Computer Networks student, William Holmes spent his placement at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) as a Networking Intern. William worked on a number of client projects and enhanced his CV by gaining new skills and experience. He impressed the company sufficiently to secure a permanent job with them after graduation. William spoke with us about his placement year and discusses how he impressed HPE.
What's a typical day at HPE like?
Normally, I would support the local Technical Consultants which meant the work varied a lot depending on whether a customer project was taking place or not. The customer projects would be quite full-on but I also had quiet periods which allowed me to do some self-studying as well as grow, learn and develop my knowledge. During customer project periods, I would be busy installing new kit, shipping old kit, configuring devices and assisting customers. Other activities included attending customer meetings; installing, configuring and testing networking equipment; and studying for the HPE networking certification. I really enjoyed working there. The company made me feel extremely welcome and provided many new and exciting opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. The placement was a rollercoaster of experiences, I made new friends of all age ranges and I’ve been lucky enough to remain in contact with them to assist in my final year of university.
What were the highlights of your placement?
I was given the opportunity to travel to Sweden for a week where I took part in training, seminars and sponsored events. Hotels, flights, travel, food and drink were all paid for by the company. I also enjoyed visiting the London office and where I was given the opportunity to take HPE’s exams to ‘beef up’ my CV.
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Why did you decide to do a placement?
I believed that completing a placement year would be a great addition to my CV and help stand out from the rest. The salary of the placement did not concern me at all, provided it was enough to live off – it was more important to me that I gained valuable experience in the business environment.
Would you recommend that prospective students undertake a placement year?
Yes! The skills that I learned on placement have been extremely valuable. I feel as though I matured as an adult and picked up small but important soft skills too – such as how to correctly and politely communicate with customers and others. My networking skills also developed while being there, which helped support my degree in my final year of university. Furthermore, having performed well during my placement and using the knowledge and skills I gained, I have been able to secure myself a graduate job back at Hewlett Packard Enterprise! This allows me to relax about my future post-university and focus more on my studies rather than needing to apply for jobs and attend interviews during my final year.