Category: Best tech talent

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

From manager to C-level, do you have what it takes?

Headshot of panellists
The panellists, left to right: Julie, Leila, Jane

We know IT has a long way to go before it can call itself “an inclusive industry”. We recognise that and work towards bridging that gap. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is one of our strategic pillars as a part of our strategy – Investing in people and talent. In support of our EDI initiatives, we are collaborating with a number of partners that help us strive to achieve that mission.

We had excellent engagement for our latest collaboration with Everywoman, From Manager to C-Level: The steps, skills and qualities that can give you the edge webinar. 420 of you registered and more than 100 tuned in live! I encourage you to watch the recording if you couldn’t make the live session on 28 January! Some of our top female leaders were panellists:

  • Julie McCann, Interim Vice-Dean for Research in the Faculty of Engineering
  • Leila Guerra, Vice Dean of Education at the Imperial College London Business
  • Jane Neary, Director of Campus Services

The panel shared fantastic career insights and tips. They can be applied by anybody who’s aiming at a C-level role in their 5-year plan!  Jane, Julie and Leila took the audience through the steps you can take to make it happen, and the skills and attributes needed to make it to the top.

Here’s my favourite quote from the event:

Seema: What skills and attributes does someone need to succeed?

Leila: Networking and building relationships are universally important. Making sure you have diverse, rich and global circles. Self-awareness is of course important to have as well. Being able to look at yourself and identify what’s your voice, your passion. The element of passion is so important! Having an innovative mindset as well, knowing the role will not be linear. On the other hand, being resilient, patient and generous with yourself and others. Being in peace with yourself does really help. Your employer hired you for you!

You might also find the How Imperial’s ICT and digital team leaders are moving the needle on diversity article interesting!

More general on-demand content can be found on Everywoman’s webpage.