Blog - IT Graduates
Hear from some of our current crop of IT Graduates in our regularly updated blog below.
George Deluchi - IT Graduate
Name: George Deluchi
Job: IT Graduate
Location: Havant, Hampshire
2017 - February
As I mentioned in my last blog post, my current rotation was extended for a further 3 months. That time is nearly up and I (along with the other Graduates) will be rotating at the end of March. The past few weeks have been challenging, we received feedback on the budget submission and I have been working on other related activities to ensure everything is in place for the new financial year.
To help the next Graduate who will be joining the department in April, I have started documenting the process taken to the work I have been completing since September. To do this, I am using a modelling tool to create process flows and work instructions. This will provide them with a documented process to take to the task in the future.
Last month I was invited to attend a Corporate IT Forum (CITF) workshop on ‘Changing the Profile of the IT Leadership Team’. If you do not know already, the CITF is a membership organisation for IT professionals and SSE are a member. The workshop provided an opportunity for attendees to meet and work with peers from other member organisations to discuss how we feel the leadership in IT will change in the future. We were split into three groups, each focusing on a different aspect: People, Place and Promotion. The work we produced will be part of a wider leadership debate with senior leaders at a future event later this year.
Finally, a few weeks ago we all had the opportunity to help Matt with the testing of an application he has been creating during his rotation in Emerging Technologies ahead of the go live date to the business. It was a great experience and we all learnt a thing or two about the Networks side of the business.
2016 - December
As I am writing this blog post, it is coming to the end of December and I am finishing for Christmas in a couple of days’ time. Whilst the other Graduates have been preparing to rotate to new departments in January, I have taken the decision to stay in my current rotation for another 3 months. This will allow me to see the IT Budget for the next financial year through to completion; something which I have been providing input to over the past month.
One of the good things about the IT Graduate Scheme here at SSE is our rotations are flexible and we have the opportunity to complete 2 elective periods of 3 months in duration over the 2 year scheme.
Last month I mentioned Safety is SSE’s number 1 value and this month I had the opportunity to attend a Road Safety presentation about ‘The Fatal 4’: Speeding, using a Mobile Phone at the wheel, driving whilst over the limit and the consequences of not wearing a seatbelt. An eye opening presentation with real life examples which reminded me of the importance of driving safely.
With it being December there have been many festive events taking place throughout the month. The Graduates and Degree Apprentices at Penner Road organised a Secret Santa and we had a Christmas Party at a restaurant in Gunwharf Quays. I also arranged a Festive Lunch for my team.
2016 - November
I am now well over half way through my first rotation in Strategy and Performance. I have had a great start to the graduate scheme and have really enjoyed my first few months here. Everyone I have met has been supportive, welcoming and helpful.
In my last blog post, I talked a bit about the tasks I was undertaking during my rotation. This month we have started the budgeting process for the next financial year. This has involved looking at software requirements and ensuring they are accounted for in the budget.
As you may have seen from browsing the SSE website, Safety is one of SSE’s core values which makes up the ‘SSE SET’ and is something which is embedded in the culture here. This month, the Graduates and Apprentices had the opportunity to create Risk Boards for display in the offices at Penner Road. Now you’re probably thinking, what is a Risk Board? This is exactly what entered my mind when we were asked to create them. Risk Boards are visual displays exploring a chosen safety theme as decided by the individual or group. IT are responsible for three Risk Boards in Penner Road so we were asked to form three teams: one made up of last year’s Graduates, another made up of this year’s Graduates and another made up of this year’s Apprentices. Our group created a Risk Board which focused on Winter Awareness and staying safe during Winter.
We had a competition which was led by my rotation manager to find the best Risk Board as voted for by IT. Unfortunately, my group did not win however every person was presented with a high visibility jacket for taking part. Very handy for being seen on the road during the winter months ahead.
I look forward to hopefully meeting a few of you next month at the Assessment Centres for the next intake of IT Graduates. If I can offer you one bit of advice it would be to research SSE, find out about our values (the ‘SSE SET’) and think of examples of tasks and situations you can relate to them.
