IT Student Placement opportunity at GMA
Working at GMA taught me far more than I thought I would learn on my year in industry. As the role was so diverse, I was picking things up in many different areas. There were always experienced engineers available to answer any questions I had, and they were happy to guide me through processes.
A highlight of my year was obtaining my 3CX advanced certification. I went from having no experience or knowledge in VOIP phone systems to having my own solo projects for clients by the end of the year.
One of the greatest things about working for GMA is you get out what you put in, so you can be given opportunities that you probably wouldn’t get at other placements.
I think I can safely say during my year at GMA I learned significantly more than the first two years of my degree combined. I finished my year with GMA having gained multiple industry certifications in areas including VOIP technologies and cybersecurity, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities both to attend external training courses as well as work closely with colleagues who were experts in their fields and happy to share their knowledge and experience.
After speaking to friends who had returned from their placements, I was keen to avoid roles where you are seen only as a student and are denied the opportunity to become properly involved in the day-to-day workings of the business. There was no such issue at GMA, upon proving myself to be a safe pair of hands I was expected to take ownership of essential tasks and procedures. Quickly becoming key member of the support team, I was working on all variety of tickets from a simple office issue to maintenance of, and upgrades to critical enterprise servers.
I thoroughly enjoyed my placement year and upon graduating from Kent with a First in Computer Science, thanks in no small part due to skills I gained throughout my placement year, I returned to GMA where I have spent the last five years furthering my knowledge and skills.
A degree in computer science already shows you are capable of coding, however, there are so many other aspects that it doesn’t show that this role offers such as experience in troubleshooting, networking, security amongst other things.
The small sized team in comparison to the big organisations allows you to get involved in tasks that you wouldn’t get anywhere near to doing in many other companies.
The heavy customer facing side of the role gave me the opportunity to speak to users from many different companies and understand how to communicate in the best way for each individual client. This in itself is a very useful skill to have and one that you won’t be able to improve at many other placements.
You get involved in real world environments and live equipment used by clients, not just test kit.
You are given the opportunity to work in a team that care and enjoy their roles and are always happy to have conversations on pretty much anything tech related.
As every day is different, the role gives you experience of having to adapt to any given which is a very important skill to have.
I completed my year in Industry at GMA during my Computer Networks degree at Middlesex University as I wanted to get some hands-on experience with technology.
During my year at GMA I sat on the help desk as a trainee 1st line engineer solving problems for customers which was both challenging and rewarding. This experience gave me a great advantage over other students as I had working knowledge of an active help desk within a busy company.
I feel the knowledge and experience I gained from my year in industry is fantastic and really helps build a foundation to build on in my final year and beyond.
After I completed my degree I returned to GMA and work there to this day.