SOGETI UK BLOG

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are” – e.e. cummings

As I myself have recently learned, at Sogeti in the UK, graduate training, journey begins with six weeks of intensive training. By the end of this rather exhausting but energising period, you’ll be certified in ISEB, have learnt some essential soft skills you didn’t know you needed, been exposed to a working environment (for some a completely new experience!), and have practical experience as well as having studied the theory. These all seem to be crucial stages in the making of a test consultant.

After these six weeks of training, if you are really lucky you will go straight to a client site. If not, and most aren’t, you’ll be in a place (very familiar to many of us) called “the bench”. This means you’re waiting to be put on a client site. From personal experience, I cannot stress enough how important this time is – it’s a valuable opportunity to learn, learn and learn! Research, read books, or complete an online course – in short, I advise any Sogeti graduate to start increasing their skill set and what they have to offer, even before you’re placed on your first client site.

Now for the nerve-wracking part – when you’re actually placed on the client site. I’d like to share some basic ground rules I’ve learnt during my first few client assignments:

1. Prepare yourself mentally: think about your attitude, image and how you come across to the client especially, but also to your Sogeti colleagues.

2. Be yourself: don’t try too hard. You were hired because of the values you can bring to the company and clients, so don’t try to behave in a certain way simply in the hope of impressing others.

3. Give yourself time to fit in: when a new person joins an existing team, team members have already set their roles and patterns of working. Your goal is to work effectively with other people: with some, this will be easy; with others, less so. As long as the service you’re delivering and role you’re carrying out aren’t affected, that’s fine.

4. If you’re nervous, it will pass. When going into a new situation, it’s natural to feel uncomfortable with the new people, environment, politics, community… My advice, just go with the flow. A good team will help you to make this shift, and each challenging situation will become easier. Something that also helps to smooth any transition is support and supervision. If no one offers it, suggest it – it’s important to build a good relationship with your test manager, and asking for help when you need to should only strengthen this relationship’s foundations.

To sum up: be yourself, be calm, listen, be open, be aware of all new experiences and take the time to learn.

In the end, what I’m trying to get across is this: you’re in for a great experience. Aim high and give it your all to get there. That’s everything I can teach you based on my personal experiences as a trainee consultant. Now – go get ’em!

For more information about Sogeti’s Graduate Programme email us, check out our Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Saher Ahmed AUTHOR:
Saher is a graduate test consultant at Sogeti UK.

Posted in: Opinion, Sogeti graduate recruitment      
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“The difference between try and triumph is a little umph” ~ Author Unknown.

“You’re only a graduate” — that possibly undermining phrase again. Does it sound familiar? Yet contrary to any assumptions you may make, being a graduate – especially at Sogeti – is no walk in the park. I have been here only a few months but I can, hand on heart, say that, from what I know from my friends who graduated with me, Sogeti treats graduates differently from many other corporate companies.

For starters, graduates are not looked down upon as being at the bottom of the chain. And we’re certainly not given menial coffee-making tasks. From Day One, we are presented with real responsibilities and high expectations.

What has struck me is that it is the people that you work with, and those around you, who are the ones that make the real difference in a job here – rather than just the work tasks themselves. No matter who you are, you’ll always see someone willing to lend a hand, answer your questions or nudge you toward the right direction — and from what I can see they do it because they want to, not because they have to.

Many graduates I know worry that they will remain in the same position far longer than they need to, making little progress. Admittedly, after reading many horror stories, I began to think that view might be true. But this for me has now completely changed. I have only been here a few months but I can genuinely say there seem to be great opportunities for advancing. And what you do here as an individual makes a real difference, not only to other Sogeti employees around you but also the clients you work with, and the difference you make is recognised, appreciated and valued.

I’m not by any means claiming it’s going to be easy to climb up the ladder. As the saying goes, “Anything in life worth having is worth working for’.” At Sogeti I’m getting the message that you need to strive hard to prove you deserve what you want. However, unlike the stereotypical big, faceless corporations where many graduates find themselves lost, Sogeti seems to be different by ensuring that graduates, just like all other employees, are treated as individuals. It’s amazing how everyone gets to know you, takes the time to say hello and knows your name. Your presence and your progress are noticed.

As a graduate, when you first begin at Sogeti UK, you receive an immense amount of support, mentoring and training (in other words, you ‘feel loved’!). You are presented with everything you need to develop into a credible consultant. And although you may eventually become qualified, stepping up from this — in order to be established as a good consultant – YOU are the one who needs to put the hard work and dedication in to get to the next level. You’ll be handed all the resources possible, but if you’re just here to get by, you’re not going to get far. Sogeti expects 100 percent effort and commitment. And now that I am part of the team, so do I!

For more information about Sogeti’s Graduate Programme email us, check out our Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Saher Ahmed AUTHOR:
Saher is a graduate test consultant at Sogeti UK.

Posted in: Opinion, Sogeti graduate recruitment      
Comments: 0
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