2016 - October
I'm George Deluchi and I am an IT Graduate from the University of Chichester. I graduated this year after studying IT Management for Business and joined the IT Graduate Development Programme on 5 September in Havant, along with six other Graduates and eleven Degree Apprentices.
I am now six weeks in and cannot believe how much I have been involved in already; time has gone so fast! During the first two weeks we were all involved in an induction programme. This provided us with an opportunity to get to know one another, meet with all senior managers from across the IT organisation to understand how IT is structured in the business and take part in four training workshops: A Corporate Induction, Communication and Presentation Skills, Teambuilding and Personal Effectiveness in the workplace. We even had the opportunity to meet the Chief Executive, Alistair Phillips-Davies and the Finance Director, Gregor Alexander. During the induction we were tasked with creating two presentations in groups to present back at the end of the two-week period.
Week three saw the start of my first rotation which is in Strategy and Performance. The Strategy and Performance team are responsible for the delivery of an effective IT operating model. I am currently working with the Contract Management and Process Analysis teams. In Contract Management I am meeting with IT owners for software and asking them questions about their software licenses and usage. This is certainly testing my Negotiation Skills! In Process Analysis, I am analysing, modelling and documenting business processes.
During week four I completed my first Be the Difference community day. Be the Difference is a programme at SSE which allows members of staff to take a day out of their usual jobs roles to support projects in the community. I went with six members of the Strategy and Performance team to the trading centre of a local charity, The Rowans Hospice. The trading centre is where donations are taken from collection bins or donation bags left outside people’s front doors to be sorted. We were tasked with sorting the donation bags (both Bric-a-brac and Clothing) checking for safety and quality before they are transported and sold across the charities 18 high-street shops located throughout Hampshire. It was a very enjoyable day, our assistance was greatly appreciated by the charity and we all left with a great sense of achievement.
I will be posting a new blog entry every month so look out for my next post in November!
Patrick Lucey - IT Graduate
Name: Patrick Lucey
Job: IT Graduate
Location: Havant, Hampshire
2017 - January to September
I’ve been with SSE for 1 year now and have worked in 2 different directorates, Retail and Group IT. Since January, I’ve spent 6 months with the Digital Working Programme (DWP) and 3 months with the IT Portfolio Office (ITPfO). All of the experience I’ve gained in the last 9 months has been highly beneficial for my development as it has all been centred around the world of Projects within SSE IT. As someone who aspires to be a Project Manager I can honestly say that this scheme was tailored very well to my needs.
The graduate scheme is set up so that you spend 3 months in each rotation, however, if you particularly enjoy a rotation/feel that you are getting a lot of benefit from being there, then you will usually have the opportunity to extend the rotation for an extra 3 months. This is what I chose to do in DWP.
The programme itself encompassed two of the largest projects currently in operation at SSE, the implementation of IT in our new building, Reading, Forbury Place, and the wider role out of Office 365 and Surface Hubs across 8 key sites. The reason that I chose to extend my rotation for an extra 3 months is that I was able to see the end of the Forbury Project, and the beginning of the Digital Working Programme (Yes the project has the same name as the Programme, a bit confusing I know). This helped me to gain a more holistic view of the Programme lifecycle. So what are the pros and cons of the rotation?
|Able to attend Executive Steering Group meetings||Small/No impact to decision making due to scale of the project|
|High workload and lots to get involved in||Not a lot of time spent with the reporting/governance side of the projects.|
|Work with a wide variety of teams, great for networking.|
|Team is highly supportive of the Graduate scheme.|
|Ability to run with a piece of work and given the trust to see it through to completion.|
The ITPfO is split into 3 teams which focus on the Governance and Assurance, Reporting and Finance that each of the directorates adhere to. In the rotation I spent 6 weeks with the finance team, understanding their Business As Usual (BAU) activities and working on process improvement.
My main chunk of work centred around improving the current Finance Tracker that is used and submitted by every IT project in the company to the Finance Team. This was a new experience for me, as the closest match to a background in finance that I have is an A level in maths. It was, however, a very useful experience. Understanding how the Finance Tracker works from the perspective of the Finance Team gave me the insight into how they use it and the common mistakes that are made by Project Managers who fill it out. As someone who aspires to be a Project Manager, once the scheme is complete, this was valuable experience for me.
