Guest Blog Post: Tales of a Startup Team: the good, the bad (not really), and the awesome by Jordan Barnes

The awe. The envy. The shock.

Startup employees see it all from those who look on from afar.

No, we don’t all jet around the country on our private jets.

No, we aren’t all working in garages, eating cereal out of plastic cups.

No, we don’t have U2 playing at all of our product launches.

Working at a startup does come with a territory. Without a doubt, the hours can be long, the pressure can be high and the stakes can be massive. However, working at a startup is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had to date.  Here’s why.

The team: Startup teams are well-oiled machines. We don’t have the luxury or issue with dealing with a huge corporation, dictating when and how we do things. A different level, a more vested level, of trust is built when you truly work hand in hand with your team on every part of your job.

The impact: Arguably one of the most rewarding things about working in such a unique startup environment is seeing the direct impact of your work within the company. Seeing projects go from start to finish and seeing how your dedication and earnest work has made a profound impact on the company is endorphin-inducing. When your work doesn’t get lost in the corporate shuffle, lost in the webs of organizational structure and flow, it means something.

The environment: To be entirely cliché, the startup environment is unrivaled and totally awesome.  Because of the startup nature, ideas are encouraged and welcomed. We know the game of ‘throwing a hundred ideas at the wall and hoping one sticks’ all too well.  That being said, creative freedom is encouraged and prevalent.

The opportunity:  To be even more cliché, the opportunity to be a part of such a high-growth, rapid-fire organization transforms you as an employee. You find yourself working more efficiently and more passionately. You find ways to work leaner and meaner. The pressure can be intense, but the reward is greater. Pivotal decisions about the direction and strategy of the entire company are made in a mile-a-minute fashion, and adapting is the only option. And once again, when you see the direct impact of your work in the business, it empowers you.


Startup teams. We celebrate together in the successes, we mourn together in the losses. Want to see what it’s like? Reach out to Jenn Chen at jenn@icracked.com to learn more about the iCracked way.


Building your future?

I wanted to wish new and returning students plus our recent graduates a very, very warm welcome to the new Acedmic Year 2014-15. This year we have a new offering which are our Career Lounges. These will be running three times a week. Check these out as well as our Careers Workshops. All sessions are practical to help you hone your skills, not just information lead.

Building your future and preparing yourself

Careers Workshops – help with:
• Searching for internships and graduate jobs
• Cvs and applications
• Gaining an edge in the job market
• Interview technique

Ready for work

Careers Lounges (new) – help with:
• cvs and applications
• Employer recruitment & selection

Book now! Before places get taken!

Best Wishes,

Marlon Gray (Senior Careers Consultant)


Guest Blog Post: Mike Hogg, Zuhlke



Mike Hogg is the Embedded and Mobile Systems Business Unit Lead at Zuhlke Engineering.  He shares some of his experiences and advice on the recruitment at Zuhlke.

If you are interested in working for Zuhlke, then come and visit them at this year’s Engineering, Science and Technology Fair, on Wednesday 8th October in the Great Hall.

Zuhlke will hold between 2-4 three month summer internships or industrial placements for undergraduate and Master’s students in 2014/15 and between 2-4 graduate positions in 2015. The closing date for applications is 1st February 2015. 


How long have you been working in this role?

Three years.


Talk us through a typical day in your role. What time do you get to work / leave the office and which activities are you usually involved in?

I typically work from 9am until 6.30pm each day, mostly in our central London office but quite often out visiting customers or potential customers in and around London. On a particular day I might attend the daily scrum meets that all our projects run to see how things are going, then head out to meet with customers to understand their needs, before heading back to put together technical proposals explaining how we can help. I also get to define architectures and develop software from time to time, but not as much as the rest of my team!


What is the best part of your job?

Leading a talented team of software developers, and working with a wide variety of customers with different products, technologies and problems to solve.


What is the biggest challenge of the job?

I need to stay abreast of the latest technologies and trends that might be valuable to our customers; luckily I and my team have allocated training time and budget for this.


Why do you come to careers events on campus?

To find promising software engineers looking for interesting roles.


How can a candidate really impress you at a campus event?

The best candidates have a number of personal software projects under their belt and are keen to learn more.


What is the most common mistake you see candidates making throughout the selection and recruitment process?

Not as well prepared as they could be to talk about their experience and knowledge.


What are the attributes you look for in a student/graduate that are particularly suited to your organisation?

We’re looking for people who are highly technically adept and who are keen to work closely with customers solving real technical challenges.


What advice would you give to anyone thinking of joining your organisation?

Come and talk to us at the fair, we’d love to hear about what you’ve done and answer your questions on what we do.


How can a student connect with you / your organisation?

Our HR Coordinator Julia Volland is first point of contact for any question regarding career opportunities at Zuhlke. She will process applications and set-up interviews. Her contact address is: Julia.Volland@zuhlke.com. If you’d like to apply for our graduate recruitment scheme or for an internship please visit our career site on http://www.zuehlke.com/en/the-company/jobs/vacancies.html and process your application online.



Guest Blog Post: Rishi Shah, Credit Suisse Business Analyst for FDM Group


Rishi Shah


Rishi Shah graduated from City University in 2013 with a degree in Information  Systems. Since graduating he has gone on to work for professional services  provider, FDM Group. Rishi is currently placed at Credit Suisse as a Business  Analyst and shares his experience below.



