Liberty IT: An inside look at work experience

  • June O’Flaherty is a Leadership Support Assistant and Work Experience Co-ordinator at Liberty IT. She is a member of the STEM Employee Resource Group and as part of this, helped to refresh the company’s Work Experience Programme.

    Q. What opportunities exist for secondary and grammar school pupils to gain work experience inside Liberty IT?

    There are two separate work experience programmes here at Liberty IT. The first is our hybrid work experience programme which is a three-day programme focused primarily on software engineering but includes insight into Cybersecurity and product thinking through interactive workshops. This programme was initially designed as a fully remote experience during the pandemic and has now been revamped to an inclusive hybrid model.

    Our data science work experience programme was launched in June 2022 and is a programme aimed at those taking A-Level Maths and gives an insight into the opportunities in that field within the tech industry.

    We plan on running two intakes of both programmes throughout the school year. They are aimed at 16-18 year olds who are in their final years of school and in the process of choosing their college courses. We take 10 students on each programme made up of our partner schools through Business in the Community, across both NI and ROI.

    Q. What areas of the business will work experience apply?

    During the hybrid work experience programme, students will get an insight into the world of software engineering, product thinking and cyber security.

    They will have the opportunity to learn about programming language through Python and Java Script whilst completing simple challenges along the way, find out about the future of tech from our innovation division, work in breakout groups with other students, meet with our recruitment team who will provide lots of helpful hints and tips on CVs and interview techniques and spend the day in Liberty IT’s office to see some of the live projects for themselves.

    We hope students have a fun experience and get an insight into the exciting and interesting world of IT and inspire them to think about an IT career in the future and who knows, be a future Liberty IT Intern or Graduate!

    Stephen Killilea Hannon is Liberty IT’s Talent Acquisition Manager and is responsible for internal, experienced external and entry-level recruitment for Liberty IT.

    Q. During work experience how important is mentorship from senior employees within the company?

    Work Experience is hugely important for young people at school, not only to help them find out what they like doing but also to find out what they don’t like and to expose them to paths they may not have considered before. As part of this, it is important that students meet with employees at all different levels of the organisation and during our first Hybrid Work Experience Programme at the end of 2022, participants met with various team members including our managing director, Tony Marron.

    Q. What qualifications and skills are required to apply for your work experience program?

    The Hybrid Work Experience Programme for school-age pupils requires no qualifications or skills. It’s an opportunity for students to find out more about a career in IT, what is involved and the various roles that are available.

    We have had fantastic feedback from our students so far, some of which have already indicated an interest in joining Liberty IT to begin their career in technology. After the final programme this June, we will use all the feedback from the students to tweak or change it as necessary – so all the young people who take part are playing a role in ensuring our work experience continues to evolve.

    Q. Do similar work experience programs exist for graduates and undergraduates?

    Yes, we offer an annual work experience programme for graduates and interns. At Liberty IT we believe that talent early in their technology careers should be inspired, valued, and empowered which is why we invest heavily in work experience programmes for graduates and undergraduates. We look for students and graduates that are creative and curious, full of ideas and passionate about wanting to help change the world, solve problems and keep driving forward. And in return, we promise to invest in their future, nurture their ideas and support and develop them professionally and personally.

    The next round of applications for this programme will open in the summer and we offer a variety of roles including Associate Software Engineer for graduates and Intern Software Engineer for those seeking placements. The successful graduates and interns will begin with a comprehensive onboarding programme covering technical and professional skills, followed by working in teams across different business areas.

    Q. As Liberty IT continues to expand, what sort of roles are available for those wishing to start off their career within the company?

    We have various entry routes to Liberty IT for people wanting to begin a career in technology. People can join us through traditional university placement or internship and graduate opportunities that we advertise every October, or they can join as an apprentice software engineer on the LIT TechStart program that combines on-the-job upskilling with classroom learning for those who do not wish to pursue a full-time university education.

    Everyone who joins Liberty IT to begin their career in technology will get the opportunity to learn how to design and deliver great software in an agile environment that adds real value to our customers rapidly and effectively. They will work with and learn from our best tech talent, being coached, challenged and mentored as they progress.

    Our apprentices, interns and graduates work in a collaborative manner within our core development teams that design, code, test and maintain a range of platforms and services for our Fortune 100 parent company, Liberty Mutual. They will work side by side with and learn from our experienced software engineers and through our Buddy Scheme, they’ll receive ongoing feedback and coaching from a dedicated mentor.

    Our work experience programmes really do offer the best hands-on experience interns and graduates can get to kick start their career in IT.

Share this story