Guest blogger, Tom Cox, a student from Gosforth High School, joined Cundall’s IT team for a week of work experience. Tom writes about his time with Cundall, what he got up to and what he learned along the way.
In the first part of the week, I was getting into a very useful routine. Once I had logged on, I’d go straight to the six meeting rooms and test the computer systems, clear up the console wires and check the video cameras, in case there was to be a video conference that day. This became a breeze by day three, as it wasn’t too difficult of a process, but was vital and a lot of responsibility. On the second day, there was an issue as the computer failed to build. This required a rebuild which took roughly 4-5 hours.
Speaking of building, I was taught how to go through this process and observe a rebuild. To me though, building a computer means hardware, rather than software, so when Glenn, my boss for the week, said we were going to take apart a computer and a laptop, you could imagine that I was intrigued. After some, well, quite a lot of quizzing, I got to take apart a laptop, removing the RAM (memory), hard drive and Wi-Fi module. This was very irritating to remove and replace, with its two little nodes and connectors, which are really small, especially for a person 6ft 3. Once I completed the laptop, I got to do the same to a desktop tower PC.
I also spent a lot of time asset tagging, making sure all desktops were correctly labelled. Once I had done this, I had to search up the first few letters of the asset code into a database program called asset panda, and if their PC was logged into it, then I would put a large sticker on the PC which had its special identifying number on.
I faced one of my biggest challenges on the penultimate day of my work experience. When checking the meeting rooms, I discovered that someone had decided to unplug a few cables including the main display cable, server connection cable and power and connection cable for the video conference camera. This proves that the checks are vital to do, because had a non-IT person gone into the meeting room, they would have struggled to start on time. Just so happened that Glenn had devised a troubleshooting test for me and was the culprit! My mentor Luke Hildrew, who was observing, watched me to work it all out.
I had more experience building laptops. This means that I added Cundall software to the laptops remotely. This required a few checks and processes in order to start the build. All of this was quite fun, and something I really enjoyed.
During my time at Cundall, I was asked to prepare a presentation for the end of the week, which informed the recipients of the work which I have done, as well as how it will aid me in later life. I invited some of the staff to watch me deliver my presentation. To add more pressure, they invited my dad, one of the Partners in the Structural team.
On my last day, I did the presentation in front of some tough judges. I also got asked some questions by my mentors during the week, just as a little test. My final job of the day was to finish my blog and send to the Marketing team for posting.
Overall, this week has been really beneficial for me, helped me learn what it is like in the workplace and to work with some very capable people who enjoy their work. To be honest, working a day from 8:15 till 5 is hard work, but at the same time, it has its rewards including helping people to be able to do their job. The team supports 800 people worldwide so there is always something to do. I have really enjoyed my work experience at Cundall and I am more interested now in a career in IT.
Thank you so much for letting me take this opportunity, especially to Glenn, Marian and Luke for allowing me to be their shadow for the past week.
Cundall offers work experience in a number of the offices, including engineering and support roles. For more information, please visit the careers section on our website