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Everyone can do IT

Hannah Reading - FDM

Here at FDM, we love to share our trainee and consultant success stories, and this particular one, we are especially proud of. Hannah Reading has Asperger’s syndrome, and is currently undergoing FDM’s Careers Programme at the London Academy learning Java Development. Asperger's syndrome is a form of autism where people see the world a bit differently from others and because of this, social and communication skills can be largely affected. As she comes to the end of her training and prepares for her client placement with Shell, she shares her journey showing that everyone can make it in tech.

My passion for computers began when I was four - I used to play games on my dad’s computer. Then, when I was a teenager, I did a project using Microsoft Access which really made me think a career in development is what I wanted to do. When it was time to go to university I studied Information Technology Management for Business at the University of Hertfordshire, and it was during a competition called the Tech Partnerships Southern Event, that I first came across FDM.

FDM’s application process was so much more straightforward than other companies. Many of their application processes involved numerical and verbal reasoning tests with a restrictive time limit. This was a concern of mine as I need a little more time to process the questions. However, with FDM it was simple - a telephone call to confirm my details, followed by a video assessment that allowed extra time for me to really think about my answers and write a few ideas down. Finally, I was invited to an Assessment Day, where I felt confident on completing the tests, and the interviewers made me feel at ease - I felt more relaxed and confident with each one.

When I was offered a spot on the Graduate Programme with FDM I was so happy, I really couldn’t believe it!

Having Asperger’s syndrome, there have been some challenges during my training, predominantly with my social skills, which is something I struggle with most. I have had to overcome my social fears and anxieties, especially during group projects. I particularly overcame this on my birthday when all my classmates and I sat together for lunch - it was really nice and I got along with everyone. Another thing I have struggled with is the noise levels in the office. Recently, I have managed to overcome this by bringing in my ear defenders which help me concentrate and block out the noise.

Despite these challenges, my hard work has paid off. I am excited to be starting with Shell in January as an ABAP Developer.

The message I have for future trainees or those thinking about joining FDM is, don’t be afraid to try something new and don’t let your needs or disability hold you back. If you really want to go for something then you can do it and if you want to apply for one of FDM’s programmes, then do, because they will help you reach your full potential. The support network here is great, they’ve helped me overcome my fears and develop in the skills that I struggled with at university.

We will be catching up with Hannah in a few months’ time once she’s settled in at Shell to find out more about her FDM journey on client site.


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