Callum, Business Systems Placement Student - 2018
University of Kent, Computer Science with a Year in Industry BSc
For the first six months of my Placement at Motability Operations, I have been working in the Cloud Platform Ops team within the Business Systems department. From the first day I started I have received a huge amount of support from all members of the team, answering any questions I have had and providing me with online training and documentation for me to use, to develop my understanding of the new technologies I have been exposed to. Six months later, and I now feel I am an integrated member of the team, who shares equal responsibilities to carrying out tasks as all other members. I feel confident in my skills to be able to troubleshoot problems, whilst also knowing that I have the support of my peers if I so need it. Being able to work with colleagues who have extensive experience in this field is an incredibly valuable opportunity for me, and the knowledge they share with me on a daily basis is so beneficial to me, especially this early on in my career.
Alongside the technical knowledge I have gained from my time so far, I have also had the chance to develop my softer skills - such as communicating and presenting. Firstly this was done through practical experience contributing to discussions at meetings and presenting on projects and results of investigatory work, and secondly from training workshops provided by MO. It is a real privilege to be invited to attend these workshops and is just one example of how MO are invested in their placement students, just as much as they are with their permanent members of staff.
There has been a great open channel of communication with my line-manager and team lead, which has allowed me to alter the course of my placement year to suit my interests and the areas I wish to develop my skills further in. In my case, I expressed that I wanted to extend my stay within the cloud platform team to continue learning and working in this space, as I can see myself pursuing a career in this area after I finish University. Being able to alter the course of my year like this is another great example of how everyone at MO really are committed to ensuring their placement students get the very most out of their time here.
The rest of my time will be spent with the Cloud Engineering team where I will continue to develop my skills and knowledge around cloud infrastructure, and I will even have the opportunity to gain AWS certifications that I can take forward with me into my career. I’m really looking forward to what the next six months will bring, and I urge anybody considering applying to the placement programme to go ahead and do so!
Chris, Business Systems Placement Student - 2018
After my first 6 months at Motability Operations, I have been working within the Cloud Platform Ops Team who are responsible for the support and improvement of the platform. Being in this team has allowed me to have exposure to cloud applications, such as Openshift & AWS, which has given me the opportunity to deploy real-world applications such as Prometheus & Grafana. These applications have not only benefitted the team; in working out cost utilisation of a cluster, but it has heightened my knowledge in learning how these are deployed into an Openshift environment through the use of automation. However, during this knowledge learning process, the team were very supportive, explaining in detail any questions that I had. I was very thrilled when they were released into the main cloud environments. In my remaining few weeks in the Platform Ops team, before I move over to Cloud Engineering, I am working on developing some more advanced morning checks for the platform using the MVC application Django.
The people at Motability Operations are extremely friendly and are very easy to approach when I’ve needed to ask any questions; this has made day to day working extremely pleasant. In my time here I’ve attended such training courses as a Company Introduction Day where we were given presentations by all the directors, an Induction Day, Communication & Assertiveness, Disability Awareness, Influencing Skills and a Get Resilient workshop. The courses have been second to none, very fulfilling and have helped improve my knowledge of the company and their customers.
In the next six months, I am moving to the Change & Release team where l will be conducting environment meetings, then moving to Cloud BA looking at requirement writing before finishing my time here in Cloud Engineering where I will be looking at improving my knowledge of AWS and learning Terraform. I look forward to what exciting challenges the next six months have to offer, I would highly recommend the placement scheme to anyone who is thinking of applying.
Laura, Risk Placement Student - 2018
University of Bath, Economics with a Year in Industry BSc
After completing the first six months of my placement, I feel very confident and satisfied with my decision to pursue a placement with Motability Operations. My experience includes working within the Asset Risk and Pricing team as an analyst and rotating between the Market Risk, Vehicle Risk and Pricing teams. This way, I get to experience different parts of the business and diversify between tasks.
I was surprised by the exposure to tasks I got as a placement student and the trust from my team to get involved with various projects. The level of responsibility I have been given has been positive and challenging and this has made me feel that my contribution to the team and to meetings is important. The above, along with the supportive managers and mentors, have helped me push myself to my full potential and further develop. It has been very interesting applying the knowledge from my Economics degree to real-life projects. Furthermore, there have been many workshops and external conferences that helped me enhance different professional skills, ranging from communication to IT.
