RSS Feed

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.


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


The Role of a UWS SIE Intern – Angela Castellano

This month we asked UWS SIE intern to tell us about her role with SIE and how it is helping her gain key employability skills for the future…

I am a first year Web and Mobile Development student at UWS. Right after starting my university experience I learnt that good grades alone are not enough. What an employer wants is someone bold, able to handle responsibilities and step out from their comfort zone.

Soon after starting classes in September, I started to look for an opportunity to develop my transferable skills. Being a first year student I didn’t expect to find a great internship in my field right away, therefore volunteering for different organisations looked like the best option. This is how I came across The Scottish Institute for Enterprise. SIE is a charity organisation that gives free business advice to students and also helps them develop employability skills through workshops, events and competitions – both locally and all around Scotland.

I first got involved with SIE as a volunteer ambassador after my module coordinator forwarded to his students the flyer promoting the ambassador position. After a couple of months, the SIE paid intern position at UWS became available and I decided to apply. SIE employs one student in every Scottish university and this role is to promote the organisation through stalls, lecture shout-outs, social media and events. I got the role and I had the chance to engage with a large number of students coming from all different backgrounds. It inspired me so much to witness how brave some of them were to challenge themselves by opening their own business in their early 20’s while still studying.

I am aware that I still have a long way ahead of me before graduating, but after this experience with SIE I feel more confident and inspired by my own ideas and possibilities.

There are many ways to get involved with SIE:

• Participate to the monthly competitions. All a student needs to do it is to have an idea that they believe could evolve into a business.

• Come along to one of the free workshops organised in the UWS campuses. These are held by a trainer and are extremely interactive and interesting. They are a great way to develop new skills.

• The intern’s role is also to organise and run small events – in the past months the Paisley campus held a Game Jam competition and a Movie Night organised by the intern and the ambassadors.

• SIE also has a big event open to all students in Scotland: the annual SIE SUMMIT. At this year’s event, the students had the opportunity to listen to business owners that started as entrepreneurs themselves, ask questions to an employability panel and to network with other students.

It is often wrongly assumed that SIE can only be useful for business students! What’s extremely important to understand is how the Scottish Institute for Enterprise welcomes students from every field of study.

By Angela Castellano

International Nurses Day 12th May 2015


International Nurses Day on May 12th gives everyone in the careers and employability team at UWS a great chance to thank and congratulate our nursing students and graduates for the amazing effort and dedication they put into their studies and career! The event, to commemorate the birth of Florence Nightingale, is an international day to focus on nurses and the role the profession has in every society.

The theme for 2015 is “Nurses: A Force for Change; Cost Effective and Care Effective” and organisations such as the Royal College of Nursing or International Council of Nurses have more information on the theme and the profession.

Of course, if you are a current nursing student the careers staff will work with you as part of your programme to make sure you have as much advice and guidance as possible to compete in the jobs market when you graduate, but if you are currently in the profession remember we also work with graduates up to 2 years after completing. So, if you are considering your nursing career path or need help with that Band 6 application statement, remember we can help!

For now, we wish you every success in your career, and take the time around this International Nursing Day to reflect on the great work you do every day as a nurse. For those non-nurses reading this, have a look at the role and the demands of the job and the amazing work of nurses all over the world – you might just find a possible career path……..!

Women have historically been underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and maths ie STEM fields.

We asked Jennifer Reid, a UWS School of Engineering student, to tell us about her role as an Interconnect representative:

Interconnect is a programme run by Equate Scotland to encourage women into underrepresented subjects such as the STEM subjects. The programme also forms a support network and various programmes to encourage women already in these areas of work. Interconnect has many representatives spread out over the majority of the universities in Scotland and when I was selected for UWS I was the first one for the University.

My first step was to attend a meeting with the other reps and get an idea and advice on how to set up a group. As I want to be a teacher in the future, I decided that as well as support girls in my university, I wanted to encourage high school children to choose subjects that would allow them to move into STEM subjects at a higher level.

In order to do this effectively I became a STEM Ambassador. To gain members for the group I attended the Freshers Fair on the Hamilton campus and contacted the careers advisor for Engineering (as this is my subject) as well as my head lecturer who were both very helpful and offered any support possible.

I attended as many of the Equate workshops and networking events as possible to make contacts, and these connections led to site visits for the group of about 8 girls to Bridge of Weir Leather and Rolls Royce. During my first trimester being a representative I also went along to a careers fair at a local high school to promote Equates philosophies and offer advice to any potential STEM students.

Through the role I have been able to join the committee who are applying for UWS to gain their Athena Swan award and have been able to discuss continuing Equate’s work within the university with the Manager for Equality and Diversity.

In the future I am planning for two women in the industry to come to the University and give a talk to the group about their experiences. I hope to continue working closely with the university and would like the work done at Hamilton campus to be spread across the other campuses as well and to include more disciplines.

For more information visit:

You can also contact Jennifer via her student email account:

Whether it is about Church or Chocolate for you, the Careers and Employability Team at UWS want to wish you a Happy Easter!

Happy Easter

Whether it is about Church or Chocolate for you, the Careers and Employability Team at UWS want to wish you a Happy Easter!

This time of year is very appropriate to make use of our service, whether you start to plan ahead to the next year of your course and what you could be involved in, or are approaching the end of your course and are thinking about graduate jobs or postgraduate study. We are on every campus so make use of the help and expertise we offer.

For now though, we couldn’t resist a few intriguing Easter facts (we really are a mine full of information you know…..!)

