Bye bye GradLab, Hello real world!

Hello prospective grads!

My name is Sophie and I am two months into the Technology Graduate Scheme, about to embark on my first assignment as a Project Coordinator for Online. After seven weeks of ‘GradLab’, where we have learnt about the IT project life-cycle, I am excited to put my training to good use and put theory into practice.

Having graduated with a degree in Spanish and English literature, where flowery essays and lengthy debates were the status quo, I had never envisaged myself working on an IT Floor where acronyms abound and Java and HTML are the foreign languages of choice. However, it really doesn’t matter what your background is. John Lewis IT is a varied department made up of former radio presenters, linguists, historians and even actors! As long as you’re passionate about new technologies, keen to learn and can let your true self shine through at interview then you’ll be well on your way to success.

It has been a steep – albeit enjoyable -learning curve and we were given lots of opportunities and responsibilities from the offset. I have already been to a neighbouring primary school and helped out with one of the schemes that the company is supporting, TechFuture Girls, which enabled me to witness first-hand the impact that John Lewis has in the wider community and make Tech appealing to young girls who could well become future leaders!

These past seven weeks have shown me just how revolutionary IT is and how integral it is to the business’ success. With experts hypothesising that the future of shopping may look something like this, It is clear that Technology is an industry which makes the unimaginable imaginable and is a forward-looking field full of excitement and opportunity.  There are so many paths you can pursue, from the more technical ones such as Development and Architecture to the less technical such as Project Management and Business Analysis.

I know that the application deadline is looming so I thought I would leave you with three top tips to help guide you through the process:

1) Cliché, but here goes- Be true to yourself. John Lewis are interested in who you are as a person and do not hire on a ‘one size fits all’ basis. Be honest, be inquisitive and be authentic.

2) Swat up on what makes the Partnership unique.

3) Stay up to date with technological advances and trends- this will harness your enthusiasm and will put you in good stead if you make it through to the next stage. Plus it gives you a good excuse to look at things like this:

Anyone for 3D Printed Pizza?

Please comment on this post if you have any questions and I’ll aim to get back to you as soon as possible.

Best of luck, and to honour this week’s Back To The Future Day, I will leave you with the  words of Marty McFly himself: If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything!


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