Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sara tells us about her role with Cognizant

Name: Sara Al-Badri
University: University of Greenwich
Events attended: IT's not just for the boys! November 2013 and March 2014

So this time last year I was in a real dilemma…I was coming up to finishing my degree with no job to fall back on once graduating. I’m not sure about you, but I really struggled passing any of the psychometric tests to get through to the next stage. I had been applying for graduate schemes on TARGETjobs and found they had networking events – one being ‘IT’s not just for the boys’. I loved the idea of having a full day meeting employers that were there solely for us, fellow students in the STEM group, and most importantly networking!

The day consisted of meeting motivational business woman who sat on a panel, talking about their personal journeys and were truly inspirational – and made me want to be successful so much more. A happy coach (who only wore bright colours and made you dance!) left you really motivated and the greatest part of the experience, was the exposure you get to global employers. A couple of the sessions you get put into groups based on your skill set, and have short activities with employers based on how you problem solve/communicate/pitch. They saw how you worked and how you would fit into their company.

Now I am 7 months into my role at Cognizant, working in IT Infrastructure and now put those skills that the recruiters saw in me (at the event) into practice every day. I work within a large team both onsite and offshore daily, so it’s a very global and diverse culture we work in. From the start, I was given many responsibilities to project manage and be exposed to many roles that included: managing an offshore team to create some material in a restricted deadline for a launch, working with very senior members to create a brand re-launch, organizing events/presentation material/operational work/work with our marketing team to create material for clients and so much more...

Learning is something I do every day and has been a very smooth transition from university life to the real working world. There are challenging moments, but the most important thing and advice I can give you to take away, is that you’re not on your own, go to one of these events as it changed my life and build your network around you. Good luck!

Cognizant (and Sara!) will be joining us at the next IT's not just for the boys! event on March 20. Fancy attending? Apply now!