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More Graduates Complete IGA Internships

IGA members attending a recent training session at ICT Focus IGA members attending a recent training session at ICT Focus

Three more Graduates scucessfully completed their internships at the IGA this month.

Andy Cunningham, Stuart Mackie and Adam Rowntree have left for pastures new and two have already taken ICT positions with local companies.

Stuart Mackie is now working for BF Internet and Adam Rowntree is going to work for The REACH Centre, a company he developed a website for during his time at the IGA.

With 5 graduates currently working in the Academy, there are plans to expand the scheme and take on new Graduate Project Assistants in the next 12 months, pending funding approval.

The Aims Of The IGA

The InfoLab21 Graduate Academy offers new graduates an excellent opportunity to gain hands on experience in developing a variety of IT solutions,working closely with clients in a supportive environment.

IGA Project Manager Sarah Bennett (pictured below) is delighted with the success of the IGA both with supporting businesses and with helping ICT graduate retention for the region:

"While working for the KBC the graduate will work with up to 20 different clients to develop solutions. These range from websites, e-commerce and other web applications through to IT strategy development, networking and software development.

"Nine Graduates have now worked with us and moved on to new positions in the sector and another five are currently working through the scheme. We've also had a number of IT companies approach us to employ our graduates and we hope that this indicates that the scheme is a great success. The testiments of the graduates are further proof of the value of this project.

"We aim to build on the knowledge they have gained throughout their degree, providing on the job and formal training alongside mentor support. All the work the graduates undertake is for small businesses throughout the region. The graduate works with the client to identify their IT needs, formulate requirements and develop a technical solution to be implemented within the business. The graduates are employed within the KBC for a period of up to two years. In this time we aim to improve their technical ability, providing a wide range of technical solutions to be developed, and also their transferbale skills.

Sarah Bennett, InfoLab21 Graduate Academy Project Manager

"We aim to provide a development opportunity that will result in a very employable IT graduate who can then gain employment in the regional IT sector.

"Every graduate has a personal development plan, setting out their career goals and the skills and experience they need to develop in the time they are employed by the KBC. All graduates complete a Certificate in Project Management which is equivalent to the first year of a degree and this has been extremely valuable in developing their knowledge and understanding of managing projects to timescale and budget.

"The experience they gain in managing work for clients enables them to develop their communication skills, problem solving, negotiation, time management and research skills. More importantly, the experience enables the graduates to develop their own confidence in dealing with clients and specifying solutions."

What The Graduates Say

On leaving the IGA each graduate has commented on the value of their experience:

"I have had great experiences with everything from the various projects, to the people I have met and worked with."
Andy Cunningham "The environment within the KBC office is fast-paced, friendly and supportive. Everyone is happy to share their knowledge, and working together as a team has helped us to deliver some amazing projects to companies."
Adam Rowntree "It's a nice transition between university and the world outside and I feel a lot more confident as a result."
Rob Jones "It's been a fantastic experience and I've gained so much more confidence and a great CV!"
Vanessa Gomes "The IGA was a perfect springboard for me to get into the IT sector. The environment is challenging, friendly and supportive."
Michael Maud "Being able to work with SMEs in the North West of England and making a contribution to their development and subsequently to the development of the region was a huge motivation as it made me feel that the work that I was doing brought benefits to the local community."
Ravic Costa "It wouldn't have been possible for me to get my current job without my experience in the IGA, since that is where I developed most of the skills I took to the new job."
Andrew Foote "The KBC environment has allowed me to expand all of my skills giving me more in depth knowledge and experience in areas such as systems development, networking, database construction and web applications."
Michael Mead

To read more about the graduates read their profiles from the links below.

Fri 18 July 2008