Easter Fact 1: Every child in the UK receives an average of 8.8 Easter eggs every year – double their recommended calorie intake for a whole week (data was not available for how many eggs a UWS student receives……)

Easter Fact 2: When people munch a chocolate Easter bunny, 76 per cent bite off the ears first, 5 per cent opt for the feet and 4 per cent go straight for the tail. Psychometric analysis of what this says about you can probably be found by a careers adviser…….

Easter Fact 3: The tallest chocolate Easter egg was made in Italy in 2011. Standing 10.39 metres tall and weighing 7,200 kg, it was taller than a giraffe and heavier than an elephant. We are unsure of the exact approach taken to eat it……..

Easter Fact 4: Before the exchanging of chocolate eggs (in the early 1900’s) gifts consisted of decorated chicken eggs and stuffed hollow cardboard eggs. See kids, you don’t know how lucky you are these days……….!

Easter Fact 5: Different countries celebrate Easter in different ways. In Sweden they do not have an Easter Bunny, they have an Easter Wizard!

And on that magical note, we are off. Happy Easter everybody!


This post was brought to you by Colin Dewar, Careers Team Leader

Hospitality – Not just for Hospitality Graduates – Vivieanne Carr

Premier Inn

As I look around the room of my colleagues of very successful hotel operation managers one wouldn’t be absurd to assume that we are all a products of years of hospitality experience, hospitality graduates and masters. Fortunately you would be completely wrong! We are all successful professionals but that’s really where the similarities end. We all have various backgrounds, degrees and career paths which have lead us here.

I currently have a BA Hons degree in Business Studies Marketing & Management and have always believed that I would use my degree to go into the marketing world but after a few years of post university “wandering” I wandered into a profession that I never believed would make so much use of my skills and ultimately be something that I really enjoy and passionate about. Although I have a degree in a specific discipline I utilise my skills on a business platform. Here are some of the Types of skills that I use on a daily basis:
-Building & Planning(I have done 2 new openings)
-Food & Beverage
-Education (I have 9 Apprentices)

I have spent the last few years refining any skill gaps that I have identified and attended management development programmes. Everyday I use my knowledge from university and from life experience. I now lead a team of 60+ and run the #1 hotel in Glasgow next to the worlds second busiest concert venue.

Premier Inn is the UK’s biggest hotel chain and we have really identified the need to open hospitality to all disciplines. Premier Inn are opening a new hotel in the UK every 10 days at the moment and 80% of our manager are internally recruited. In Scotland last year we recruited 8 people onto the Operation Manager graduate scheme. Out of 8 graduates only 2 have specific industry related degrees, the others have disciplines including HR, Accounting, English and History. We strongly believe that you will posses all of the behaviours that make you a successful leader by the time you graduate. Any other skill gaps can be addressed through:

• first-class mentoring sessions from senior managers within our Operations and HR teams
• fast track management development programmes
• specialist workshops to develop business management, leadership and key hospitality skills
• high profile networking events with guest speakers and business leaders
• business projects to shape the future of our company
• knowledge from the experts in specialist support centre roles

If you are graduating this year or considering your options I would recommend that you check out hospitality companies- hotel management is one of the most rewarding jobs that I have had- both professionally and personally.

Interview Presentation Tips For Success

As if going for interview wasn’t stressful enough… sometimes we are asked to give a presentation as part of the process! If the thought of this fills you with dread, read our top five tips to help:

Preparation is key!

You will be given a topic and a time limit for your presentation. You should research the topic and how it relates to the company. Be creative about sourcing information. Decide which information is relevant and collate your ideas, grouping them in themes as they emerge. Think about your audience, in order to ensure you pitch your presentation at the right level.

Get the structure right

Developing a clear structure for your presentation will help you stay focused and help your audience follow you. Have a clear message that runs through the presentation.

You should make sure you have a powerful introduction and memorable close, as these are the times when your audience will be most attentive. Ensure that your ideas are clear and come in a logical sequence.

When calculating how much time to spend on each section you should allow 10-15% for your opening, and the same for your conclusion, then the remainder of time should be spent on the main content.

Prepare visual aids

It’s important that you use a mode of presentation that you can operate with ease. There are several alternatives to the traditional PowerPoint presentation that can reflect different skills, however be cautious about being flashy in order to emphasise technical expertise as this can cause problems with audience distraction.

Do not subject your audience to “death by PowerPoint” – keep your visual aids simple and use to emphasise what you are saying rather than taking the focus away from you.

Also consider providing hand-outs for the audience to keep as a reminder of you and your presentation.

Practice, practice, practice

Rehearsing is essential to feeling confident on the day. As well as familiarising yourself with the content, you should check your timings are right.

Find what works best for you: speaking out loud to yourself in the shower, picking up presentation tactics from the Internet (TED talks are a great resource for this), or familiarising yourself with your presentation over and over.

If possible, do a dummy run in front of a friend or family member and ask for constructive feedback. Alternatively, take a video of yourself and observe what worked well and what you need to improve.

Body language

The way you deliver your presentation and how you appear to your audience is just as important as what you say. If your message, tone of delivery and body language are consistent, you will present powerfully and with impact. Nerves are natural, but you can channel a feeling of confidence simply by changing your posture. Remember to smile and to have eye contact with your audience.


Finally… remember that the audience wants you to succeed! You were invited to interview because they think you have something to offer and they want to see more. Follow these tips and show them that you are the right candidate for the job.



By Carol Vaughan, Careers & Employability Service Information Services Co-ordinator

%d bloggers like this: