Our blog series profiling some of our current apprentices continues throughout National Apprenticeship Week. Today we speak with Demi Cameron-Smith.
Name: Demi Cameron-Smith
Most important technology invention of the last 50 years:
The internet is 100% the most important technology of the last 50 years.
1. How long have you been part of the Fujitsu Apprenticeship Scheme?
I started my Apprenticeship in May 2014, so I have been here for 10 months now.
2. What department do you work in? What does your role entail?
I am part of the D&NS BPO team, working in Communications and Events. This involves writing internal communications and running internal events for employees. We also do a lot of administration work, such as setting up the events on our intranet to allow our attendees to book on to.
I also work with the Proud to be You initiative, this involves creating the D&NS STARS poster and running a quarterly competition for the best ‘Good News’ story. The winner(s) receive a Silver award and their story posted on our intranet.
3. Why did you choose to join an apprenticeship scheme? Why Fujitsu?
After I left school and signed up to college, I found myself studying my A-Levels with the aspiration of working in law. It was immediately apparent that that was not the correct path for me, I was not happy going in every day and learning about these subjects and the thought of University did not inspire or excite me.
At this time I also had a part-time job, so I knew how good it felt at that age earning money. It was obvious that I did not want to sit in a classroom for another four-six years of my life. So four months in, I left college and started looking for a full-time job.
I gained employment in a conference centre and I absolutely fell in love with the events side of the role so wanted to make a career from it. After almost two years within this company, and after completing an NVQ Level 2 in Customer Service and an ILM Level 3 award, it was clear that there was no more room for progression within the company for me, so I made the decision to look for a career elsewhere- hoping it would still be in events.
I had decided that although I had excellent GCSE results, they would not support the fact that I have experience in events and the skills to excel in this industry. So instead of returning to college to study, I began searching for apprenticeships.
I applied for the role that I am now in (within Fujitsu), and the job description just sounded ideal! After the interview and finding out more about the company, I was so excited when I was offered the job.
So I initially joined Fujitsu for the job role I would be placed in. However, after beginning within the company, I can now see how privileged I am to be a part of this company. The apprenticeship scheme is amazing and has done nothing but help me to excel, achieve and learn.
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?
Finding a job as a school leaver is challenging as you have no ‘real work experience’, my opinion at the time was that companies are less likely to hire school leavers due to their lack of experience.
However, since working at Fujitsu, it is clear that they do not discriminate on age or experience. If you are able to do the job, that is all that matters.
5. What is the major learning from your experience on the scheme so far?
Whilst at Fujitsu I have learnt how to work in an office environment, how to build a strong network over a very large business and that you should always be confident in your subject. When someone can see that you are confident with your knowledge, they trust in you.
6. Where would you like to be in five years’ time?
I wouldn’t like to say where I would like to be in five years’ time as I know how often things can change. But I would like to remain within Fujitsu and continue to build my knowledge, I have learnt to grab every opportunity with both hands and I would like to continue to do this and see where the company takes me.
7. Why did you choose a career in IT?
IT is an ever-growing industry. I like a fast-paced and exciting environment. So what better company than an IT one?
8. What most excites you about the ICT industry?
The ICT industry is constantly evolving – this is what excites me about it. Nothing will remain the same for too long and it’s hard to predict any new technologies.
9. What piece of advice would you give to someone starting an apprentice scheme?
I would tell any new apprentice to get involved. The best way to meet people is to approach them, and the best way to learn is to ask and work hard. If you are not happy with something- make your voice heard, there is always someone who can help.
10. Please summarise your time as an apprentice in three words.
Inspiring, exciting, eye-opening.
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