Engineer engineering

Experiences as a Siemens IT graduate

Siemens IT graduate –  my career experiences so far…

On October 1st 2014 I embarked on the first step into my career in IT. After completing four years at the University of Lincoln and gaining a Masters degree I was lucky enough to be offered a place on Siemens IT Graduate Scheme. Congleton is the only Siemens site in the UK not to have an Atos controlled service desk. IT support is done internally by the IT team. Therefore, I am the only specific IT Graduate in the whole of Siemens UK. Little did I know the exposure to various IT systems that I would get within a month of starting!

The feeling of knowing that you have a position waiting for you does spur you on through the last few months of study. It also dawned on me then that I would be officially moving out of the family home and relocating to South Manchester. A few weeks of flat hunting and acquiring furniture wasn’t so bad.

The contracts finally came around mid June. It was becoming so much more real! I’d secured my flat and bought a bed so in my mind this was what ‘growing up’ was all about.

Then the day arrived that I was due to start work. It has to go down as one of the most nerve-racking days of my life. I remember walking into reception and the feeling of relief and drive came over me. The lady on reception already knew who I was – which I did find quite odd, and my ID badge was there waiting for me.

The first month went by so quickly. IT had had an office refit with posh new electronic desks and I’d begun to get to know people across the whole site and manufacturing areas.

My first main task was to do a massive data collection exercise to gather every item of software that was used across the Congleton site. The plan was to create a Service Catalogue of all the systems on site which IT didn’t currently have. Support, usage and a criticality level were all collected during this project. This ranged from Web Apps, Server Apps and Installed items. I also learnt a great deal more about the factory floor systems. All these systems have been developed internally over the years. Some are approaching 18 years old!

Not only did this project give me exposure to the site and its systems, it also allowed me to meet people. I visited every department and spoke to a few from each to collect the information that was needed.

As a part of the Graduate Programme, there are modules of work to be completed. We had an Orientation event at the end of October and then these modules kicked off in January. Each Graduate had to select dates for each of the 5 core modules – Project Management, Business Influencing, Customer Communications, Team Building and Career Planning.

These involved training courses which were set over a few days at other Siemens sites across the country. These modules are intended for us to understand the company and develop ourselves as young professionals. It was suggested that we kept a log book of these activities as well as reviewing each module with our line manager. I found the reviews really helpful as it enabled me to outline areas that I should work on in my day-to-day working.

It is now approaching 9 months since I started as a Siemens IT graduate in Congleton. I have completed one 6 month placement in Demand Management relating to applications and I am now working on the software roll-out of a specific data analytics software package with the Business Intelligence team. I have completed several items of work along the way: from becoming proficient in SharePoint development, using my previous knowledge of Agile to set up Sprint boards in the department and rolling out several items of software across site to improve communications.

I have almost completed a site wide cost saving exercise in fixed line telephony which has saved the site as a whole over £42,000 per year and I am due to start more cost saving initiatives in the coming months.

Even though I am very young in terms of career, I have achieved a lot since I have been here. I have also learnt that if you strive to develop yourself and search for opportunities that you will be looked after.

I’m part of the Strategy team promoting and ensuring our sustainability. I’m engaged in numerous school based activities promoting STEM subjects to Primary and soon in Secondary Schools. I’ve attended careers fairs across the country and even been back to my old University as a Siemens representative. It’s definitely been a great start to my Siemens journey.

So what’s next for me? I finish the first year of the graduate scheme in August, so I then have one year left. I am due to spend 4 months in Germany at a sister site early next year as well as participate and lead in a few new software projects in the various IT teams. 2016 is set to be an interesting year for me that’s for sure!

Zoe Redfern is an IT Graduate at the Siemens Digital Factory, Congleton, Cheshire.

Other posts in our women in tech week include:

Geeks do drink prosecco by Liz Fletcher
Network filter bypass solutions by Rhosyn Celyn
Network Automation by Leslie Parr
IX model defended by Valeria Rossi
Board level veteran sees progress by Lesley Hansen
Rural broadband solutions by Chris Conder

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