Tech Industry Gold student work shadows Quicksilva


Nineteen talented Tech Industry Gold undergraduates earned the opportunity to work shadow a digital business leader at a recent event for students, universities, and employers organised by Tech Partnership Degrees.

As one of the unique benefits for students of industry-accredited Tech Industry Gold degrees, each of these students spent a day with a CEO from the IT industry or the head of technology (CIO or CTO) from leading companies across the economy.

The shadowing opportunities were awarded as spot prizes to individuals who particularly stood out for their talent and motivation at the Tech Partnership Degrees’ event held in Reading in March 2018.

Thanks to the support of DWP, Fujitsu, Jaguar Land Rover, Telefonica, Capgemini, OpenReach, Network Rail, Digital Catapult, Accenture, DXC Technology, National Grid, Quicksilva, NHS, IBM, Met Police, Mullen Lowe Group, BT, and TATA Consultancy Services for making these opportunities possible.

James Weston is studying the BSc IT Management for Business (ITMB) degree course at the University of Chichester, accredited by industry through Tech Partnership Degrees. The Tech Industry Gold degree course has given him the opportunity to work shadow Andy Cripps, Technical Services Director, at Quicksilva.

As the summer drew to an end and a new term began, we caught up with James to find out what he had learned. Here is his story.

‘During the summer I had the pleasure of work shadowing the team at Quicksilva, an organisation that provides a diverse range of services and solutions, from integration and managed services to bespoke software solutions, with a large proportion of their work focussing on the NHS.

I was given the opportunity of spending a day work shadowing at Quicksilva after attending the Tech Partnership Degrees student/employer event when my degree team from The University of Chichester presented a project idea, on smart cities, to a panel of industry judges. We secured the second place against some tough competition. It was shortly after the presentation when I discovered I had won an individual prize to work shadow an industry leader. The reason why I had been selected was based on impressing the panel of judges on my knowledge and use of data science and analytics.

Prior to the visit at Quicksilva, I was immediately impressed with the excellent level of communication and support I received. They had thoroughly planned the day to ensure that I got the very most from the experience. The plan was based on a discussion with the director which focused on specific areas of interest to me.

On arrival I was greeted by Andy Cripps, Technical Services Director, followed by an introduction, meeting the team and discussing the day’s plans. I also met with Gayna Hart, Managing Director. I was given the opportunity to observe a scrum meeting which was based on Agile methodologies. I was impressed by the inter-organisational collaboration and partnership working. It was good to see how a small, focused team of differing specialities was able to openly discuss progress, challenges and bounce ideas off each other with support from the leadership team.

It was insightful to experience other meetings too, such as an update meeting with the service manager, a customer update meeting and a project progress meeting. It was interesting to see how different management techniques were utilised and how the company faced internal and external challenges and reflected on successes. I was particularly pleased that the team sought my input and thoughts and provided plenty of scope for questions.

Aside from the structured meetings, I was able to speak with the team between schedules, having one-to-one discussions with developers, engineers, and project managers. I really gained valuable insights into the specialist skills required providing such an array of solutions and services. I found it especially beneficial to learn about the relationships between hardware, software, legislation and current infrastructure, as well as DevOps, upcoming popular development languages, platforms, and network architectures.

The experience was extremely beneficial and prompted me to carry out additional research to narrow my future focus in the digital world. I would certainly recommend the experience and encourage future students to grab all these opportunities offered through Tech Partnership Degrees.

Finally, I would like to thank the Quicksilva team and Andy for such an enjoyable experience. It was clear to me the company values its staff and has a pleasant working environment. Since my work shadowing experience, we have discussed future collaborations, such as student placements. Quicksilva has also offered to provide me with advice and support regarding my future career.’

The work shadowing experience was made possible by Tech Partnership Degrees and Quicksilva.

Find out more about Tech Industry Gold degrees.