Working in the City of London and having social working hours is ideal. The Asset Risk and Pricing team has made this experience even better. Both the managers and my colleagues have been welcoming and friendly, therefore my induction to ‘professional life’ was even easier. There have been various social events organised by both the company and the team which helped me to get to know my colleagues.
I am looking forward to seeing what the next six months hold and I would definitely recommend this as a placement opportunity.
David, Risk Placement Student - 2018
Newcastle University, Economics and Finance BSc
For the last five months I have been working in the Asset Risk & Pricing Department of Motability Operations. The role allows for me to rotate between three roles within the department, spending four months in each. My initial stint, which I have just finished, was as a Pricing Analyst where our primary responsibility was to ensure that the customers on the scheme continued to have access to a wide variety of vehicles that are competitively priced. At a company with such a customer first ethos it was a very important team and one that I very much enjoyed my time in. With the nature of the role I have been able to develop further skills in using statistical software as well as becoming a lot more commercially aware with exposure to negotiations between the company and external manufacturers. Looking forward, I have recently moved into the role of Market Risk Analyst, one that is more closely aligned with my degree and one which I am very much looking forward to working as.
In my time at MO I have been exposed to many aspects of the business outside of my role. Whether this is through the company induction process or through the numerous training/development courses I have been able to attend in both the London and Bristol offices. These include those based upon personal development, technical improvement and also awareness courses with the Disability Awareness course I attended being particularly rewarding.
I was initially worried about how long it would take to settle into a real-life working environment, given I had little prior experience of one, but everyone has been really nice and all my initial worries had been way off. The atmosphere is a lot more relaxed than I had expected and the work-life balance is very manageable. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at MO so far and am hoping for more of the same in the next 6 months!
Peter, Risk Placement Student - 2018
University of Surrey, Economics and Maths BSc
I am approaching the halfway point of my placement at Motability Operations now, and my experience so far has certainly exceeded my expectations. I work within the Asset Risk and Pricing team, and being part of a relatively small team has been very beneficial to me as a placement student. I feel like a valuable member of the team and have a lot more responsibility than I would have expected, and am exposed to the everyday challenges faced by the company.
The role itself consists of three, 4 month rotations; working in Vehicle Risk, Market Risk and Pricing Analysis. The great thing about this is you get to take on varying roles and tasks, allowing you to learn more and get a better insight into how the business works. Further to this I have been on several workshops and training courses that were not necessarily intended to help with my role but to further my development. These have ranged from communication and presenting workshops to training in statistical software. One thing I have been particularly surprised by is how relatable a lot of the work has been to the Economics side of my degree, and I can see this year being very beneficial for when I return for my final year at University.
Everyone that I’ve met here has been very welcoming, which has made my time at MO very enjoyable. The work-life balance has been ideal and the office atmosphere is generally quite relaxed. I’ve had a great first six months here and I can only hope for more of the same!
Rosie, Business Systems Placement Student - 2016
I have been at Motability Operations for one month, where I have been working as a Business Analyst within the Business Analysis team. I work with teams of people to help develop solutions to build new internal systems. I mainly work with developers, testers and system architects to do this. Also working closely with a varied team has given me a better insight into each role’s significance and allowed me to pick up skills along the way.
All of the people I work with and all the new faces I meet here at Motability Operations are very friendly and don’t ever have a problem answering your questions or helping you. They are all more than happy to sit with you and help you out understanding the business as a whole or just the bit of work you’re doing. They’re so friendly and welcoming that just after a month I feel at home and very much a part of the team.
I have mentors that I sit with who are teaching me the ways of being a business analyst. They’re always keen to help me learn and improve my skills. They haven’t held back with the work either, I’ve been assigned to two teams to aid with the development process, which I have thoroughly enjoyed so far. Also I have had training courses in this first month on time management, presentation and facilitation skills. These have taught me some good tips and tricks that I’ll use both while working at Motability Operations and when I get back to university.
I have really enjoyed my first month at Motability Operations and can’t wait for the fun and challenges that will come my way in the next year. And I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for an awesome placement opportunity.
Brent, Business Systems Placement Student - 2016
During my induction period at MO, I have had presentations from the different departments within Business Systems. This has given me insight on who works within that department and how they support the company and included a tour of the data centre. I’ve also had training sessions on JBoss Fuse which was interesting as this introduced a number of new topics which I haven’t covered before such as Apache Camel.
