We caught up with Kemi, a Durham University Business & Management graduate, about her time on the Graduate Programme at Atos. Upon completing the programme, Kemi won the ‘Operational Excellence’ award where she was recognised for the impact she made in her day job to the wider Atos.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I work in the Client Security Management department in Atos. I was first introduced to Atos while I was at uni, and meeting a representative in person who convinced me that Atos is the organisation for me. I initially applied for their Operations Management Graduate Scheme opportunity, but the flexibility of Atos allowed me to move to another department that most fitted for me. I finished the programme in January 2018. There are both technical and business aspects to my role, and it’s also very client-facing which I like. Alongside this role, I am part of the diversity network – I lead the multicultural network, which is focused on bringing people together and increasing the diversity and inclusivity at Atos.
Tell us the top three skills you have learnt during your time at Atos and why you need them in your role?
Problem solving – we work in an incredibly complex environment where situations arise which require you to think outside the box and act to short deadlines.
Learning fast – this is a fast-paced environment and the people you talk to will be knowledgeable, so to keep up, you need to learn quickly. But, they don’t expect you to know everything straight away.
Resourcefulness – you want to be of value to people. You need to build contacts, pick up skills and think outside of the box to resolve issues.
I find that people higher up in the business are receptive to questions – the company has a flat structure. There is a mutual sense of respect across all positions.
What kind of training have you received? How has this helped your professional development?
There are easy ways to pick things up such as learning materials to read and training to take part in. It’s good to do more learning in your own time if you’re in a technical role which can be very complex, especially if you didn’t study the subject at university, but the resources are right there for you to use. It helps to say yes to any opportunities you’re given. I’ve moved around 3 times trying different roles and now I’ve found my perfect place.
What would a ‘normal’ day look like for someone in your role?
There is no standard day-to-day life at Atos. There are constants such as reporting, daily client and team meetings but everything else is dynamic and changeable which I love. My day goes how I want it to – I can drive my work to mean I have a very exciting week. It’s good to always try to improve, there’s so much to get involved in Atos.
What do you find most interesting with the sector/industry you’re in?
I’m very goal orientated so I like having a goal and I work in an area of technology which has a goal – to protect data/assets. Also, my role is so important at the moment in a time of significant cyber security issues.
What advice would you give to women applying to a typically male-dominated sector?
Be seen. Be vocal – give your opinions, take action, try to drive things. The females that I have worked with at Atos know how to drive things and get things done, which is inspiring.
What is the company culture like?
Everyone is friendly here. You might find yourself working in an environment where you’re the only female, but this is not a problem – you’re all working as a team towards achieving certain goals. You can do the work, so you’re included just as much as anyone else.
As with any organisation, more work needs to be done with diversity. We are currently organising an event for under-represented people in technology, but there is inclusivity in Atos.
Has anything surprised you since you started?
From a personal point of view, my performance, actually. When you’re a grad, you’re applying to just ‘a job’ without thinking about exactly what you’ll actually be doing and if you’ll be able to do it. My time here has proven to me that I can do this. I think that’s an important advice for grads: you can do this as long as you work hard and are driven - believe in yourself.
From a company point of view, I have been surprised by how flexible Atos is. You have the option to work from home or anywhere as well as the opportunity to move roles, to drive your own career and to talk to anyone
What 3 words would you use to describe life at Atos?
- Power (internal)
Any last bits of advice for grads thinking about applying?
Definitely give Atos a go – there is potential to do more, to add real value and to be seen.
To read more about Atos and apply to their graduate roles & internships, click here.