Introducing the ITV Technology Graduate Scheme

Tim Davis
Tim Davis
Oct 16, 2020 · 10 min read

Are you looking to kickstart your career in technology?

Applications for ITV’s Technology Graduate Scheme 2021 intake opened this week, and we want to hear from dynamic, driven people with an appetite for learning to join us at ITV, based in either London or Leeds.

We’re looking for technology leaders of the future to invest in. We are a changing organisation and we believe in developing technology skills for the media and entertainment industry through university partnerships, internships and graduate schemes like this one. Our scheme is unique because of the range of teams and technologies that you’ll experience over two years, with more choice and a better chance for you to find your perfect role, and for that role to find you. Learn about the structure of the programme and apply here.

ITV graduates at the technology Christmas party
ITV graduates at the technology Christmas party

Tim Davis

Enterprise Architect and graduate scheme manager

Joined ITV: September 2013

Based: London

Studied: Communications at Dublin City University

Over the last few years I’ve been part of the team that’s created and expanded ITV’s graduate programme. In this blog you’ll meet three of our current and former technology graduates who will provide you with some insight into the application process, what to expect in the first year as well as finding out how graduates have transitioned into permanent roles at ITV.

First off, I’d like to introduce you to Emily Dunn, who is part of our latest intake of graduates:

Emily Dunn

Technology Graduate

Joined ITV: September 2020

Based: Leeds (but WFH currently)

Studied: Maths at University of Sheffield

Hello, I’m Emily and I recently began my role of Technology Graduate. Notionally, I am based in Leeds, however the majority of the tech teams, including me, are working from home for the moment. Despite the impact of COVID-19, and the restrictions that have been placed on the working environment, the scheme has been adapted to be able to introduce us all virtually. The technology services are really well set up to make the remote onboarding process as smooth and as positive as possible.

My ITV journey started when I attended an assessment centre in Leeds in early March 2020, and then an online interview later on that month. In the assessment centre, there were a number of group activities, including a practical task which required the team to work together to problem solve, a thought-provoking situation that we needed to discuss and debate, and a presentation on technology topics. After the group activities, we had lunch and were able to mingle, which was a great opportunity to talk to the ITV team and pick their brains about their roles within the company and what future projects they were excited about. Following lunch, there was a small logic test and a relaxed individual interview.

Candidates at our graduate assessment centre
Candidates at our graduate assessment centre

Because of Covid, the follow up interview was switched to a video call with two of the technology team based in the Leeds office. It was a competency based discussion, and we talked about times where I had demonstrated particular skills using examples from previous experiences. I’d say that you don’t need to be an expert in every aspect of technology, instead a desire to learn is key. From the several hundred people who applied, I was chosen as one of six new Technology Graduates.

In the first week and a half after we first joined ITV, we were introduced to the majority of the technology teams, which really gave an insight into the breadth of technology across the company. It also allowed us to get to know the people that we’ll be working with during the scheme. Currently, I am in my first placement in the Content Delivery team.

The main thing that strikes me so far is how lovely everyone is at ITV, the first few weeks have been incredibly welcoming. There is a real feeling of community and support for your future success. When I first saw the specifications for the role, it was like they’d looked into my brain and seen it was everything I wanted in a graduate scheme and so far I have not been disappointed. The next two years will give me exposure to many areas of technology at ITV and also provide a well-rounded career foundation. At the moment, I’m not quite sure what area of technology I would like to go into but that’s part of the beauty of this scheme — I will be able to try my hand at many different things and find out what I like and what I want to do going forward.

Emily has been at ITV for only a few weeks, and has still to experience most of the two year programme. The first year of that journey is about finding out what you’re good at, and trying a range of different career paths. To get a feel of what to expect, let’s hear from Tom Linker, who is in his second year as a technology graduate:

Tom Linker

Technology Graduate

Joined ITV: September 2019

Based: London

Studied: Computer Science at University of Birmingham

My life as a member of the ITV family began in September 2019. Having graduated only three months previously, I was nervous about being thrust into the real working world. Fortunately for me, I had clearly chosen the right company to work for, as my experiences since have been nothing but enjoyable.

Emily has done a good job of describing the first few weeks, but when we joined a year earlier, Covid wasn’t even a thing, so as well as meeting everyone in the London office, the graduates had a couple of week-long trips to our offices in Manchester and Leeds. There, we learned about the different ways they work, the systems that they create and manage, and the roles that make up the team (we also got to go on the sets of some of Britain’s most-loved shows).

On the set of Coronation Street and Emmerdale
On the set of Coronation Street and Emmerdale

After that, we spent a week making our own short TV show, that we’d then edit, transcode and perform all post-production tasks necessary on real-world tv shows at ITV. This was such an amazing experience and a great introduction to the company.

Three graduates in an edit suite
Three graduates in an edit suite

The goal of the first year of the graduate program is, essentially, to find your feet. It’s primarily made up of lots of short placements in a variety of teams where you can get a flavour of what each team does and how they do it. My first placement was working in the Architecture team. I helped out on a project based around Cloud Playout of live events. This included attending important meetings with senior people, researching vendors and making presentations. I very much enjoyed my time in the team and learned that it is a career I can definitely look at in the future.

