“It took me some exploring to realise what I wanted to do. I started my journey working lots of different jobs as a letting agent where I found I was spending more time solving people’s IT problems than doing my actual job. That’s when I realised I was better suited in IT and preferred to work in a more technical space.
Once I knew where I wanted to take my career, I still found myself somewhat stuck, as most apprenticeships were only funded until you were 21 – at this point I was 24. Fortunately, I came across the FCDO Services IT apprenticeship. The pay was a cut above many other apprenticeships, and I liked the idea of making a difference with the government. So I applied, and soon after started my FCDO Services career.
“My experience with the Infrastructure team was career defining, seeing their work and the technology they used was so exciting and interesting.”
It’s a large organisation which gave me a lot of exposure to different teams and technologies, allowing me to see what I enjoyed. On the apprenticeship, I got to shadow and delve into work to gain a greater understanding of everything. I had placements in different Technology and Operations teams, with rotations in all the different areas. That was great, because I got to figure out what I liked doing. My experience with the Infrastructure team was career defining, seeing their work and the technology they used was so exciting and interesting. That’s when I knew I wanted to work there.
Today, I manage the Patching and Compliance team. We install software updates, making sure that the servers are receiving all the necessary patches, and the firewalls are all working. We use a tool to scan for vulnerabilities and then fix any that come up. We also keep the systems maintained and running, ensuring we resolve any issues before they become a big problem. We do it all here, giving us exposure to a wide range of technologies and aspects of IT. So even if you’re on a particular team, you can work with other teams and see what they’re about.
“When we’re doing well, it’s obvious, and we get good feedback from managers.”
We have metrics on the work that we do, which means we can see how many servers we’ve patched and how many vulnerabilities we’ve fixed. So, when we’re doing well, it’s obvious, and we get good feedback from managers – it’s great to know our hard work gets appreciated. Everything we do has a visual effect to it, you can see the work that has been done, which gives me a lot of fulfilment.
The nature of what we do means we have issues pop up all the time. Often, there isn’t a prescribed fix for many issues, so we have to work it out together and collaborate with other teams. It makes me happy when colleagues come together to solve problems, in fact, it’s those moments that really make the job what it is.
Here, everyone is really friendly, focused on their job and wants to succeed in finding the best solution. This creates a very collaborative, warm and welcoming environment. You know you can rely on the support of others, and you also have an expert in every aspect of the team, so every base is covered.
At work, I enjoy being in the open plan office where you can get up and talk to people – it makes it a very fun and sociable place to be. Of course, a lot has changed recently due to Covid but FCDO Services have always had flexible working even before the pandemic
“The high level of focus on security and how systems are created, keeps us ahead of the game.”
What makes FCDO stand out for me is that they’re very focused on professionalism and meeting industry standards with how they manage everything. The adherence to policy is so important and the high level of focus on security and how systems are created, keeps us ahead of the game. This in turn also pushes me to move ahead in my career.
FCDO Services are really open to helping me grow as a person. There’s a lot of training available to support your growth and career development. I’ve completed a number of really interesting courses already, including one on VMware, and my aim is to keep stretching my learning even further, which FCDO Services also encourage and support.
“My role plays an important part in keeping our country and government secure.”
It’s rewarding to know that what I do makes a difference and to know that it has a real-world impact. I’ve had jobs where no one would notice the work that I did, but here, my role plays an important part in keeping our country and government secure. And as a civil servant you’re also rewarded with a good pension, generous annual leave and excellent benefits.
I’ve made a lot of friends here, and I feel lucky to work in the Infrastructure team, who I’ve learned so much from. I’m not too sure of what the future holds, but I hope to keep growing, learning and making an impact with my team. When you like what you do, who you work with, and you’re being compensated well, of course you want to stay.
Feel inspired by our article? Whether you’re returning to work after a break, looking to change jobs, or just starting out, we have lots of opportunities for you to pursue a career in technology with us.
If you’re already working in IT but looking for a role where you can explore different technology collaborating with inspiring and supportive teams, then why not visit our dedicated careers page: Digital, Data and Technology – FCDO Services Careers. Or, you may want to start by exploring our IT apprenticeship programme. Applications for 2022 are now closed but it’s never too late to start thinking about applying , visit our page for more details.
Or, you can view our latest vacancies here