Name – Amy Hunter
Company – Citi
Role – Intern – Quality Assurance
Degree – Computing Technologies at Ulster University
Talk us through your typical work day?
I arrive at the office for 8.30am and go straight for a coffee. Get to the desk and before 9 o’clock I have read through all emails that have come in and responded to these accordingly. I then move onto testing, which is a key part of my role within Quality Assurance. My role is quite technical and I am required to work with performance dashboards to indicate what the next stage in my day entails. No two days are the same and quite often if I identify defects I will have to go back over work to make sure all company quality checks have been completed.
What has surprised you the most?
What took me by surprise with my Ulster University placement was the amount of responsibility I have been given. When I first started, the team was in the middle of a release cycle which meant I had to hit the ground running. For each release I must ensure that any requirements assigned to me are complete and that full functionality is delivered from the development team. Although this can seem like a big task for placement student, it has been a great experience as I have been able to greatly develop my task/time management skills. It has also allowed me to become more effective in my communication as I am required to work with people who are based in London, Pune, Shanghai, Canada, New York and New Jersey.
What has been your biggest challenge and achievement?
My biggest challenge during my Ulster University placement was understanding each of the applications that I would be carrying out my testing on. As there are 4 components, it was a challenge to see how each of them worked together and in what ways they were linked. The only way to learn was by asking any question that came to mind and, from the answers received, apply these to each test that I carried out. Another challenge I found was using the same methods that the team use to track the progress of the release. For this I found that the best way to learn was to simply start using the systems to create test cases, monitor requirements and raise any bugs that I found when completing my testing. For me, the biggest achievement so far, is that I have proven to the team that I am capable of carrying out any task that is assigned to me and therefore they feel like they can give me more responsibility for each upcoming release.
What skills and qualities have you developed through your role?
Independence – Although I am part of a team, I have also had individual responsibilities assigned to me, and therefore it is up to me to ensure that these are complete and full functionality produced before release day.
Flexibility – In Quality Assurance, each requirement is subject to change. This means that even though testing has already been started for a certain component, this can change meaning that the entire test needs to be run again.
Interpersonal Skills – Working with people in different locations and time zones has helped me improve my communication skills because it is important in my role to understand what other departments require from me in my role in Quality Assurance.
Technical expertise – I use a range of specialist software programmes as part of my daily duties alongside typical Microsoft programmes which have been developed further throughout my placement.
What first attracted you to the role?
The global image of Citi is what first attracted me to the company. With offices in over 100 countries, the globality of Citi has given me the chance to interact with people in places I could never imagine. I always thought I wanted to work in development, but having been placed in a QA role this is now the role where I see myself working in the future. As one of the leading companies in Belfast, the technology placement has been a great way of starting my professional career.
How do you think this will help your future career?
Citi has given me an insight into what working for a global company is like and how it can further your career. It has given me the opportunity to work with people in different roles, and although I currently work in QA, I get to interact with business analyst and developers. It has given me the drive to ensure that I complete my final year of university to the highest standard to ensure that I give myself the best opportunity for graduate jobs.
Top Tips for applying for a placement role.
– Apply for a placement as soon as the application opens as having a placement will greatly improve your chances for gaining a graduate job.
– Prepare for each stage of the application process equally as they are all important steps in ensuring you secure a placement – Application form, CV, aptitude test, assessment centers and interviews.
– For interview – know exactly what skills you have written in your CV as well as preparing scenarios to show off the work you have completed within university, but also to show the skills you have developed outside of university assignments.
– Seek as much help form lectures/careers guidance staff as possible – they will be able to talk you through each stage of the application and can give advice where necessary.