By: Katie Hulett, Grace Kimber, Ashwin Nokku and James Stoneham
"Over 4 days this summer, Blue Prism has given us the incredible opportunity to participate in a trial work experience initiative in their London office. We are a group of students aged 15-17, all in full-time education who were looking for opportunities to expand our skill sets and gain some first-hand experience of the working world to compliment and enrich our view of the workplace as well as to stimulate an interest in the Technology industry. For all of us, this work experience placement has been one of our first glimpses into the corporate world, let alone into an extremely innovative and cutting-edge technology company such as Blue Prism.
During the week, we were lucky enough to meet industry professionals from many different sectors within Blue Prism, ranging from learning about the legal aspects of maintaining the health of a rapidly expanding business, to understanding more about the actual technology that powers Blue Prism’s amazing RPA capability that saves its customers hundreds of hours of mundane labor.
All our meetings had larger thematic conversations regarding the Technology industry as well as the nature of the job market today. We all found this aspect of the week particularly enlightening, inspiring and reassuring. For us, the workplace can often seem an intangible and daunting place, singularly inhabited by ‘professionals’ in business suits who, in the tech industry in particular: people who sit at a computer and code all day. In reality, as we discovered over the week, any company, including a cutting edge technology company, is composed of hundreds of interconnected jobs and roles, some involving coding, analytics and software development, but also many crucial roles that require other skills sets such as the ability to develop meaningful and trusting relationships with partners and customers, as well as the ability to market and advertise a product accurately and efficiently within the market.
Many people discussed their previous careers and jobs and emphasized how diverse and changing the job market now is. This comforted us all so much as it takes the pressure of deciding a career at our age and then being trapped in it for the rest of our lives. We found that especially within such a dynamic and changing industry like the Technology industry, many of the jobs that we would be interested in, haven't been invented yet. This made us realize we should focus more on developing our transferable skills than specializing in one small area of expertise.
A few highlights of our week included:
- Our discussions and chats with the graduate students who had completed the graduate training program at Blue Prism were especially useful in this regard because they were close to our ages and so demonstrated how to successfully make the jump from university to the world of work, they also really understood our worries and concerns around applying to university, applying for internships, finding good work placements, and all the other new experiences we will encounter over the next few years. Furthermore, with the graduates, as well as almost everyone else we spoke to, we found that often people's routes to their current job or position have been nonlinear and non-straightforward.
- Another amazing opportunity we had during the week was the chance to visit EY’s offices and talk to the partner managers for Blue Prism at EY. This was a first experience for all of us to visit a global financial services firm and so it was invaluable to listen to and learn from what everyone had to say. On top of all the industry specific advice we received, we also learnt a lot about the softer skills involved in the workplace such as confidence, communication skills and integrity.
- We were particularly interested in the charitable as well as the diversity and inclusion programs Blue Prism runs, such as the “Women in RPA” program. For us, it was encouraging to hear how the world is changing to enable us to do whatever we would like to do in the future. Without the work of some of these schemes, our lives could be very restricted as to what we can do or what we are expected to do. However, we have learnt that many positive influences have changed the future for us for the better, giving us more opportunities than ever before. We have discovered that work in Technology is no longer reserved for white middle-aged men; companies want a diverse team. This brings a depth and breadth of experience that only comes from integrating people with a myriad of different backgrounds and experiences, which, when working with clients, enriches the conversation as it is easier to connect and engage with people from every walk of life.
We would all like to thank everyone involved in the Blue Prism work experience. It has been an incredibly eye-opening experience for us and has showed us the incredible ingenuity and creativity that can be fostered when a company is run correctly and efficiently. We can all confidently say that we would all love to come back to Blue Prism for any work or work experience. It has been an excellent week for us all."