Following on from my 6 weeks with the Finance Team I moved over to the Governance and Assurance Team. The Governance and Assurance Team are primarily responsible for maintaining and updating the framework (process’s and documentation) that SSE uses for all of its projects. Whilst with the team I spent most of my time working on the adapting our current framework tool to include the, what is new for SSE, agile methodology. This was, once again, a highly useful experience for someone who is looking forwards to a career as a Project Manager as it gave me an insight and deeper understanding of why our framework is the way it is, future changes that will come about and key skills I can focus on in order to make sure I am able to work effectively with the future framework.
So that concludes my last 9 months with SSE. I hope that you have enjoyed the read and I’ll see you in a couple of months.
2016 - October
Who am I?
So I just want to give a brief description of myself and the type of things that interest me before diving into what graduate life is like at SSE. My name is Patrick Lucey and I’m a 24 year old graduate with a degree in History and a Masters in Computing. I studied at the widely unheard of Edge Hill University (Just outside of Liverpool as I tell my friends) and graduated in December 2015. Having spent most of my life in the south of England, living in Horsham for 21 years, I wanted to go to a university a long way from home in, what became, a fairly successful attempt to become more independent from my family. I’ve recently finished my rugby career, after many years playing both Union and League the sheer volume of injuries (broken leg, broken ankle, torn ligaments, twisted knee and a few other smaller ones) left me with little real choice. Since quitting rugby I’ve had more spare time in order to pick up the guitar and find myself spending more time PC gaming. Playing games on the computer is probably the thing that interest me most in life, aside from my girlfriend (Just in case she’s reading) and is something I’ve done since I was a little kid. I started off as a strategy game player; Age of Empires, Starcraft and Dawn of War but later on moved onto bigger eSport titles, League of Legends (Plat 2 Jungle Main, Definitely not a Rengar 1 trick) and CSGO (Legendary Eagle). Moving away from my personal life, whilst at work my main interests lie with Project Management and Information Security. Both of these topics were covered in my Masters degree and are also areas that I hope to explore at a deeper level now I am in a professional environment.
What will you find in this blog?
So what will this blog actually be about? Well, for the most part I intend to talk about what type of things I get up to whilst at work, do I have a lot of meetings? Who am I meeting? What tasks have I been set? Is the job interesting? A lot of these things we’ll be discovering together as life within SSE is still very new to me. So I hope this short introduction has been able to grab at least a little of your attention and look forward to our future discoveries within SSE. If you feel that this blog is not really for you then I implore you to have a look at some of the other graduate blogs, we all come from different walks of life and will each be able to share some of our combined experiences with you as well as some unique ones. The great thing about the SSE graduate scheme is whilst we will all be doing essentially the same thing, learning about how IT supports SSE, we will be working in different departments and exploring different areas of the business. Rotating through each directorate every 3 months will help to keep both this blog and my own day to day life highly interesting (or at least I hope it will!). Thanks for reading and I hope to speak to you again soon!
Rachel Powell - IT Graduate
Name: Rachel Powell
Job: IT Graduate
Location: Havant, Hampshire
2017 - August
The rotation I am currently in is my elective rotation, so I was able to choose an area in which I would like to work. I have taken three months away from “IT” to work in Retail, as a Digital Content Editor in the Digital team.
The team is in charge of the content of the sse.co.uk website. I’ve been learning various styles of working in an agile environment. The main focus of my work has been on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), which involves rewriting pages of our website to increase our search engine visibility.
It’s been interesting to meet the agency who we work with, and find out a bit more about how SEO works. One of the great things about this rotation is that my work will be in the public eye for all to see. It’s often quite difficult to describe what you’re doing as a Project Manager or Developer, but as a Content Editor, the work you have done is visible to everyone. I’ve had a chance to see the journey that the webpages go through, including designing, testing and deployment.
We have also started doing an additional graduate task, looking into the capabilities of Office 365, which is being rolled out to the company at the moment. As a graduate team, we are looking at the potential of some of the new applications that come with O365 such as Teams and Delve. It’s good to see the potential that these applications will have when they’re eventually rolled out to everyone.
