Now, we know there are many IT graduate schemes out there so why choose NFU Mutual? We could give you plenty of reasons but we don’t want you to just take our word for it. Instead, we thought we’d hand over to someone who knows our IT Professional Trainee Scheme better than anyone. Say hello to Callum, who’s been on the IT scheme since September 2012.
What made you choose the NFU Mutual IT Professional Trainee Scheme over other schemes?
I studied Computing at Worcester University and I was keen to pursue a career in IT. I’d previously worked part-time at NFU Mutual and gained work experience in their IT department so I knew that it was a great place to work. Their IT Professional Trainee Scheme was my first choice; I knew the rotations would give me the chance to get stuck into many different aspects of IT and really find out where my strengths lay.
What’s a typical day like for you on the scheme?
It really does vary, especially as you have a new placement every six months. One day, I could be shadowing our IT Director and the next, designing an application, improving IT security processes or running a workshop on better ways that we can support to the business through IT. I’ve covered such a range of areas within IT already – Business Analysis, Development, Support – and I’m only just over half way through!
What’s the training and support you get like on the scheme?
Really good. It’s a valuable mixture of professional qualifications, coaching and continuous support. As soon as you join, you work towards a CII qualification which helps you to understand the insurance industry itself. NFU Mutual supports you to complete well-recognised professional qualifications – I’ve undertaken my PRINCE II Project Management and ITIL certifications. There are also loads of training courses you can book onto to help improve your soft skills, like presentations, time management etc. It can be quite challenging balancing study with work responsibilities but NFU Mutual is incredibly supportive. One of the first things you learn is how to prioritise your workload. You also have regular one-to-ones with your Placement Manager, development coaches and, of course, the close-knit network of other trainees.
What do you enjoy most about the scheme?
I love being able to move around the different departments and see so much of the business – it helps you to get a feel for where you’d like to go next. IT is a huge and massively complex area of NFU Mutual and my placements have shown me just how crucial it is. In every department you’re placed in, people are really excited about having you working with them. They genuinely want you there. You’re given high profile, often, high risk projects and real responsibilities; real problems to solve. And, from an IT point of view, you get to see many of the projects you work on through to completion which is rewarding.
The NFU Mutual PTS has quite a small yearly intake. What does this mean for you as a trainee and the opportunities you get?
It definitely means that you get more exposure to senior management. I spent a week shadowing our IT Director – going to meetings with him, being coached by him etc – which was a brilliant experience. I also think that because there are fewer trainees, you get given a lot of trust and your contribution is valued. That’s something I’ve found in every placement I’ve been in. It also means that as a group of trainees we keep in close touch, they’re a great support network to have.
What would your top tips for success be for someone joining or applying for the scheme?
Show you’re keen to learn and develop. Ask all the questions you can and take away as much as possible from every placement you do. Make the most of every opportunity as it goes really quickly.
NFU Mutual Professional Trainee Scheme – IT – Callum McCormick