Article by Calum Shepherd
I’m entering my fourth year studying Computing at Abertay University, and heading into the summer I wanted to use my time effectively and gain some valuable experience in the field. I already had some experience in technical support in my current job as a CCTV maintenance engineer, however I wanted to see what other areas of the industry would be like. When the University emailed us about the placements on offer in the Scottish Government I jumped at the chance.
My placement was within the iTECS team in Mobile and Email Migration. This team was created to migrate every member of the Scottish Government – both Core and external directories – to the new Microsoft Exchange Online service. This included moving all users’ mailboxes into the cloud.
My role was to provide support for anyone who experienced problems setting up their mailboxes or mobile phones whilst moving to the new service. This required me to provide support over email, messages and MS Teams calls. The role also involved updating documentation and guidance for the iFix system as well as organising old, unused phones to be recycled.
The whole placement for me has been hugely beneficial and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. I have particularly liked meeting new people from my team and members of the DDaT professions, and it was great to see how the Scottish Government is run. Going through the Agile training that we were offered was a real highlight for me as it was very interesting and I learned a huge amount in a very short time.
The placement has enabled me to improve upon all the skills required in a support role, such as communicating with customers and problem solving. I have gained a good insight into what working in the public sector is like, as well as learning about new technologies such as cloud services and the different ways mobile devices can be used in a working scenario.
While I am not yet sure of the exact job I would like to do after graduating, following this placement I would definitely consider working in the Scottish Government if given the chance.
The placement enabled me to develop my customer service and support skills, and I gained a great deal of experience in solving a wide range of problems at very short notice. My public speaking skills have greatly improved, and my confidence in my own abilities has increased considerably.
I'm a student, currently studying for a BSc in Cybersecurity at Abertay University. My path into the cybersecurity world has been a unique one, having lived a former life as a Primary School Teacher for 5 years. I'll be entering the third year of my degree after this placement, so I'm relatively new to the field.
The goal of my research was to help the government understand existing analytical capacity, identify potential gaps, and forecast future hiring and training needs as data and evidence-based policymaking continue to grow in importance.