Emma Holmes, IT graduate trainee
By Emma Holmes, IT graduate trainee
In some ways I think I am lucky, most people finish school not knowing what to do next, for me the choice was clear; I have always wanted to work within IT. I love how diverse IT is. When it came to picking subjects to study at school double IT at GCSE and A-Level was a no brainer. The problem came when it was time to pick university courses. I didn’t know what aspect of IT I wanted to do, as I enjoyed it all.
In the end, BSc Computing at Teesside University allowed me to continue developing my knowledge and skills in a variety of different aspects of IT. Through the three year course I was able to pick the modules that stretched my capabilities. I found I really enjoyed the web and multimedia design modules available, mixed with general IT. Through these I developed new skills including coding a website from scratch and designing graphics for both print and the web. The ability to choose a variety of modules meant I left university with a BA Web and Multimedia Design degree.
To support myself through university I worked as a pharmacy assistant gaining new knowledge about health and an appreciation of how instrumental IT systems are within health. With a new found interest in the health system and a love for IT when I discovered the HSCIC’s (Health and Social Care Information Centre) IT Graduate Trainee Scheme, I jumped at the chance. I have the opportunity to experience four different areas of the HSCIC, working in a range of different aspects of IT within two years.
I am almost at the end of my first year on the scheme. For the first six months I worked in the Spine team testing several of their applications, such as the Summary Care Record, which helps authorised staff in emergencies access patient’s key details. I found this fascinating and it made me realise how important the applications and services the HSCIC provides are. Testing was not something I had ever considered before as a job, now it is definitely an option.
For my second placement I chose to work within the communications team. Here I update the organisation’s website and look into new ways to increase the HSCIC’s social media presence. As part of this we recently had some Q&A sessions with statisticians through Twitter for World Stats Day. I am very interested in social media and its growth and how organisations can develop their business through it.
The scheme has definitely helped me build my confidence. I recently promoted the HSCIC’s IT Graduate Trainee Scheme at a student careers fair, I have also had my picture on leaflets, social media and in the HSCIC annual report. The HSCIC is providing me opportunities to further myself in many different areas of IT, which I had never considered before. I look forward to continuing my journey here.
My future aspirations are to find a job which will help me to further my skills both technically and professionally. I want to continue to push myself further and become a more confident person. Ideally my future job will give me the opportunity to carry on using many different aspects of IT.