Earn as you Learn... everything you need to know before you apply!

Date posted
6 November 2019
Reading time
20 Minutes
Rachel McGrath

Earn as you Learn... everything you need to know before you apply!

Thinking of applying for Earn as you Learn, our apprenticeship scheme where school leavers study for a degree in Computing Systems part time, while getting valuable real-world experience while they do it? We interviewed some of the students to find the answers to the questions you need!

James Wright Year 1

What does a typical day look like for you in your role?

I'm currently in the Smart product team (the testing product for Workday), for my first six month rotation. A typical day would be to come in, sit down, get my laptop out and start trying to squash system test bugs (I haven't managed to squash any yet, but it's my first week here so my throughput isn't going to be optimal yet!)

What's been your highlight of your Earn as you Learn experience so far?

Getting to meet new people and talk to folk from all over the business. The four weeks of training I received was also a big highlight, we were taught about MySQL, Java and full stack web development along with some softer skills along the lines of presentation giving and interpersonal skills.

What should I expect if I get a spot on Earn as you Learn?

Lots! Kainos seems to have a great programme lined up for apprentices and I'm looking forward to what I'll be doing in the future!

Sarah Quinn Year 3

What does a typical day look like for you in your role?

I originally joined Kainos as an apprentice software engineer in 2017, but have since moved into the role of Workday Integration Consultant. At a day-to-day level in this role, I engage with customers, more experienced consultants and third party vendors to integrate different systems - creating bespoke solutions for our customers. Becoming a Workday Consultant requires weeks of certification courses at first; and the work can be quite technical. But, after spending time as a software engineer, I love having a customer facing role where I'm still faced with technical challenges - the perfect combination for me!

What's been your highlight of your Earn as you Learn experience so far?

The highlight of EAYL for me so far, has been the opportunity to help lead Kainos Code Camp in 2019. It was incredibly fun and rewarding to run that kind of summer camp for almost 200 teenagers - albeit a bit hectic! The best part was being able to use my experience and my connections from working in Kainos, to create a great schedule full of technical workshops and panels from industry professionals.

I spent two weeks away from my usual role, running the camp with other members of staff, it took a lot of hard work and preparation, but it was well worth it! The attendees and everyone involved had a great time.

What should I expect if I get a spot on Earn as you Learn?

You should expect a lot of nerves which is normal - it's can be daunting joining the 'corporate world' when you're young or when you feel less qualified than others. 

The great thing about EAYL though, is the training at the beginning - you get brought up to speed on various technical areas. You'll come away feeling more confident in your abilities and having gotten to know your fellow apprentices very well!

Mostly you should expect 'opportunities' because you'll be faced with lots of them, whether it's assisting someone with a problem or helping out at an open night for EAYL - there will be plenty of chances for you to grow your career and your relationships with others in Kainos. Make the most of them!

 

Jessica McMillen Year 2

What does a typical day look like for you in your role?

During my first year in Kainos, as part of Earn as you Learn I got to experience working in two different business units. Currently, I am working as a Systems Engineer in Kainos' central teams. My main role is to provide support for all of Kainos' employees, through a help desk, providing hardware and software and fixing any problems they may have with either. A typical day for me starts off with breakfast, (supplied by the company)! Having a look through new support tickets and picking up any that are high priority, continuing with my outstanding tickets and answering help desk calls. I am doing all of this whilst making sure I am providing good customer experience to all my colleagues that I interact with. Although this routine is normally the same every day, each ticket I work on is different and some require challenging fixes - which I like because I enjoy a challenge!

What's been your highlight of your Earn as you Learn experience so far?

I have had so many highlights in the past year - it's amazing how much you can fit into a year! I have participated in many STEM outreach events; representing Kainos at careers fairs, presenting at the Earn as you Learn open nights, being a mentor at CodeCamp and other events. My favourite was CodeCamp during the Summer where I had the best time meeting young people who all share an interest in IT and I could really see how much they appreciated the opportunity and how interested they were in learning more about Kainos. This is really rewarding for me, to encourage other young people like I was to get involved in STEM and also to promote Kainos and all its amazing opportunities. I know it really encouraged me anytime I heard talks - especially from girls -  in STEM and IT careers so I want to do the same and really promote where I work and the Earn as you Learn scheme as it really is the best opportunity out there for anyone interested in a career in IT.

What should I expect if I get a spot on Earn as you Learn?

The short answer is to expect a lot! To list a few expectations; you will meet lots of great people. Expect lots of support from dedicated Earn as you Learn leaders and mentors for both in work and uni. You will get lots of training through Academies, the training programs provided by Kainos and on the job training from others on your team. You will get to experience different areas of Kainos in your first year to gain knowledge and tailor your future in the company depending on what you like or dislike. Finally, expect to have fun and enjoy the experience of Earn as you Learn with others your age, making lots of new friends and supporting each other on this fantastic opportunity.

Apply for Earn as you Learn before 2nd January!

About the author

Rachel McGrath