Monday, February 29, 2016

We hear from Christina Avraam who has secured a position with Capital One after attending our IT's not just for the boys! event in December

I’m very excited to confirm that I have been offered a position at Capital One after visiting the headquarters for the ‘IT’s not just for the Boys!’ event! The position I have accepted is the 2 year Technology Graduate Rotation Program which I start in September 2016!

Stage 1 – IT’s not just for the Boys! Event

Since I had a limited background in technology (a Multimedia & Graphic Design Bachelor’s degree and I am currently doing a Masters in Marketing) I was initially just coming to the event to see what options I’d have, and what steps I would need to take, in order to work in technology. Needless to say I was nervous and didn’t think I stood a chance to work in technology; the event cleared up all those nerves and made it clear to me that you only really need a true passion for technology to work in technology!

During the event, which was hosted at Capital One’s headquarters in Nottingham, I had the opportunity to meet like-minded women from all fields who were there due to their passion for technology. I met people from many different companies (AIG, ARM, Bank of England, Cognizant, Deloitte, Tesco and Capital One) who gave me a good insight into their company and the programs they had available. The day consisted of a lot of amazing food, amazing people, presentations from inspirational women and a group exercise where a group of us discussed a possible Mobile App with one of the companies.

During the networking section of the event, I met a young woman who was already in the Technology Graduate Rotation Program at Capital One; she sat with me and spoke to me about Capital One as a company and told me all about her experience. It was at this moment that I put my nerves, and hesitation about being qualified, aside and decided to apply.

Stage 2 – Initial Application

The first part of the application process consisted of filling out forms about my education, previous employment etc. (basically putting together a CV). It was very quick and easy. After I submitted these, I was asked to complete some online tests which included Verbal Reasoning and Numerical Reasoning tests. These were all well organised and easy to follow through the platform.

Stage 3 – Video Interview

A few weeks later, I was invited to do a video interview; which consisted of logging onto a platform with introductory videos explaining the process. A question would show on screen, then I was given 2 minutes to prep my answer (which was not recorded) and finally; 5 minutes to answer the question while being recorded. There were approximately 7 questions; the prep time given was more than enough to put together my answers.

Stage 4 – Assessment Day

About a week later, I was informed that I had passed the video interview and the next stage was an assessment day. This is where it all started to get real! I went up to Nottingham again to visit the headquarters and was greeted by a group of awesome people who were already working on the Technology Graduate Program. They were kind enough to talk to all the people who came in for interviews that day – there were 9 of us in total. The first interview was a ‘Job Fit’ interview where I spoke to a very friendly woman about my ambitions, previous work experience etc. I was made to feel very welcome and the interview was quite relaxed.

After this, I had a ‘Presentation Interview’; we were all given a topic a few days before to cover in this interview. I put together a presentation and had 10 minutes to present my findings to the interviewer. Again, this was quite casual and I was able to ask more questions about Capital One when I had finished my presentation. After this, we all had a tour of the headquarters and enjoyed a complimentary lunch in Capital One’s impressive restaurant.

Finally, a group of 5 of us were taken to the last interview of the day; group assessment. We were presented with a topic and we had to discuss amongst ourselves the possible solutions and path to take. We were being observed by 3 interviewers but it still felt very relaxed.

Stage 5 – Final Interview

I was in class when I found out that I had passed onto the final stage. It was so exciting! I had to go up to Nottingham again a few days later for the final 30 minute interview. This is when I met the Senior Director of Technology; this interview was the most relaxed and casual interview I had. It was very much focused on the questions I had about the position and company.

Stage 6 – Excitement!

When I received the call I was in a group meeting in University; the excitement got the better of me and I ended up jumping up and down in excitement with my group members in the middle of the Library! The only thing that was on my mind was how happy and grateful I was that I had applied to go to the IT’s not just for the Boys! event. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity if it wasn’t for all the friendly people I met at the event and all the information I gathered just by being there.
If you're interested in a career in technology then pre-register here to be the first to find out about our next female only technology events