A guide to how things get done in ‘real life’

Two work experience students, Sarah and Matt, were immersed in the word of IT as they spent 3 days working in all areas from Data Analytics, Product Development and Communications, where they gained an insight into the inner workings of ICT…

ICTs way of doing things is called an ‘Agile model’

“During my work experience in ICT, I spent my time helping to develop an app using the new software called Microsoft PowerApps, which will enable students to upload photos for their College ID card – and I even trained an Artificial Intelligence (AI) bot to help with approval of the photos!

Every day I was included in the Product Development Team stand up meetings where they would group discuss what each person had done during the previous day and briefly outline what needed to occur today- they would then move on to discuss the main planning for the new system.

This was a very informative experience as it really gave the feel of a friendly workspace, whilst also being a guide to how things get done in ‘real life’. It also displayed to me what specific requirements need to be established in order to effectively work as a team, which in turn helps the programming people know exactly what to do in order to get everything running smoothly in the software.

Watching this all play out and being able to participate, as well as sharing my own work with the team has helped me to be able to apply it to my school subjects. Merely knowing that ICTs way of doing things is called an ‘Agile model’ and being able to see for myself how interaction with the ‘customer’ who will be using the new system enables for a greater understanding of people’s requirements and thus a smoother process overall has been of great help to me.

In conclusion, I have loved every minute of having my work experience here at Imperial College’s ICT department and I greatly recommend it.”

Author: Sarah Sowole, work experience student from Oaks Park High School, Redbridge 

Moving forward. Progression.

“Coming into a workplace with no prior experience, and from what I have seen online, I was personally expecting robots and drones that complete tasks straightforwardly.

I was pleasantly surprised when the first person I talked to immediately started talking about his motivations as a developer – helping students and colleagues alike. And, again and again, after each person I talked to, whilst there was still a focus on the tangible and material outcomes, there was an utmost focus on the intangible things at work.

A large part of my talk with a Product Manager was about a metaphorical ‘Northern Star’ – a purpose for work.

I was told that working is easier when you have been given a reason to keep on moving forward, something that I did agree with.

It was refreshing, in contrast to the do-or-die mentality I am often faced with in Sixth Form – and ultimately, a progressive outlook at ‘work’ is something that I would love to experience when I eventually enter the workplace!

Author: Matt La, work experience student from Farnborough Sixth Form College