Alison Genge - HP scholarship
The HP Scholarship programme at UWE offered Alison the opportunity to gain commercial awareness within a large IT company, and a massive step up the career ladder.
Acceptance onto the HP scholarship
When I first heard about the Hewlett Packard scholarships, I didn't dream that I would be selected. At 25, I was older than most of the other students on the Access course, and I had very little background in IT. Despite this doubt and upon successful completion of the Access course, I applied and was very pleased to have been accepted.
Getting to know you
For the first two years, HP allowed us to concentrate on our course at UWE with only the addition of some HP specific material and several "getting to know you" sessions - to allow some role assessments, personality and skills matching.
After the first year, during the summer break, we were invited to spend some time with various HP departments where our future was intended; this was very beneficial as an introduction to life in the work place, the office and HP itself.
In the third year, everyone's career developed in different directions. My placement led me somewhat away from the technical side, as I had planned, into a more customer-focused, managerial role, and after a few months of induction and shadowing I had my own customer base to manage, based on the delivery of technical support for Mission Critical and Proactive Services to clients such as Airbus, the Met Office and the MoD.
Great minds think alike
I had access to some great minds and training during my placement and beyond. HP had made this investment and I intended to capitalise on it by making use of their facilities and continuing to learn from others.
In total, I stayed with HP for five years; two years of placement and three years as a full employee. I felt after five years I wished to expand and gain some experience in other industries. Since then, I have had two roles, both within the Finance industry, and now I am an IT Senior Service Improvement Manager leading a team of Service Managers for a company dealing in the processing and management of prepaid cards (owned in half by MasterCard).
A step up the career ladder
The HP/UWE partnership offered a massive step up the career ladder for me and the other students who embarked on the BSc course. We gained not only from university life, but also from the commercial experience with HP. A lot of resources were made accessible to us, and we steadily gained a clear understanding of how a large IT supplier works. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it has contributed a significant entry on my CV for prospective employers to read!