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Joy Manuel

Joy is interested in all aspects of IT and business.

Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems is an American multinational corporation headquartered in California, that designs, manufactures, and sells networking equipment.

Joy Manuel is currently working as an Analyst at Cisco Systems within the Communication and Collaboration IT Project Management Office (PMO). During her one-year placement whilst studying Information Systems at City, University of London, she worked as a Business Analyst at IBM.

What did your placement involve?

I obtained a Business Analyst role working at IBM Southbank. I worked on a number of initiatives throughout the year, with the majority of my time on a project called SNAP (Strategic North-East Account Planning). My role in the project was working within the PMO team. I had the opportunity to travel frequently to various cities around Europe including Zurich, Frankfurt and Munich. My responsibilities included preparing for and scheduling over 300+ account planning sessions for high profile account teams across Europe, as well as training sessions for the facilitators beforehand. The project was intense and had various tight deadlines to keep to and in total took around 5-6 months for completion. The results were successful and the team was acknowledged, I received an award called 'Business Transformation IT'. This award recognises teams and employees whom have worked on innovative and transforming successful IT projects within IBM. I also gained another 2 individual awards ('Bravo!' Award and 'Thanks' award) throughout the year for my efforts on other various pieces of work.

What have you done since graduating?

I am currently working as an Analyst at Cisco Systems.The role is within the Communication & Collaboration IT Project Management Office, therefore I get to work on a number of very different IT projects such as Budget & Finance Portfolio Management, Software Support & Operations, Metrics related projects as well as designing and contributing to internal workspace 'Communities'. I am interested in all aspects of IT and business, and am lucky that I work in a role which is so varied and interesting. I am constantly learning new skills, and am always kept busy. One day I could be designing a new community, then the next I could be working on producing web analytics or financial budget work. I am also involved in recruiting interns into our European IT organisation, and have been working closely with City's PLU in order to promote and recruit City students.

What were the main benefits of completing a placement year?

Leaving university with at least one year's worth of industrial experience gave me a positive boost in increasing my chances of finding full time employment. I can honestly say that without my placement year at IBM, I would probably have had an extremely tough time finding a job after graduating. Having work experience helped me to become more confident in my approach to employers during interviews as I was able to give first hand examples of situations faced whilst working within my role at IBM. When I left IBM, I had a more refined business acumen, and gained invaluable skills. I learnt so much everyday within the working environment, and gained so much knowledge from individuals I worked with from different roles, cultures and experiences. Since I have been recently involved in helping to recruiting interns into Cisco, I have noticed that although hiring managers take education into account, they also seem to have more interest in students that have previous work experience as well.