Everyone in Business Systems has been very welcoming which has made my time here very enjoyable, I have been assigned a mentor which has been beneficial during my first month, they have been able to help me when I’ve had questions and queries when deploying systems locally and given me feedback on my work. As my mentor also did their placement year here as well they understand what it's like going from University into the industry as a placement student and are able to give me help and advice.
So far I’ve enjoyed my time within the development team and can’t wait for the next couple of months.
Conor, Business Systems Placement Student - 2014
Over the past few months, I have begun to join the Business As Usual (BAU) team, who are responsible for delivering small development requests to improve the efficiency and expand the functionality of the business’ existing systems. Everybody has been really welcoming and helped me integrate into the team. As well as working on small development requests, a few other developers and I have had the chance to work on a couple of exciting development projects for the business, which included re-mastering an existing system and creating an entirely new system from scratch. Despite the learning curve for these projects and the challenges we had to face, I feel this broadened my experience with a whole variety of technologies. I found it extremely useful to not only witness the creation of an entire software system from scratch, but actually be a valued part of that process.
As the business currently runs an extremely successful Graduate Programme, over the past few months we’ve been fortunate enough to attend some of the graduate-specific courses and cross-site training in Bristol, allowing us to gain a greater exposure and understanding of the other areas of the company and improve on more business-related skills rather than technical. These included workshops in improving communication skills and also presentational skills. I found these extremely useful, as giving presentations has always been a great fear of mine and this placement has definitely helped me find confidence in that area by challenging me to go outside of my comfort zone and overcome this.
I’ve learnt such a huge amount in only six months, that if the placement ended tomorrow, I could leave happily knowing that Motability Operations has already taught me a wealth of knowledge in both technical and business areas, and ultimately helped me transition from a university student into a young IT professional.
I very much look forward to what the next six months brings!
After completing my first month within Business Systems at Motability Operations, I feel thoroughly prepared and excited for the placement ahead, receiving vast amounts of training and support from everyone to help me in my role. I have spent the last couple of weeks being welcomed into the Development Team, who are responsible for building and maintaining the business’ internal applications, and working closely with analysts and testers to build robust IT solutions. Over the next few weeks we will be trying to integrate automated deployment into our system release cycle, to utilise its benefits.
Although I have a technical internal role, through various department and company inductions you are exposed to various parts of the business, such as the Customer Solutions Team and Customer Contact Centre, which allows you to understand further the business as a whole and how your role both fits in and aids each department. One thing I find particularly beneficial is the presence of an assigned mentor, as they are always willing to help with any challenges you may face and ultimately provide support in all aspects throughout your placement whenever you need them.
Despite Motability Operations not being very well known, I can already tell that this is a brilliant business to work for and is best described as 'a hidden gem of the UK'! Everyone here is so friendly and willing to help; you are always within a short range of a mentor, manager or just a friendly face to support your development into the company, but also as a commercially minded individual. It truly is a company that strives for the highest standards, whilst acknowledging and rewarding its great performance both internally, and in the excellent customer service it provides.
Eleana, Business Systems Placement Student - 2015
The first three months in Business Systems (the IT department) at Motability Operations have been challenging, but definitely exciting, making me even more thrilled for the rest of my placement. From day one everyone was very welcoming and I was made to feel part of the MI Team straight away.
After receiving the appropriate training and help from my colleagues, I was assigned work that would have an impact on the rest of the business and this made me feel excited and motivated for the year ahead. I had to get out of my comfort zone and work with people I had just met and even give a presentation to the managers of each of the company’s departments. This was something I never believed I would be doing while on a placement; interacting with managers, as well as getting to meet the five directors and the CEO on a 1:1 basis.
Moreover, I have had the privilege to attend workshops that were not necessarily related to my role, but to further my development. For example, I have attended a workshop on communication and assertiveness which will help me both on my placement and my career in the future.
I can see that my placement will be very beneficial in terms of improving my technical skills and understanding how a company works. Motability Operations is a company that is definitely worth joining as you get to work amongst experts in their field and most importantly join a great culture of different people. In this way, you learn from the best, while enjoying your work, which is two of the key things a student should experience during his/her placement.
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