I chose to pursue a career in IT because I saw the great advances in technology whilst growing up. This allowed me to see the digital age grow and develop giving me a huge insight into the potential developments over time. This really excited me, so I made it my mission to pursue a career in IT.

My time at City University provided me with the necessary skills to develop my career and allowed me to gain a greater understanding of the way in which IT impacts the world as we know it. I studied Information Systems, which gave me a knowledge base in business and IT. My course spanned across three years and I learnt a variety of different topics. My most interesting topic was Project Management where I was required to manage students and ensure that they were on the right path to completing their work.

Two years before I started at FDM, my brother had joined FDM’s Graduate Programme. He trained on the business pathway specialising in PMO before being placed at UBS in Switzerland. The career paths with FDM are endless. The opportunities they provide for graduates are second to none and if IT is a career path you are looking to pursue, I strongly recommend taking a look at FDM.

I also trained on the business pathway specialising in PMO as I wanted a more business oriented role. I spent eight weeks training at FDM’s Academy in London Bridge. Training is broken down into two stages, starting with foundation training. This is three weeks long and provides you with the core skills needed when working in the corporate world. The next stage of training is specialising in a certain area, for me that was in PMO. This took five weeks where I underwent rigorous training with recognised qualifications such as PRINCE2.

I had a couple of interviews before being placed at Credit Suisse in Canary Wharf. I have now been at Credit Suisse for around four months and have enjoyed every minute of it. The skills FDM provided me with in my training have transferred with me into a professional working environment. I currently work with five other FDMers in my team, which gives a sense of comfort and ease. To know wherever you are placed there will be other FDMers that have been in your position and will ensure that you feel comfortable in your role makes settling in a whole lot easier. FDM has a large community base amongst its employees on most client sites within the UK and globally.

As a Business Analyst in the Secure and Control Technologies Department I currently work on internal processes resolving issues and problem tickets. There is a lot of interaction between the stakeholder and the BA so you get to meet a lot of people and gain a huge knowledge-base, making it a great place to work.

The good thing about working here is that, although I am a BA by title, my role is not just limited to that. I get to experience lots of variety in my role making it even more exciting. FDM has plenty of opportunities out there waiting to be filled; it just depends on where you see yourself and how motivated you are in doing so. I could not be happier to have pursued my dream of working within the technology industry and it is with thanks to FDM.


Guest Blog Post: Aamir Maqsood, Business Analyst at FDM Group

Aamir Maqsood


Aamir Maqsood graduated from City University in 2012 with a degree in Economics. Since graduating he has gone on to work for professional services provider, FDM Group. Aamir is currently placed at Towergate Partnership Ltd. as a Business Analyst and shares his experience below.


Like many graduates, I finished university with little sense of direction in regards to my career choices. I had been passionate about IT since a young age but this was tough to demonstrate as it was Economics that I chose to study at City University. I soon realised that I did not have the qualifications or experience to apply directly for the best roles in IT. I started to believe that I would have to settle for a college-leaver role or invest more time and money in an IT qualification. My problems were answered when I came across FDM Group.

I joined FDM and began training on their Technical Pathway specialising in Application Support within just a few weeks of making my application. The training programme was intensive and challenging from the outset. However the supportive environment and work-hard, play-hard culture kept me motivated. The first month in-house covers core modules which provide you with the professional skills to work in the commercial world. After you have completed these, you go through electives relevant to your learning pathway, for me this was Application Support.

The training delivered in the Academy is nothing like university; it is entirely commercially-relevant. I undertook two renowned certifications. The first was ITIL, which outlines best practices in IT Service Management and the second was IOC, which covers the basics of investment operations. Completing the programme successfully, as a non-Computer Science graduate, left me with a very rewarding feeling knowing that I am a credible IT Analyst being sought-after by FDM’s prestigious clients.

My career began with two short-term App Support contracts at industry-leading companies. The experience I gained was phenomenal. One of the contracts was first-line, where I was placed in a team of five in a fast-paced environment, responsible for supporting thousands of users. There was a lot of learning on the job as I was dealing with hundreds of users a week. The second-line role was a lot more laid back and I was given time to build relationships with the various stakeholders who I mediated between to solve user problems. I was also given the chance to shadow other teams for a few weeks to gain insight into a high-functioning IT department and the business in general.

I am now working as a Business Analyst for Towergate Insurance, Europe’s largest independent insurance broker. They have spent the last ten years acquiring over 150 businesses. I am working on a migration project to consolidate their individual systems. This is having a massive impact on the company and I am delighted to play a significant part in the implementation. I am most grateful to FDM for providing me this opportunity to completely transform my career in two years.


Guest blog post: Nationwide’s Women in Business

Kate1Kate Watson is currently Head of Group Digital Design at Nationwide. She joined Nationwide in 2000 as a Generalist on the Nationwide Management Development Programme. Read her story and her top tips:

“I left Birmingham University in 2000 with a BA in English. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do when I left university – I had half an idea about working in Marketing, but I was also interested in the flexibility of a more generalist graduate scheme.

I spotted the advert for the Nationwide Management Development Programme in the university careers centre and decided to apply. I’ve always had savings accounts with Nationwide and liked what they stood for as a company so, although I wasn’t sure about a career in financial services (numbers aren’t really my strong point!) I thought I’d give it a go.

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