At the start of 2020, I worked in two different teams before the pandemic hit. These were Behavioral Data Engineering (BDE) and Workplace. The former of these focuses, naturally, on data and how it flows around ITV’s services. As a computer science graduate, I always had an interest in data engineering and it was great to see it first hand in a practical environment. I was amazed to see how reliant the entire company is on this relatively small team with such a significant job. The workplace team looks after all of the devices, equipment and processes used by ITV employees. They work in a completely different way to BDE and on completely different problems. I really enjoyed being able to see so many different aspects of technology in such a short period of time.

Coming into this scheme, my instinct was that software development was going to be my natural home, seeing as I’d come from a 4-year computer science degree of which programming was a significant part and something I really enjoyed. Most of the backend services at ITV are written in Scala, and as part of the graduate scheme we are all given the opportunity to learn it through a professional course.

Scala logo
Scala logo

My placement as a backend software developer in our Direct To Consumer (DTC) team is my longest to date. I spent 4 months with the team that’s responsible for the transferring of metadata from within ITV to third parties, such as Amazon and Google, for use on their services. It was an amazing experience where I took on so many different responsibilities and challenges. Even though I only ever worked with them virtually, I saw all my colleagues as my friends when I left, that shows how successful our virtual working has been.

Tim (our scheme manager) and I have always been on the same page about my development at ITV and we have regular meetings to discuss it. Even though we’re both pretty sure I’ll end up back in the software engineering team, the graduate scheme is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and there is so much still to learn and get out of it. Since this placement I have spent time with the Cyber Security team and the Platform Engineering team. These are such important teams — not only within ITV but in the whole Technology sector — and the skills you learn there are transferable to every role at ITV.

Next year, the plan is for me to finish learning what I can from short placements in important teams and then spend even longer working in a Scala Development role, albeit in a different team.

As you can tell from Tom’s experiences, he’s really settled into life at ITV, and is learning about the range of Technology careers available. Here’s Vicki Kelly, Identity Services Engineer, to take you through how she found the transition from Technology Graduate to a permanent role at ITV.

Vicki Kelly

Identity Services Engineer

Joined ITV: September 2018

Based: London

Studied: Cyber Security at University of Bournemouth

In the final year of the grad scheme, your placements start becoming more focused and tailored to your interests. You will usually join a team for an extended period of time, where you complete bigger and more significant projects that you wouldn’t have the time to do in the shorter placements during your first year. You’ll gain a better understanding of what certain roles entail. This can either be with teams and areas you’ve already experienced during your first year of the programme, or new ones.

Going into my second year, I didn’t quite know what I wanted to do once the graduate programme finished, but I did know what I was interested in. I come from a cyber security background and had always assumed I would end up somewhere in that area, and the graduate programme helped me to discover my niche in the practical applications of security and technology.

I sat down with Tim, our grad scheme manager, and discussed how my previous placements went, including what I enjoyed and what could be the right route for me. Coincidentally, at around this time, a new team was forming that seemed like a great fit for me, using the knowledge and skills from my time at University and at ITV. This was the Identity team.

We decided that I’d go into the Identity team for a few months to help out with the launch of a new Identity Platform across the whole of ITV. However, once in the team, we realised it was the perfect blend of cyber security and the practical application of technology. It became clear there was a lot of work I could really sink my teeth into and that I wasn’t going anywhere else anytime soon. I was well and truly a full member of the team and not just a grad that was going to help out here and there and then disappear.

As it was a new team being formed, they were in the process of hiring staff. After being in the team for a few months, I was asked to consider taking on a full time role that built on the tasks and the responsibilities I already had. As I felt like I had got the most out of the grad scheme and had found the place I wanted to be, I made the transition into a full time role before my grad scheme had officially come to an end. It was a really easy transition and I had lots of support from Tim, the other graduates, and my new team.

Since becoming a full time employee at ITV, I have really been enjoying the role, although not much has changed as I was already part of the team! There have been many opportunities to enhance my knowledge and skills with training and on-the-job experience. I am now an “Okta Certified Professional”, and my manager and I are working together to ensure I am continuously developing off the back of the grad scheme and my ongoing career.

Okta Certified Professional logo
Okta Certified Professional logo

The grad scheme has definitely helped me build a great network within ITV, that’s very beneficial to my role now. I help manage the Single Sign On process and am in regular communication with application owners. Having been around many departments within ITV, I have a good sense of what system each team manages, and what applications they use. I have been using these pre-existing working relationships to help fulfil my role and I will certainly be able to take them with me as I continue my career. .

That was an insight into what it’s like to be a Technology Graduate at ITV. We’re always looking for keen, aspiring technologists, and if you like the sound of what Emily, Tom and Vicki have described, then why not find out more. Applications for the September 2021 intake are open at the time of publication, so head over to https://www.itvjobs.com/business-areas/corporate/technology/technology-graduate-scheme and find out more.

ITV Technology

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