Aaron Towning is a mathematics and philosophy graduate from Jesus College Oxford. Not coming from a strong IT background, when he decided to turn his hobby into a career he chose to apply to FDM Academy. Following just over 2 months skills development, Aaron was placed at UBS in London, where he is currently working as an Application Support Analyst:
“FDM was my first venture into the job market! I finished my degree in 2008, and took a gap year. Towards the end of that year, my interests had led me into programming, and I started to think seriously about a career in IT; and so from summer 2009 onwards I started looking into what IT opportunities were open to me.
As a graduate who hadn’t considered a career in IT until after I’d finished my degree, I was lacking the kind of solid, foundational knowledge that comes from studying a course in IT, and didn’t have the confidence that comes with such a course of study. FDM offered me the opportunity to meet both these aims at once – by delivering superb training combined with an approach that led me to improve my presentation and self-confidence.
The training was well structured and balanced between study and projects, which really helped me to keep me interested in the material and wanting to start work every day. I was always genuinely excited to work on the projects, and it was a thrill both to grapple with the problems and also to look back at the end of the project and see what I’d accomplished. I have found since starting work that the specific content of the training is very well tuned to what is used in the industry and overall highly useful.
I got placed with UBS in London where team I am part of is responsible for providing first line support for the 7 applications we deal with – that is, being the first point of contact when a trader has a problem with the application and handling the problem in the appropriate way. As well as this, we are responsible for having a general oversight of the known issues with the applications, and work to steer the development team’s attention in line with the business needs as required. In addition we often implement changes developed for the applications, and frequently for post-implementation testing – checking that any such changes have not weakened the functionality of the application. The role is a hugely enjoyable one. We are uniquely in charge and responsible for the applications used; our work directly controls both how users are able to use the applications and which issues will receive attention from the development team, and so we are absolutely on the cutting edge of IT.
My position in UBS has been surprisingly dynamic. I had expected that my work would be fairly routine and for the majority of it to be following procedure; on the contrary, I face new problems every day, and am creatively challenged by the range of work. I think FDM’s master class programme offers very valuable additions to the prospective IT professional’s skill-set, by giving training focussed towards both the technologies used by prospective employers, and also to the areas which need the most work.”