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Case Study: Jonathan Thomson

Personal details
Degree:Mathematics Profile picture
School(s): School of Mathematics and Statistics
Year of Graduation:Jul-2012
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: FDM Group
Job title: IT Consultant
Occupational Sector: IT/Computer Programming
What has been your route to getting your current position?
I began at St Andrews University in 2008 intending to study a MChem in Chemistry, but instead I graduated four years later with a BSc in Mathematics. Whilst studying at university I developed a keen interest in Computer Programming which made me want to further develop my skills and pursue a career in this area of IT. Soon after graduating I joined FDM Group, an international IT services provider who is known for offering qualified IT training and helping graduates to bridge the gap between academia and employment. I began the sixteen week Software Development training programme in October 2012 at FDMs Manchester Training Academy. Once accepted onto the FDM Graduate Programme trainees are equipped with the technical and professional skills required to become a fully qualified IT Consultant ready to work out on client sites. During the training I learnt a number of technical skills such as UNIX, SQL coding and I also learnt how to use UML to document an application. The comprehensive training not only provided me with in-depth technical knowledge but it also taught me the professional skills needed to succeed in the working world, such as presentation, CV writing and interview skills.
What does your job involve ?
After completing my training I successfully gained a placement at BSkyB in Leeds, unfortunately I was not entitled to a free Sky subscription. However I did get to work on some really interesting projects. As part of a team I developed a new web application for use by Sky journalists to create and edit articles for the Sky Sports website and various affiliated sites such as Football 365 and Sporting Life. Once I had completed the project at BSkyB I was placed on another contract by FDM Group at Datacash, a payment processing company and a subsidiary of Mastercard. I work on projects involving several high profile merchants mainly financial service providers. As the work I am doing for Datacash is completely different to BSkyB, I have had to learn and develop new skills whilst familiarising myself with new technologies.
What are the best bits of your job ?
My role is fun and rewarding, the more I put into my job and my training the more I get out of it. It is a really rewarding feeling to see articles on the Sky website and know that I was part of creating the software which was used to write the articles.
Why were you successful?
I think a major benefit of training with FDM is the wide range of opportunities available, as well as providing you with invaluable industry experience after university. The work placements I have had at FDM have helped me to be successful in my career as I have built upon skills I already had and developed a thorough understanding of the different roles a career in IT has to offer.
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
In my current role at Datacash, I am thoroughly enjoying myself and have found that many of the skills picked up from university and my training have been invaluable to working on site at a financial service provider.
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
I am very grateful for the fantastic opportunity that FDM has given me and also for all the training and support along the way. If I could give any advice it would be to research FDMs Graduate programme, as it provides you with the training and experience which is a great learning curve and will provide the foundations for a positive and successful future in the IT industry.