On leaving uni in 2012, Hannah wasn't sure what she wanted to do - only that she'd like to work in IT. After a year in the job she's found that, on a personal level, it's helped her gain confidence and maturity
How did you get on the graduate scheme?
A friend told me about The Access Group graduate scheme. After submitting my CV, I made it through to the telephone interview where I had an informal chat with the Head of Support. I was then invited to a two-day assessment day in Milton Keynes filled with interviews, tests and group activities. Prior to the assessment day I had to prepare a ten-minute presentation which didn't use any presentation tools. It was all surprisingly enjoyable!
I remember when I first started I was terrified every time the phone rang, but now I answer the phone without even thinking and talk to customers easily
How relevant's your degree to your job?
Extremely relevant. The technical skills and knowledge I gained studying computer information systems has helped me in the job. A lot of knowledge came from my fellow students as we did side projects that taught me about technical aspect of computing. However, as I support mainly finance products, I have learnt a lot on the job.
What do you do day to day?
Customers either call or email us with issues. These range from simple ones we can fix there and then to more complex ones which can take up to a month to solve. Using my knowledge and my colleagues around me, we work to solve the issue so the customer is happy - all the while providing a friendly service.
How has your role developed?
I'm working more independently and taking more responsibility. This happened fairly quickly because my colleagues pushed me when they knew I was ready to be pushed. But at the same time they were on hand to help if I didn't feel ready. I remember when I first started I was terrified every time the phone rang, but now I answer the phone without even thinking and talk to customers easily.
What are your career ambitions?
I'm at the stage where I'm ready for consultancy and will have further training so I'm fully prepared when out on the road. My ambitions are to reach a high level in consultancy or to project manage.
What do you enjoy about your job?
The challenge that it brings every day. The satisfaction you get from receiving a difficult issue and finding out what the problem is also drives me. I also enjoy a personal challenge - some customers will be frustrated but I enjoy trying to change that around, not only by solving the issue but also building a good rapport. Lastly, the people here at Access make the job, everyone likes to get involved and is always willing to lend a hand. Plus, it's an extremely social company.
What are the most challenging parts of your job?
Mainly the frustration from the customers, because we're the first point of call when things aren't working. Sometimes it can feel a bit overwhelming at busy times of the year, like finance year ends, because there are tight deadlines the customers must fulfil.
Any words of advice for someone who wants to get into this job?
Enthusiasm and willingness are keys to success in such a fast-paced sector as IT. As long as you have both of those, everything else will come easily. If you don't know something, be honest, but do not leave it to never knowing. Push yourself to find out.
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