Michael Daly, AXA
University | Placement | Graduate Programme
Hi, I’m Michael Daly, a graduate on AXA’s IT & Digital Leaders programme. Currently on my first placement in Bristol, I’m working as an IT Service Continuity Consultant in the Group Technology and Operations office for AXA UK.
I joined the programme in September 2015, after completing my degree in Ethical Hacking and Network Security. The course itself was very technical, and it was during my placement year at Glaxo Smith Kline that I found my interests lay in the more business-focused side of IT, which led me to AXA.
When looking at graduate programmes, AXA really stood out for me as a rapidly growing organisation. There also seemed to be a lot of exciting career opportunities in IT, based on the way that AXA is using new technology to support its growth. So I set about doing my research by exploring the website, LinkedIn and the latest news and in the end, applying was a no-brainer!
My first major project is in the Disaster Recovery team, where I and another colleague are creating an impactor test, by shutting down and recovering a small number of systems in the shortest amount of time possible.
What’s been great about joining AXA is that I’ve been able to get stuck into projects straight away, but projects that are related to my current skills and understanding. During my placement I was involved in a wide range of tasks including Disaster Recovery, Project Management and Data Centre Design, gaining an in-depth view of IT infrastructure within a global organisation. It’s been really useful to not only apply the skills I gained in these areas, but to have been able to join AXA with an idea of the way its own infrastructure is set up.
For such a large and complex global organisation, there’s a real culture of openness here at AXA. Upon joining I was expecting quite a strict and formal environment, but everyone is really friendly and approachable, interacting across all different business areas rather than being segregated within their teams.
To anyone thinking of applying for the IT & Digital Leaders programme, my advice would be to prepare thoroughly and have confidence in yourself. Experience is also vital in the application process, so make sure you have plenty of examples, whether it’s a placement, internship or team project. But above all else I would say go for it; AXA is an incredible organisation for upcoming IT talent, and there are so many opportunities for the future.
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