Half-way through National Apprenticeship Week and it’s the turn of Maisy Hockey to give us her thoughts on her experiences on the Fujitsu apprenticeship scheme.
Name: Maisy Hockey
Most important technology invention of the last 50 years:
Smart phones – I know that’s a typical “20-year-old” answer but being able to carry around one device that can phone people you need, send text messages, take photos and access the internet is really useful.
My dad said that when he was at school he was always told “You can’t use a calculator because you won’t be able to take a calculator with you everywhere”. These days your smart phone can do everything for you. When I was in Cambodia, I was able to take photos of everything I was doing on my phone and having Wi-Fi meant I could send them back to my parents to stop them worrying and show them some of the things I’d been doing.
1. How long have you been part of the Fujitsu Apprenticeship Scheme?
I joined Fujitsu in November 2013 so 1 year and 4 months.
2. What department do you work in? What does your role entail?
I work in the PASS team which is a Shared Service in Business Operations.
As part of a shared service, my roles tend to vary which means I’ve been able to learn a range of skills. Typically, I deal with resource forecasts, SharePoint management, RAID and actions logs and planning.
3. Why did you choose to join an apprenticeship scheme? Why Fujitsu?
I knew that I wanted to start working and university fees were too high for me as I still wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do. The apprenticeship scheme seemed to open door for people like me that wanted to learn more about how the business world works.
The Fujitsu scheme specifically seemed quite broad and looked like it offered a lot of great opportunities. When I saw the advertisement I almost didn’t apply as I didn’t think I’d get the job and after months of hopelessly searching I was tired of not hearing back from companies. First4Skills (Fujitsu’s learning provider) contacted me very quickly and were so friendly. Luckily, I managed to get the job and it’s fantastic!
4. What is a main challenge in finding a job as a UK school-leaver? Do you believe enough advice was given to you when you were searching for a placement?
When I left school I didn’t have much work experience at all. Most shops wouldn’t accept me without previous experience and few other places offered part time work. In a desperate attempt to get a job I became an Avon representative.
I feel that schools should give more advice to students regarding getting experience for the workplace. While applying for jobs, I found an agency that offered temporary jobs for people with little to no experience to help them gain experience ready to get a full time job. In hindsight, I wish I’d known about this sooner so I could have come into the workplace with a little more experience of the types of roles I’d need to fill.
5. What is the major learning from your experience on the scheme so far?
The most important thing I’ve learnt at Fujitsu is probably the importance of communication. Effective communication can show your interest in new things, manage people’s expectations and show when you’re being proactive. If you’re not telling people when you’re completing tasks they may not know and they won’t see that you’re interested in new things. It can also help the people you’re working with understand if you will have time to meet their deadlines so they can ask others for help or re-adjust their plans. Keeping people in the loop helps manage the workload and helps you get noticed.
6. Where would you like to be in five years’ time?
In five years’ time I aim to be a project manager. I’m a foundation member of the Fujitsu P&PM academy and have tried to take as many online courses as possible to build my knowledge so that when I have the opportunity, I have a foundation to work from.
7. Why did you choose a career in IT?
To be honest, starting a career in the IT industry was an accident. It was the business side of the apprenticeship that appealed most to me as it seemed quite broad and very interesting.
However since working at Fujitsu I’ve learnt a lot about the IT industry and am so glad that I’m working in it. Technology is constantly changing and it’s important to stay ahead of the game with so many competitors. There’s always something new to learn so for me this is perfect.
8. What most excites you about the ICT industry?
I don’t know an awful lot about the ICT industry so for me it offers so much to learn. There are so many aspects of the industry from different aspects of the industry and it’s constantly changing so the industry offers a fast-paced, diverse environment. I’ve loved learning some of the skills I’ve picked up, especially regarding SharePoint.
9. What piece of advice would you give to someone starting an apprentice scheme?
Speak up. Apprenticeships offer fantastic opportunities but only if you’re brave enough to ask for them and grab them. Ask questions, volunteer yourself and be proactive.
When I first joined I was so nervous and asked someone to double check everything I did. Speaking to other people helped my confidence grow until I felt ready to volunteer for new opportunities and face new challenges.
10. Please summarise your time as an apprentice in three words.
Interesting, Different and Educational.
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