Natalie Boardman, account executive for Softcat, talks about the passion that graduates will need if they're hoping to land a role in the competitive IT sector
What do you look for in an employee?
Softcat looks for the core qualities that make you YOU. We look for individuals who are prepared to work hard to create their own brand and successful business. We also look for someone who is adaptable and can help those around them. This doesn't just go for sales; this is going the extra mile for our charities, events and most importantly, for our customers.
How can a graduate stand out?
By knowing what they want to achieve. That doesn't necessarily mean knowing the ins and outs of technology. You can impress us in interviews with relevant news about the IT industry, or the way you might approach a new customer. You should talk about what has led you to this point, and what attracted you to Softcat. As a graduate, you need to show genuine willingness to learn and, like our word of the year - 'passion'. That can be passion for IT, for the goals you hope to achieve, or just general all-round passion for your beliefs. Stand out by being yourself.
How is the graduate programme at Softcat structured?
As someone who has a degree in drama, you wouldn't expect IT to be my forte. However, the training Softcat provides is world-class, so you will quickly be confident in both your technical and sales skills.
Softcat has a three-week training programme when you join. You can also expect continuous on-the-job training, an aligned mentor, and regular support from our fantastic training and development team. Training continues throughout your time at Softcat; in such a fast-paced industry, you'll constantly be offered training and opportunities for self-development.
At first, the prospect of three weeks of learning about IT was pretty scary, but it was actually really fun. We got to meet all kinds of people who work at Softcat, learn about the company's values, the vendors we work with, and how to make sure we are best able to help our customers. I wouldn't say I'm the next Bill Gates, but I now know a lot more than just how to use Word!
What advice would you give to graduates wanting to work in the IT sector?
The IT industry is amongst the fastest growing, most profitable industries, and undoubtedly one of the most exciting. Graduates must enjoy learning about the newest innovations. It doesn't mean you need to read every piece of online news out there about our industry, but you must have a genuine interest in helping others to find the right solution, and it does mean keeping up with market trends. The competition is fierce - not just for a job role, but within the market. We all have a dream; do you want Softcat to be part of yours?
How can graduates find out more about Softcat?
- By heading to the Softcat website.
- Reaching out to our staff via LinkedIn.
- Or you're more than welcome to call and ask for me. I don't work in our HR department, but am more than happy to answer any questions you have, including those about the amazing Softcat incentives. And if you're interested, I'll put you in touch with the right people.