; and through everything be optimistic that there was a goal they were meant to pursue.

 

If you would also like to read #eSociety, you can find it on Amazon.

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WCIT Student Award 2018

On Wednesday 21st February 2018, I was incredibly fortunate to win the Outstanding Information Technology Student Award at the 99th Business Luncheon at the Armourer’s Hall. For those unfamiliar to the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (WCIT), it is the 100th Livery Company of London, focusing on honouring tradition but also modern innovation and charitable contribution.

The luncheon was fantastic, I was able to network and meet professionals from a variety of IT backgrounds who are at the top of their fields and are either Freeman or Liveryman of the WCIT.

I received the award after being nominated by my tutor at Brunel, even being nominated was an amazing achievement for me, but to win it was astounding. I was nominated on the basis of 4 criteria: 1) Academic Excellence, 2) Overcoming Adversity, 3) Entrepreneurial Skills, 4) Contribution to Charity or Community.

I was asked to give a speech, which I would like to share to you below:

I feel very proud that everything I have done has led me to this point.

At the age of 17, I had several options available to choose from for further education, including English Literature and Art. I owe a lot to two key people, among others, who as IT professionals and educators intrigued my interest in pursuing IT at university and as a career. My IT teacher at high school pushed me from GCSEs to do ICT and as a result, I thought I would at least attend a computing taster day at Brunel University, before I made my choice. This is where I met Robert Macredie, who took the time to speak to me that day… and continually supports me to this day. That taster session made my decision for me, I wanted to explore IT. It is now my hope… as I go forward in my life, that I can be that person who supports and encourages future generations.

There are so many developments happening in all corners of our industry, such as autonomous vehicles and blockchain technologies that are on the cusp of being everyday norm, and something that could be very beneficial to our society.

Likewise, I think it is likely there will be further developments in how IT is viewed as we all become more dependent on it. My experiences on my placement year at GSK, helped to teach me how important it is to have a good relationship with the rest of a business, therefore by creating that transparency and having that communication is something I aim to do in my career. I hope there will also be progress in widening gender diversity within the IT industry. I knew going into my degree and placement year that I would be in a gender minority, spending the majority of group projects and meetings with men. I was never made to feel vulnerable or inferior, but I was still very aware of it. This isn’t the fault of the university or company, there just simply isn’t enough girls wanting to go into the technology sector and that stems from little engagement from an early age. IT isn’t a typical job that at an early age you are taught to aspire to, yet it is so important to everybody’s future, that it should be.

This is why, I particularly hope to ensure younger generations of women know they can bring a brilliant skillset, new ideas and opinions, and to be equal in all things IT. I’m excited for the future in this industry and I will do my very best to justify my receiving of this award.

I am very grateful for that opportunity and for the doors it has opened to me, such as being asked to speak at an event for International Women’s Day at the WCIT Livery Hall on 5th March.

It has encouraged me to speak further about topics I am passionate about and I hope it inspires others to trust that hard work is rewarded.