Name: Patrick Reilly

Age: 20

Company they work for: CPOMS Systems Ltd

Apprenticeship provider: Craven College

Hi! My name is Patrick and I am currently working and studying the field of computer technology. I have always been fascinated by the advancements and potential of technology as well as all the fields of science. I have grown to understand many aspects of computer science in the past few years from coding personal projects and applications to simply building PC’s. The creativity and theoretical science behind what we can do with current and potential technology and research to not only benefit our personal lives with simple pleasures but to actually use what we use in a much more advanced application such as advanced and easier space travel or biological technology for helping us in our daily lives. Its this type of thinking that gets me excited about any type of STEM subject and is what I want intend to revolve my life’s work around.

What is your apprenticeship in and why did you choose this sector?

My current sector is Technical Support which is more specialized than customer service support and is dedicated to use more advanced technical knowledge to help internal customer support staff and customer queries. It requires not only knowing how to use a system to help others but knowing how internal processes work and works closely with developer teams to understand specific procedures and what issues need resolving with a closer look at the back-end.

I chose this when I was actively looking for a position for an apprenticeship. The opportunity was presented to me fairly quickly and seemed like a position I could fulfil with confidence based on my general understanding of software with the skills I have acquired over the years. Its also interactive and requires good communication so I thought it would be a great opportunity to advance my communication skills which I can confidently say it has and probably my best achievement.

What does your average working week look like?

During active working hours, we would mainly be working on submitted tickets via internally ticketing systems as well as supporting customer service with advanced queries by phone. Requests in my position usually take longer than average request to fulfil as it requires more steps to get something done. This is because the position requires looking closely at extracted data, what issues may arise in data and diagnosing problems in this data which are causing issues for system in use.

CPOMS is an application which allows schools to process and store safeguarding data safely and online, it reduces what is processed on paper and makes it easier to access for schools. CPOMS uses a Schools management information system to process student data and have that ready and visible for staff, with this, there is a variety of data that comes with this and can be quite an extensive extraction process with different systems storing data differently. As you may imagine that comes with lots of potential problems and its my job to diagnose and fix these issues as smoothly as possible.

Why did you opt to do an apprenticeship rather than A Levels or a B Tech ?

After reviewing job positions, many required having previous experience in the work place, this is not possible through normal A levels and so would be harder to obtain employment. This lead me to an apprenticeship which not only gives a qualification but allows a better understanding of the workplace environment and sets a path for future career opportunities. With the added bonus of being paid to do so.

What is the most rewarding thing about your apprenticeship?

Being paid to learn new things and understand a company’s process is probably the best aspect of an apprenticeship, it’s a mix of learning and employment and gives great insights to both aspects. It allows more opportunities in the future than other options and can also lead to a degree apprenticeship which avoids any student debt whilst getting qualifications. Its really beneficial for the average post-16 student in my view and would recommend this route to people who are not sure on what they want to do.

If one of your friends was thinking about doing an apprenticeship what advise would you give them?

Anybody I know thinking about doing an apprenticeship, I would first ask what kind of work they want to do in the future, if its something completely theoretical such as a theoretical physicist, then maybe its not the route for them. However, if you’re looking to progress on some kind of online tech development or something that requires physical labour, then this offers a great route to get there with ease. I would recommend having a little bit of voluntary work experience before applying to boost your chances but it’s not always necessary and so someone without experience should really give the application a go.

Once you are qualified what are you plans for your future career?

I hope to progress on to a degree apprenticeship in computer science, following that, possibly a masters degree in quantum science for the possibility of researching quantum computing and quantum information theory. I feel the quantum age of computers is close and I would love to participate in this rise of the quantum age. But failing that, any kind of advanced computer science position I would settle on and I’m sure would enjoy spending a lot of my time doing.