2017 - June
I am now coming to the end of my third rotation – another rotation that has sped by (helped by having some well-deserved annual leave!). This time I have been part of the Strategy and Performance team. My main responsibility during this rotation has been looking after the Software Budget spreadsheet. The rotation is a little quiet at this time of year, as I started right at the beginning of the financial year, so most of the budgeting had already been completed. However, we have been working on reforecasting some of the values in line with any software renewals that have taken place so far. I have also created a Dashboard so that all the main financial values are automatically generated and can be seen visually, which has improved my Excel skills – always useful!
My next rotation is an elective rotation for which I have chosen to work with the Digital Content Editing team. I am looking forward to another change of scenery, particularly as I will be spending some time at the new office in Forbury Place, Reading.
Outside of rotations, I have joined up to the SSE IT’s Driving Challenge. Using a special app, our driving will be measured to see how safe our journeys are. I am hoping that this will encourage me to be an all-round safer driver, so I am looking forward to seeing how well our team will do!
2017 - March
I have nearly come to the end of my second rotation, in which I have been working with the Business Intelligence Project Management team. The last three months have been very different from my first rotation which was development based. This rotation has given me a taste of what it is like to be a Project Manager. Over the three months, I have had visibility of a number of different projects. I have spent a lot of time in meetings and teleconferences; organised meetings and written up minutes; helped with weekly project updates, and had a chance to help lead on a small project.
One of my main responsibilities has been managing the team’s RAIDD (Risks, Assumptions, Issues, Dependencies and Decisions) Log. This has involved ensuring all of the project risks and issues are logged, and any necessary changes have been made on a weekly basis. The team has been supportive and helpful throughout the rotation. It took me a little while, but I feel I have built up my confidence and now understand more of the business processes (such as project governance) that help a project run smoothly. I have also had a chance to give presentations, which have been a somewhat nerve-wracking but useful experience! The team has provided me with invaluable advice and constructive criticism on the work I have done. I have also been able to learn some useful transferable skills; I hope to incorporate much of what I have learnt into future rotations.
My next rotation, commencing at the beginning of April, will be in Strategy. This will be another area in which I have little experience, so I am looking forward to the challenges and learning opportunities it will bring.
2016 - December
I have now come to the end of my first rotation. It has been a great three months with a really welcoming team. The work has been ideal for an introductory rotation – not too fast-paced but challenging. I have built my own web application; the great thing about development is that there is something physical to show for your work at the end of it. It has been an interesting journey including the conception of the project, writing up specification documents, coding, databases, testing and release. So for this rotation, three months has been the perfect length to get to grips with what the web development team does, whilst not getting too deep into the nitty gritty parts of development.
My next rotation involves Project Management and Business Intelligence, which is a very different area from web development. This is an area that I have no experience in, so I am looking forward to learning new skills, particularly interpersonal skills as this is a skillset I have not had much chance to improve upon so far. I have already discussed the rotation with my next team so have some idea of things to expect, but for the most part I think it will be a huge learning curve for me. I’m looking forward to understanding the process each project goes through, but nervous about giving presentations! I have a feeling the next three months will be a lot of hard work, but hopefully very rewarding.
2016 - November
It’s nearly the end of November and the last month seems to have gone particularly quickly. I suppose this is because I feel more settled in my role now, and can start work every day knowing what I am doing (mostly!).
I have now finished the main development of my project and have moved onto testing. This is not dissimilar from the initial build, but uses a different mind-set and styling, which has been interesting to get to grips with. It is very satisfying to write tests and then see them pass, so that I know everything is working as it should!
As well as my role in Web Development, I’ve also been helping out with some events to promote women in STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). As you are probably aware, women are very under-represented in STEM careers, and SSE is one of the many companies trying to help fix this. I have helped out with a Twitter Q&A session and did an interview with The Big Choice.
It has been really encouraging that SSE has taken an interest in trying to encourage more women into these fields. There is definitely a smaller proportion of women in IT here, but I’ve never felt at a disadvantage here; everybody is treated equally.
