Telford College student Sammy Mitchell is reflecting on a life changing twelve months as she is about to successfully complete her full-time course and is now looking forward to a new career in IT. Having commenced the BTEC Level 3 course in Networking last September, the 24 yr old from Muxton has been fast tracked to complete the programme in one academic year instead of two. As a result of her excellent achievements Sammy has been offered a prestigious apprenticeship with Cap Gemini.
But it could have worked out so differently if Sammy had not decided to visit the college last summer. “I was at a bit of a crossroads” admits Sammy. “For one reason or another I left school without any qualifications and had been in a series of dead end jobs leading nowhere, I was determined to change this but didn’t really know how”
“I met with Tom (Chapple) the Telford College careers adviser and we had a long chat about my aspirations. I’d always had an interest in computers but had never really considered it as a career option. We discussed the networking course and it sounded really exciting. He arranged an interview for me”
Sue Burke, Course Team Leader for Computer Studies, takes up the story. “Sammy was very impressive at interview. She was very focused, confident and I explained that essentially it was a two year course but dependent on her progress we could fast track her. Sammy soon showed all the qualities that were necessary for this”.
The networking course, which can lead to careers in well paid roles in the IT sector such as technician, was a step into the unknown for Sammy but a challenge she rose to superbly. “I’ve really enjoyed the course, it’s been so interesting and the teachers have been great. I’ve learnt so much! If you told me eight months ago that I would be able to install a local area network, maintain a computer system and build in security I would not have believed you.”
Earlier this year the opportunity for an apprenticeship arose at Cap Gemini, one of the world leaders in IT solutions. The company have a strong presence in Telford. After succeeding in the first round of the recruitment process Sammy was invited to an assessment day at their local HQ. “I must confess to be being slightly nervous about it as it looked quite daunting. The group of six candidates had to undertake written tests in English and Maths followed by interviews and then a team building exercise. It was very much like the final round in Lord Sugars ‘Apprentice’ TV programme”.
Two weeks later Sammy heard the great news that she had been accepted onto the Cap Gemini apprenticeship programme and commences the twelve month programme in May. So much for those nerves! “Yes it is fantastic to be offered such a wonderful opportunity. To say I’m looking forward to it would be an understatement”.
Before she signs off from her course and takes up her profession Sammy would like to say this to others who may be considering a future in IT. “I’d encourage anyone with an interest in computing to go on the full time course or look at the Software Development programme (also run at Telford College). It is hard work, there is no escaping that, but it is definitely do-able with a bit of determination and self-belief. The support from the teachers and other students has been outstanding and they make the most complicated jargon sound so simple. It really is a course for everyone and it will provide openings to careers, higher education and as you have seen with me, an apprenticeship”.
For further information on IT courses at Telford College please contact Learner Services on 01952 642237 or E-mail: email@example.com