Louise Patterson, IT Project Manager at Asda
By Louise Patterson, IT Project Manager at Asda
I joined Asda’s Graduate Scheme straight from university as a Project Manager in IT and now I’ve been here for seven years.
I had never really thought about a career in technology until my third year of university when I completed a 12 month placement at IBM. My degree was a BSc in Marketing and I wanted to do a placement related to that subject, but ended up being offered a role in IT.
Although it wasn’t something I’d necessarily planned, my role was providing support to teams managing the IT strategy and projects and I thoroughly enjoyed my placement year. I even went back the following summer to support a project. That year really opened up my eyes to the career opportunities in technology and changed my view that you have to be a ‘techy’ to work in IT – I wasn’t at all!
In my final year of university, I’d heard really good things about the opportunities on the Asda Graduate Scheme. When I saw the role in IT at Asda as a project manager, I thought it was a perfect opportunity, so I applied, was successful, and started a couple months after graduating and I’m still here now.
Since joining Asda I’ve had opportunities to work in many different roles across IT – I’ve now got experience in project management, service management, service design and transition and I am currently leading a programme management office, where we manage the portfolio and governance for all IT projects in Asda.
My advice would be to make sure you are open to opportunities, particularly early on in your career. If an opportunity comes up that you didn’t plan or think you wanted to do, don’t dismiss it immediately, think about what experience you will gain that will benefit your future career, it doesn’t have to be long term.
Broadening your understanding of various areas of technology will help your career in the future and you never know – you might even end up enjoying it!