2016 - October
I’m originally from Newbury, Berkshire. A few years ago I graduated with a degree in Zoology from the University of Bristol; not quite so relevant to this IT Graduate job! After completing my degree, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do as a career and ended up continuing my studies doing a Postgraduate Certificate in Computer Science (also in Bristol) which gave me a basic understanding of Software Engineering and Programming from a novice perspective. I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for a career, and ended up spending seven months in an administration role in SSE’s Thatcham Office. Whilst applying for this job, I noticed the IT Graduate scheme advertised, so I also applied for the scheme. Seven months later I moved to Portsmouth and started as an IT Graduate. The rotational nature of scheme seemed perfect for me; I thought IT would be a good career fit, but I had no idea in which area of IT I would want to work.
For my first rotation I am working in Networks with the Web Development team. I was a bit apprehensive about development to begin with – it had been a fair while since I had done any coding, and I certainly hadn’t done any development with ASP.NET MVC. To begin with it was all very foreign to me, but the team have been very inclusive and I’ve had the opportunity to watch training videos as well as working on developing my own web application from scratch (with lots of help)!
I am now nearly two months into the rotation and I have learnt a lot about the company, how the team works, and development skills. Having my own mini-project to work on has been really satisfying as I’m able to see and use the result of my code! I am looking forward to the rest of my time in the web development team, it has been a great start to my time here.
Steven Dallas - IT Graduate
Name: Steven Dallas
Job: IT Graduate
Location: Havant, Hampshire
2017 - January
Hi Everyone, the last time I released a blog post I was one month into my first rotation in the Group IT Digital Team. I have now rotated through the Graduate Programme into the IT Portfolio Office. The Portfolio Office consists of three sub teams the Analysis and Reporting team, Finance team and Governance and Assurance team. My twelve-week rotation is split into three mini rotations to give me a more complete experience within the PfO. My first three weeks was in the Governance and Assurance, my next six weeks will be with the Finance team and finally I will return to the Governance and Assurance team for three weeks to pick up my previous work there.
During my first three weeks with the Governance and Assurance team, I focused on the Transformational Change Governance Framework. This framework is a document specifying the standards and deliverables an IT Project must follow to ensure delivery and success. My role specifically was looking at how we can streamline our current standard to ensure fast delivery of future projects within SSE. My main deliverable was to propose a “To Be” standard in a format that allows colleagues to directly compare and identify changes made.
This last week I have been working in the Finance team. This is positioning me at the front line of project finances allowing me to work with highly confidential information and adding responsibilities to my role. We are in the early stages of my six-week spell within the Finance team so I will be sure to update you all on my progress and experiences as I go through my second rotation.
Hope you enjoyed reading my second post, until next time!
2016 - October
I'm Steven Dallas - an IT Graduate working for SSE, based in Havant, Hampshire. I am originally from the North of Scotland and have Graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a degree in Business Information Systems.
I was born in Inverness, Scotland, where I grew up and lived for 17 years. After school I attended the University of Strathclyde where I studied for four years. Once I graduated I completed a 12-month IT internship which greatly increased my passion for both Technology and Business. I stumbled across SSE's opening for IT Graduates online and as soon as I saw it I was interested.
On the last stage of the recruitment process I attended an assessment centre in Havant, Hampshire (a long way from home) after which I was offered a place on the Graduate Scheme in the Havant office. It was a difficult decision to make but I took the plunge and moved down to Portsmouth eight weeks ago. A big move, but so far I have had great exposure to senior IT personnel within the company and I've been enjoying getting settled into a new job in a completely new location.
I am five weeks into my current rotation which is located in the Group IT business working on both the Digital Working Programme and the Forbury project. The Digital Working Programme is a programme that’s goal is to introduce a new way of working to SSE by introducing new innovative technologies such as SurfaceHubs and Office365 to employees to encourage flexible working and provide the tools for all employees to work as effectively as possible. Forbury place is a new Southern HQ for SSE located in Reading and is a state of the art office that a number of employees will be relocating too.
I am thoroughly enjoying my time here at SSE, in particular I feel I have been very lucky with my first rotation having the first sighting of the new technology SSE is introducing. I’m looking forward to see what else SSE has to offer in my coming rotations, in particular, my future rotation in the Project Management Office.