I learned so much from my placement year – it was challenging in all the right ways. I was given lots of stretching work and a great deal of support to do it, which meant I learned a lot very quickly. I was never made to feel like an industrial placement student and was able to take the same opportunities as everyone else. During my placement year, I got involved in the launch year of the Community Challenge. I worked with a graduate getting everything in place and ended up running the week itself, when he got a brilliant opportunity elsewhere in Capgemini, working abroad.
When I was offered a graduate job at Capgemini before I had even left to go back to University for final year, I was delighted. I was able to focus my dissertation on some of the Lean work I had been doing during my placement, taking inspiration and using some of my applied knowledge. Being back at University, with considerably less hours, formal meetings and emails was a massive change – in fact probably more of a shock than starting to work full time! However, the experiences I had in my placement year meant I could relate both to the academic theories and material but also apply my experience to practical examples and enrich my learning.
I joined Capgemini as a graduate in September 2013, back to the same team I had been previously working in, on the HMRC Account in Telford. I’ve had varied responsibilities over the past 2 years – including a 9 month rotation to manage the Apprentice Programme. My main role focuses on embedding the Lean ideology on the account and consulting on changes projects. I’ve also co-ordinated the third and fourth Community Challenge and welcomed several Community Challenge alumni to Capgemini – both as graduates and summer interns.
I really enjoy keeping in touch with the University – I can use my experiences as a student to make the Community Challenge even better; and also enjoy visiting campus again and pretending that I am actually still a student!