A chat with Tom Leach
Tom initially applied for work experience with us on 31st January 2019 but this was put on hold pending the outcome of the Apprentice recruitment as Tom had been shortlisted for interview.
Unfortunately, Tom was unsuccessful at interview, however his application for work experience was immediately approved and processed, with him finally joining our teams in Trentham for a week of work experience starting 5th August 2019.
Read Tom’s interview on his work experience week.
How did you hear about the S&SHIS Work Experience Programme?
I received an email alert from the NHS Jobs site which I had subscribed to – the job advert said there would be a number of IT apprenticeships available, advising to take part in work experience with S&SHIS, so I sent an email asking how to arrange this.
How did you find the application process to apply for work experience with S&SHIS?
It was very straight forward to apply, I just sent an email to the address given in the job advert, attached my CV, and had a reply within hours.
Which team(s) did you work with during your work experience?
I worked a day with the Service Desk team, 3 days with the Desktop Support team and another day with the Network & Systems team.
Did you feel your work experience was well planned – what did we do well and is there anything you feel we could have done better?
There were lots of duties that widened my knowledge of what goes on within an NHS IT workplace.
Perhaps a little less travelling between NHS sites would have allowed more time working on certain jobs with having just one week.
Did you feel that you were made to feel welcome and well supported during your placement with S&SHIS?
Definitely – everyone that I met was very friendly and welcoming. This made me feel comfortable to ask questions when I was unsure about anything.
What were the highlights of your work experience with S&SHIS – what aspects did you enjoy the most?
My favourite part of work experience was helping install phones at an NHS facility. It felt rewarding completing the job as all the phone lines were successfully installed and linked.
How do you feel this work experience will help you to secure future employment in S&SHIS?
Working alongside multiple IT teams in the S&SHIS I think certainly gives me an advantage in terms of securing future employment as I have had direct relevant experience in the workplace. This includes learning about the IT systems used such as the active directory.
How do you feel this work experience will help you to secure future employment externally, in other organisations?
Having experience working in an IT workplace is most definitely beneficial when applying to outside organisations as it shows you have gained some knowledge working around IT systems.
It shows employers you are willing to do extra and I am sure this has also helped with my applications to university as I have had offers from all the universities I applied to.
What have you learned from the experience and what advice could you offer to anyone else interested in a career in IT?
I learned lots of skills during my week of work experience – from installing new software onto NHS laptops, to communicating with new colleagues. There was always something of interest. I’d definitely advise anyone interested in a career in IT to take part in work experience.
So finally, what are your next steps likely to be?
I have been offered places at university, as well as applying for degree apprenticeships. I am also waiting for the NHS apprenticeships to open so I can apply too. At the moment, due to the COVID-19 situation these are presently on hold but I am keeping all my options open.