Saturday, May 3, 2014

Our Overseas Internship experience in University College London (UCL) - Part 2

Hi, I am Ashley Chua, a third year student in Diploma in Business Information Technology!

Together with 4 other course-mates, Wei Xuan, Sally, Cedric and Tabitha, I was very fortunate to be able to experience a 6 weeks Industrial Attachment in London from 10 March to 20 April this year.

In this entry, I will share about our experiences from Week 4 to Week 6 of our Internship.  If you would like to know more about what we did from Week 1 to 3, check out Sally’s entry here.

We hope you will enjoy reading our journal on this experience.  :)

Fourth week in London, and we had several items lined up for the week! Some of them include: Singapore Day, Camden Market, Westfield and SOHO. We had a company visit to GSK, where we attended GSK Revealed. 

29th March 2014
We were very excited for Singapore Day as we will finally get to satisfy all the food cravings! It was a long bus journey down to Victoria Park, where Singapore Day was held. There were free food, mini concert and exhibitions held on that day. 

Weather for the day fits Singapore's weather as it rose from the usual 10° to 19° on that day! It was a good day of eating free food and soaking up in the hot yet chilly weather!

Entrance to Singapore Day

We had to queue for at least 30-45mins for each food! Some of the food we tried were Carrot Cake, Bak Kut Teh, Laksa, Chicken Rice, Satay and Teh! There were other food such as Chili Crab, Hokkien Mee, etc that we didn’t try as the queue was just too long! We had to queue for at least 45mins-1hour for each small portion of food!
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long
Mr KF Seetoh of Makansutra

1stApril 2014 - GSK Revealed
We attended GSK Revealed on 1st April, April’s Fool! We had to take a rail down to Brentford (luckily for us travel expenses were covered).

The purpose of this event is for us to know more about the company and the Future Graduate’s Scheme which they offer back in Singapore as well. We understood how a manufacturing company integrated information technology into their business, and how they are integrating SAP into their system. They are currently using different B2B software for several of its subsidiaries, and wishes to integrate them together.

Before the event, we had to take a survey to understand more about our working habits, and from the responses, a career report was generated. Some of the fitting job families that were recommended to me were: Administration, Purchasing and Finance. All of us felt perplexed by the career match given. Nevertheless, the profile description of all of our working style was accurately described!

Overall, I find this event meaningful as we got to know that many companies do offer Graduates Program (even in Singapore). Graduates Program is a program offered to fresh graduates, in which they will join the company for a period of 2-3 years. After graduation from the program, and if the company is satisfied with their performance, they will join the company as a managerial role. This could be something for us to work towards to!

@ Westfield, the first shopping mall we came across

Camden Market
Project Meeting @ Hotel Lobby

Week 5 + 6 (7 April to 20 April)

Tuesday 8 April 2014 - A trip down to ESkills UK
On Tuesday 8 April 2014, we had an opportunity to head down to visit E-skills UK, the company part of the government body who started off with ITMB (the course which is very similar to ours back in Singapore)
At first, I thought E-skills UK was holding an event and Mr Richard just invited us along. However, we were the only guest and many of the staffs were deployed to host us and to come in and tell us more about their company and what they do.

It was very interesting to see UK developing students in the business and information technology sector. They also face the same problems as Singapore whereby there are more guys is to girl ratio taking up the course and they are trying to attract more girls into joining the IT sector.

The ideas they came up with and plans they had was very innovative and I feel that Singapore should also make use of what they have come up with or also come up something similar to theirs.

This is a snap shot of the website they did up to allow girls at a younger age to learn more about IT and also to grow their interests in the IT sector.

They also had this website which can be used to see which job would suit us in future.
Website links: CC4G and Big Ambition 

I personally took the dream job test and I felt that it was rather accurate and what they offered me was what I liked as well!
We also had the chance to 'do some work' where we shared what 5 points were needed in each of the sectors below:
Business, IT, Management, Inter-personal skills

It was a good time to share what we feel is important and what makes us Business Information Technology students stand out in the market.
Just us waiting outside the office getting ready to meet ESkills UK (-:

The boys paying full attention to what they had to say!

A group photo with a number of the friendly staffs who warmly hosted us (-:
Not gonna miss out a picture with Mr Richard and the ESKills UK name in the centre (Yes I know. Its very small.. haha)

And this is their pantry/lounge area! SO pretty and chillaxxxx rightttt!!
We sat there to have some tea before our meeting!

9 April 2014 -
A meet up with the CEO of Volpit

We me Mr Patrick, one of UCL's ITMB ex-student who graduated in 2012. He worked in Credit Suisse for about 11 months before deciding to startup a company (Volpit) with his friends who shared the same vision and dream as his.

During out meeting with him, he shares with us how he started up his business and the struggles he had to go through while starting up his company. Being so young, I was really impressed at Mr Patrick’s dream and passion to do what he loves.

Some questions asked were: why he started up the company, the motivation behind it, how was his relationship with the other partners who were his friends and many more!

It was a good time being able to interact with an ex-student of UCL's ITMB course and seeing him starting up his own business and making use of what he has learnt.

Cedric asking Mr Patrick a question!
A group shot with Mr Patrick!
Not forgetting, a selfie with Mr Richard and Mr Patrick!

11th April 2014 – Company visit to Capgemini
It was an enriching and interesting visit to Capgemini. We got to know more about the company and consulting in general in a more interactive and engaging environment.

We learnt about the different components involved in a project within Capgemini. This was done in an interactive way (some sort of classroom/meeting way). This gave us a slight head start to a module that we will be taking in Year 3 – Project Management!

This visit really made me understand about consulting and how the traditional way of consulting has changed. And now consulting is evolving in a way that involves many aspects of IT (developers, project managers, business analyst, etc).

The session was joined with 2 graduates under the graduates’ scheme, where they shared about their day-to-day life as a consultant. One of them joined the company with no prior knowledge to IT or business!

During the session - what was involved in a project

View from the office

Group shot!
St. Paul's Cathedral
Tower Bridge

The rest of the trip were spent on the project - Psion Revamped. We attended musicals - Matilda and Phantom of the Opera, and visited several other attractions - Borough Market, Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral, The Shard, Tate Modern, etc

Back Homeeeeee!!!

London 2014 was a really great experience and exposure for our ITP. Attending UCL’s lessons exposed us to the different university teaching style, and the chance to attend classes on subjects we were interested in. The various conferences and company visits was the highlight of the trip. It really opened our eyes to a whole new different world, a world where we will be heading in soon. It gave us the chance to network, and the various paths one could take.

Special thanks to Singapore Polytechnic, Ms Wong Shin Yueh (Course Chair), Mr Ho Kah Hong (ELITE Co-ordinator), Ms Dora and most importantly, Mr Richard Pettinger for hosting and seeking contacts for various events on behalf of us for the past 6 weeks! The team is really appreciative and thankful for all of your help!

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This entry is written by DBIT Year 3 student, Ashley Chua.

Ashley enjoys resting, reading, catching up with friends and watching English Drama.
Her ambition is to be a business analyst, working in an MNC firm.

"Do what you love, love what you do" - Ray Bradbury

Connect with Ashley at her Facebook profile to talk to her! :)

NOTECompany visit to E-Skills UK and Volpit on 8th and 9thApril is blogged by Tabitha Tan.

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