I joined Invotra’s predecessor iO1 in July 2013 as a Networking and IT systems apprentice in the Client Services team after completing my A-Levels at Farnborough Sixth Form.
My Sixth Form encouraged all students to move onto university, and I’d developed my IT skills and capabilities during A Levels so I applied for various ethical hacking and IT degree courses. Even at that point, I wasn’t sure if it was what I really wanted. I needed to explore my options first, so I began researching and found the awarding body QA, who introduced me to Invotra. I decided to defer university for a year and complete a 12 month apprenticeship course in Networking and IT Systems. But, the atmosphere at Invotra kept me here – there are lots of people my age and it’s a relaxed but focused environment.
When I first joined, I was working in the Client Services team, but I wanted to take a more technical path. Fintan Galvin, the CEO, saw this and encouraged me to move into the role of testing and I was soon promoted to Test Manager. I stayed in this role for over three years, building the team up from scratch to include many other apprentices. Most new recruits tend to spend time in the testing team to develop their understanding of our product. The HR Director Alison Galvin highly endorses continuous learning within the company, and I was encouraged to gain my ISTQB Certified tester qualification to further my knowledge in the field. I even had the opportunity to represent the company at a testing conference in Stockholm, which proved to me that Invotra were very much invested in my development.
It was in Stockholm that I found my passion for Cyber security, so I am now a quarter of the way through my next qualification, a Level 4 Apprenticeship in Cyber security which includes cryptography, IT law and ethical hacking modules. I am Invotra’s first Cyber Security apprentice, so I have a unique opportunity to help the company gain new insights as technology evolves.
Ideally, I would like to progress further in this role but a Level 5 and 6 in cyber security doesn’t currently exist (equivalent to a degree). If they are available in the future, then I definitely wouldn’t rule out continuing my education with Invotra as I know that they would encourage and support me along the way. I’m happy here; I feel like I’m doing something really interesting and of great value.