Friday, August 25, 2017

Learn from Nakai as she shares her experience and gives advice for attending IT's not just for the boys!

I started researching career events in my last year of university and came across TARGETjobs IT’s not just for the boys! event. This was indeed a lucky find!

In order to attend the event it was necessary to submit an application. I was nervous, as it was more detailed than I had initially anticipated. Looking back, the information that I used in this application really helped me with subsequent applications. It’s also a great opportunity to get down ‘on paper’ what excites you about the technology sector.

There was a telephone interview prior to the event. This was a great opportunity to practice all the skills required for future internship, placement and graduate job telephone interviews.
Before the interviews and the event I was quite nervous so browsing the IT’s not just for the boys! website and seeing how lively and engaging past events looked, was really helpful. I also used this as an opportunity to research and highlight companies that I was interested in. This was invaluable as there were so many companies I had never even considered, especially as I didn’t come from a stereotypical computer engineering background. It really proved to me that there were opportunities in the technology field for someone like me.

Just before the event I was extremely nervous as I had only been to a few on-campus networking events and nothing of this size. I made sure I picked an outfit that was clean, presentable, professional and comfortable. This meant I could really engage with the speakers and activities and not worry about anything as the day went on.

The day itself was amazing and went by so quickly! The speakers, especially Anne-Marie Imafidon’s inspiring talk, really got me motivated for the rest of the day. Especially as it resonated so much with me and the other girls that were there. There were group activities later on and this gave you an opportunity to meet and speak to my peers, this was great as I didn’t know anyone prior to attending.

By the end of the evening it was difficult to leave – as I tried to say goodbye and thank you to everyone (plus attempting to jot down everyone’s names for LinkedIn and/or Facebook at a later date). However, this was great because I met quite a few other girls at subsequent interviews and assessment centre days (and I think seeing a friendly face at these future stages really put me at ease).

I thoroughly enjoyed the day and ended up attending several assessment centres and interviews for graduate schemes as a result. I am really pleased to say that I will be taking up a positon at Capgemini in September and I cannot wait to get started.

All made possible by the really unique and awesome day that is IT’s not just for the boys!, organised by the really supportive team at TARGETjobs (who have kept in touch since the event last year!) 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Jade Davis talks us through her day at IT's not just for the boys!

I was excited to attend the IT’s not just for the Boys! event hosted by J.P Morgan at their Glasgow office as I couldn’t wait to meet other like-minded females and experience a corporate office. Before attending the event I ensured I was prepared with formal attire and something to jot down notes during the day- any hints, inspirational messages or CV tips I gained during the day!

On arrival, I was greeted with many sociable women whom like myself were students in STEM. The day started with a welcome by a senior representative at J.P. Morgan, where she introduced J.P. Morgan and the opportunities they provide. While this was being explained I was frantically jotting down in my notepad (the current one I am using to reminisce and write this post).

Kate Taylor gave a motivational speech, which was one of the most memorable parts of the day. Being in a male dominated course it can be daunting having the confidence and courage to take opportunities. This speech encouraged us all to be brave and take opportunities when they arise, not just the safe option. Women need to break the stereotypes placed upon them and this talk helped encourage just that. The memorable final quote which was placed on the screen and was ingrained in my memory forever; "She believed she could so she did".

Networking over lunch allowed me to talk to current graduates and network with recruiters from all the companies. Socialising with graduates allowed me to get an insight into the companies that attended. This was my chance to ask any queries that I wanted answering and socialise with other women, retelling stories of our experience in higher education.

After lunch, we were all split into groups to experience the group sessions. Since I had yet to experience an assessment centre this was going to be very interesting. The group exercise involved creating an application for a healthy eating website, where we had to create an app that we had to pitch, keeping in mind our desired target audience. This was great to experience the group activities that could arise at future assessment centres. We then proceeded to be able to talk to the companies in groups and be able to find out more about the graduate opportunities available and the application process.

The day ended with networking and I ensured I connected with the inspirational women whom I had met on social media to keep in touch in the future. The event encouraged me to take opportunities and to apply to the graduate schemes of these amazing companies whom are helping promoting women in technology.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Katie Bennett secures a placement with Arup by attending Future Female Engineers!

I had been interested in Arup as a company since starting my second year at university and being encouraged to secure an industrial summer placement. My interest was spiked when seeing some of the hugely prestigious projects that Arup had been involved with. One of them being very close to home, the engineering building that I have studied in for 90% of my university career The Diamond, an £81m multidisciplinary engineering facility for the University of Sheffield.

Around the same sort of time my university was advertising the Future Females Engineers event, which was conveniently going to be hosted in Arups’s HQ in London! The application for the Future Female Engineers event was a straightforward example of what to expect from a placement application, this was really useful as an opportunity to practice for the real thing. The telephone interview was also very straightforward, there was no need to stress as long as you had prepared! I researched all the companies attending and concluded that I was most interested in Arup and Wates. This was asked about in my interview and I was put with these two companies on the day of the event.

At the event during the team building exercise I was put with Aman Gill, a recruitment officer who works for Arup in London, as my team’s mentor. She told us a lot about the recruitment process at Arup and what they value from their potential employees. I took Aman’s email address and contacted her subsequent to my application to the summer placement opportunity for Arup Sheffield. Aman was in contact with the Sheffield office supporting my application.

I was so pleased when I got the confirmation of an interview for the placement and was so grateful that I had been able to attend the event. I also mentioned attending the event to my interviewer at Arup and they seemed to be impressed with my efforts. What I took from the event was the importance of interest and passion with a company in helping to secure a placement. I was really interested in Arup as a company before the event and I made this clear in my application.

The placement itself has been really interesting! I’ve been working in the MEP building services team as an electrical engineer and have travelling around to Nottingham and Liverpool with my team to meetings and site visits. I’ve been working mostly on a high rise residential building in Liverpool developing the schematics for all the electrical systems inside the building, for example, working on the telecommunications schematic, fire alarm treatment drawings, doing lighting calculations and working on containment layouts. Arup was a fantastic company to secure a summer placement with, the support from everyone was great and the facilities are impeccable.

I was inspired by all of the female engineers that I met at the event whether they were just aspiring or qualified. I had never felt such a friendly and positive atmosphere at a networking event before. I was also pleased to see my team at Arup being very balanced in its representation of women which was so refreshing to see in such a big engineering consultancy.