21st April, 2011
A new approach to collaborative working was the highlight for students from Aston University who took part in a Challenge Day organised by IT company Capgemini.
Almost a hundred first years from three IT-related courses experienced an ‘ASE’ (Accelerated Solutions Environment) in one of two full working days at the company's offices in Telford, in order to solve a real life business problem faced by Capgemini client Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.
It was an opportunity for students to experience a corporate environment, work business hours and experience a real business challenge. It also supports Capgemini’s commitment to inspire students into work and build longstanding relationships with good, technically-minded universities.
Event co-sponsor Lance Doughty, a Capgemini VP and Executive Sponsor of Graduate Recruitment, outlined the importance of the potential in the link-up with Aston and the aims of the Capgemini Challenge Day.
“We want to build mutual relationships with regional universities, to provide exposure to employers such as Capgemini and how we work,” said Lance. “But we also want to learn from universities and how they approach things; for example in research and development.
“With this Challenge Day we wanted to provide Aston’s students a different type of learning experience – attacking a genuine business problem faced by our client HMRC – and in the process learn new skills they can take back to their courses.”
As well as increasing the students’ business awareness, the Challenge Day will be assessed and form part of a first year module.
Aston University lecturer and event co-sponsor David Evans played a key role in shaping the Challenge and was pleased with the end result and said it was ‘more than a success’.
“The Capgemini Challenge Day is about three things,” said David. “Firstly, the relationship between Capgemini and the University through student engagement; secondly, giving the students a chance to problem solve in a unique way; and thirdly, giving students the chance to work in – and experience – a corporate environment.
“It was good fun and shifted student expectations about what it’s like to work in somewhere like Capgemini.”
The ends of both days were met with student-crafted ‘poster parades’ to display responses to the question ‘How would HMRC engage better with citizens through the use of electronic channels?’ All of the posters have since been displayed on the campus.
Capgemini is one of a number of companies that currently supports the Information Technology Management for Business (ITMB) course that is offered at Aston University and endorsed by E-Skills.
View footage of the Challenge Day
Capgemini, one of the world's foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, enables its clients to transform and perform through technologies. Capgemini provides its clients with insights and capabilities that boost their freedom to achieve superior results through a unique way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM.
The Group relies on its global delivery model called Rightshore®, which aims to get the right balance of the best talent from multiple locations, working as one team to create and deliver the optimum solution for clients. Present in 40 countries, Capgemini reported 2010 global revenues of EUR 8.7 billion and employs around 110,000 people worldwide.
More information is available at www.capgemini.com.