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What’s it like to be part of the HP Graduate Development Programme?

HPlogoI am currently working for Hewlett Packard (HP) in the Erskine campus as part of the UK&I ITO Graduate Development Programme. I am working as part of HP Enterprise Services which is focused on providing IT, business and outsourcing services to major and minor companies across the globe, with the ITO (Infrastructure Technology Outsourcing) part of the business running the IT infrastructure for major companies such as Rolls-Royce, Ministry of Defence (MoD), Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and more.

What is your role?
I am on the 2-year ITO Graduate Development Programme as a Technical Graduate. Within these 2 years every Graduate rotates assignments every 6-9 months in order to build a good range of skills and to allow each of us to experience multiple roles within the business. I am currently on my 2nd rotation which has me sitting within the Core Services team. The objective of this team is to manage and maintain all of the environments and users within the MoD account, which can involve anything from resetting passwords to troubleshooting and repairing hardware and software. I am learning new things every day so I am enjoying the experience so far!

How long have you been in this role?
I have only been in my second rotation for a few weeks. I had a great experience within my first role as it allowed me to work with staff members from various teams which has helped to establish a good network of people within the office. It was also a good stepping stone for learning how the MoD account is structured, which has set me up well for my second rotation which heavily relies on having good working knowledge of the account. I am looking forward to getting properly started within my second role as it is shaping up to be much more varied and work intensive than my first role. I have no doubts I will be learning a lot in the next 6-9 months!

What are the three most important skills you use at work?
As a Technical Graduate the three most important skills I use in work are teamwork, communication and time management. You will always find yourself as part of some form of team within HP. Being able to work and communicate well as a member of that team is vital. Communication in general is an important skill, speaking to anyone, be that other Graduates, managers or even staff members from other teams. Building a network within the workplace can be very beneficial for both the immediate and distant future. And finally time management, it’s not uncommon to find yourself working on a number of different tasks simultaneously whilst working in HP, and being able to effectively manage your time in order to get the most out of your day is a great skill to have.

What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day involves communicating with team members and managers to establish what checks need to be done for each day. Once that has been done our job is to keep an eye out for any problems or requests that are raised. There is a lot of employees working within the MoD account not only here in Erskine but all across the UK so there is never a shortage of tasks for our team to work on. And being part of a maintenance team means the ability to be able to pick up and react to these issues quickly is vital to ensure everyone can continue to do their work. It can be stressful at times but it certainly keeps you busy!

How has your job changed since you started?
The first couple of months were a huge learning curve for me as working within a company as big as HP was different to anything I have done before. It took a few months to learn not only how HP as a business operates, I also had to learn how the account I was working in operated also, as well as learning the software and processes required for my new role. Due to this I spent a lot of time training and shadowing colleagues in order to gain an understanding of how everything works. Since then I have gained a lot more confidence in my ability, and have become more familiar with the various aspects of the work. This has allowed me to take on a lot more responsibility and have a much higher workload than I did in the first few months, which can only improve the more I continue to learn.

What are the best and worst things about your job?
Coming into HP there was a lot of new software and technology I had never worked with as a student in university. Since joining I have had to learn how to use a great number of systems in order to perform my day-to-day job. On top of this I have also had to learn the processes and regulations within the MoD account so there has been a lot of things I have had to learn. Luckily everyone has been so nice, and everyone from my Graduate and Work Managers down to the other Graduates have always been happy to answer any questions I have had. No matter how trivial the question is it is always best to ask. I have quickly learned that more often than not someone else has been sitting wondering the exact same thing as well!
The worst thing about the job so far is moving to a new rotation has meant having to leave a great team of people behind. Working with a new group of people is an exciting prospect though, and I am looking forward to my time within my new role. But it is important to maintain good working relationships with my previous team also.

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What one key piece of advice would you give to a student wishing to get into your line of work?
Be proactive! Working within the technical field is a constant learning process and it is vital to keep as educated as possible in order to stay relevant. This can be as big as learning to work with a new piece of technology or software, or as small as learning a new shortcut or process within an existing piece of software. There is never a shortage of things to learn, and working with HP on the ITO Graduate Development Programme will provide plenty of opportunities for you to learn new things!

A guest blog by Scott Lang – BEng (Hons) Networked Systems Engineering at GCU– Graduated in 2014

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