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Girls and technology...

Nichole Proves that IT is for Girls at International Personal Finance...

Nichole case study, girls in ITInternational Personal Finance (IPF) operates a small loan and weekly repayment system in six international markets. The IT Commercial and Service department, based in Leeds, relies on sound IT systems and a team of staff that understand its processes and services. IPF’s latest recruit, Nichole Tinnion, has not only fulfilled this criteria, her success has made the company consider Apprenticeships in a whole new light.

Seventeen year old Nichole applied for the one year work placement at IPF as part of the IT Practitioners and Professionals BTEC and NVQ award that she is studying for at Shipley College. Nichole found that she was one of the few girls at school that took an interest in IT and wasn’t surprised when, on starting college, she was the only female student in a class of 32. However, opting to study both software and hardware and taking on twice the amount of work, Nichole made herself stand out from her classmates for reasons other than her gender.

Nichole wanted her placement to be in a business where she could explore the different levels at which IT is used, to help her find her speciality. After attending her interview with IPF Nichole knew it was the place for her. She comments:

“IPF was on a list of firms supplied by Shipley College, from which I arranged three interviews. After I’d been interviewed for IPF, I cancelled the other two. I just knew that this was where I wanted to work; it was a really impressive, professional environment and I was told that if I worked hard, there may be a permanent position on offer. This was exactly the opportunity that I wanted.”

In her ten months at the company Nichole has made an impression. Her employer Danny has noticed his own workload being lifted and the way that Nichole executes tasks has earned her praise from senior members of staff. As a result, Nichole has recently accepted an offer of a permanent position as a trainee IT Service Analyst at IPF. Nichole adds:

“In eighteen months, I have gained a BTEC Certificate, a Level 2 NVQ and I’ll soon have my Level 3 NVQ and BTEC National Award, which is all equal to three A Levels. I’ve earned money and I’ve gained valuable industry experience, plus I’ve made a smooth transition from college to work, which has really helped me to adapt and develop.  I love learning but I have always wanted it to run alongside work, because this makes it more meaningful. If I go on to study a degree, I would only consider doing it through an Apprenticeship route.”

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