The Fellowship: how can I get professional experience in tech?

Almost half of the students completing the Apps for Good course say afterwards that they are interested in a technology focused career. Apps for Good students and teachers alike tell us that real-world experience is essential, and many employers feel the same. This blog is part of our latest project with Monster to provide high-quality content and support for Apps for Good Students and Fellows keen to find out more about careers in tech.

In 2012, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills cited “lack of experience” as the number one reason employers gave for turning young applicants away. At the same time, students and teaches tell tell us that formal work experience placements are increasingly difficult to find.

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There’s no reason to fear! Here are some helpful ways to get out there, get experience and get a taste of what the tech industry is really like.

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Girls in Tech: how Katie fell in love with coding

Katie is a creator of I’m Okay, which she designed with her team during the Apps for Good course at Stratford Girls’ Grammar School in the West Midlands. After winning the 2014 Apps for Good Awards, I’m Okay won the Tech for Good Awards and were finalists for the BBC Radio 1 Teen Hero Awards. Below, Katie shares how she’s become inspired by a future in computing.

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Girls in Tech: how Ellora made her idea a reality

Ellora is a creator of Envirocache, which she designed with her team during the Apps for Good course at Wick High School in Scotland. Since the course, Ellora has been working hard to transform her app idea into a reality. Ellora is a finalist for the 2017 FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards. Below, Ellora explains how she gained the confidence to pursue her idea.

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Improving your Apps for Good journey: introducing our new Student Dashboard

We’re delighted to announce the arrival of our brand new Student Dashboard! What can your students expect as they get started on their adventure?

Apps for Good students in the UK can get ready to…

Compete to have their apps built and launched to market

Students can discover and enter our UK competition, where all finalists get to travel to London and winners have their apps professionally built.

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Explore the course materials and learn at their own pace

Students can explore lessons at their own pace, visiting the dashboard to watch videos, download presentations, and complete extension activities.

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Join The Fellowship

Students can join The Fellowship to access advice from tech professionals, alerts when work experiences become available, and much more.

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How do students sign up?

  • Students will need a code to register. Teachers must create a code, then ask their students to sign up using this form.
  • Former Apps for Good students can become Fellows by signing up for the Dashboard.
  • If you are an Apps for Good partner and you’re interested in a tour of the Student Dashboard, get in touch.

Questions? Email fellows@appsforgood.org

Exploring possibilities at SAP

Tasneem is an Apps for Good Fellow from Luton. Last week, Tasneem visited SAP UK for an inspiring Work Experience Day. Here she shares her thoughts:

A day in the life with SAP
I’ve never taken part in a work experience before, and I didn’t expect to any time soon, let alone in a well reputable company in London called SAP. Founded in Germany, 1972, it manufactures software for businesses, tailoring to their needs and helps support services for their customers. This month we got the opportunity to visit the SAP UK office for ourselves and venture into the world of work and see what things are like behind the scenes.

At first, we played a fun game and learnt many interesting facts about SAP. For instance, the company’s customers produce around 72% of the world’s chocolate! We also learned that the company work with McLaren – there was even a cool interactive room in the office with a F1 car and a simulator!

Exploring possibilities with the SAP Internship Programme
Next, we got the chance to meet the latest SAP interns! They were super nice and told us how the application and interview process worked. Extremely valuable information was provided such as their experience, what they have learnt and how crucial time management is.

Solving problems with spaghetti
CpVG7oxXEAAIpOIAfter that session, we were introduced to Design Thinking- a creative and clever way of coming up with solutions to problems. Provided with just 20 sticks of spaghetti, tape, string and a marshmallow, we went ahead in completing the marshmallow challenge: building the highest free standing structure. At first, it was quite challenging as you had to think hard about how sticks that look so fragile can support a marshmallow! It seems unlikely, but with teamwork, determination and your imagination, it was certainly possible.

Trying real world tools
CpVz1CDXgAQoSKkI’m sure you’ve all heard of Green Screen Technology, that provides visual effects and animated backgrounds. Well, SAP had a Virtual Studio that uses it, where we got the opportunity to create a Video CV to take home with us! It was definitely a really unique and special aspect, and the CV will help me in the future when I apply to jobs.

We were also introduced to a software that SAP has designed so that it’s customers can add their own touches to their websites and products. We were taught how to use and prototype an app to to solve a challenge around the Rio Olympics. At the end of the day, we presented our ideas to the SAP Dragons. This was the best part of the day! It was interesting to see how the skills we learned with the Apps for Good course transferred to this challenge, and we got to use all of the problem-solving skills we practiced throughout the day!

Building skills for the future
This day has taught me that with hard work, anything is possible. I’ve also learned that technology has revolutionised dramatically and with the marshmallow challenge, I learned to never give up and to carry on.

I was so happy to get this chance to visit SAP. It was incredibly useful to know just how many positions are available in companies today, and how all these roles work together. This experience and knowledge has helped me to broaden my horizon greatly. I think it’s extremely important that other young people get opportunities like these, so we can understand how to build up the skills that can help them in the future.

Are you interested in getting more from your Apps for Good experience? Join the Fellowship and keep up to date with lots of exciting opportunities.