Diary of a graduate trainee: Joining Zaizi

Hi everyone, I’m Gemma and I’ve just started at the Zaizi Academy as an Associate Product Manager.

I’m going to be writing a few blogs over the next few months. I’ll document my experiences as a Zaizi grad as I go through onboarding, training, shadowing and ultimately participating in live projects.  

In this blog, I want to introduce myself and talk a little about why I chose Zaizi and a role in product management. I am 22 and I graduated (virtually… thanks COVID!) this summer from Cardiff University with a Masters in Chemistry. 

Zaizi chemistry 

I found out about Zaizi through the CyberFirst bursary scheme whilst I was at Uni. Although I studied chemistry, I was also interested in lots of other topics, like technology, and I didn’t want to limit myself to learning just one thing. I also wanted to broaden my job prospects in more than one sector. Through CyberFirst, I got to undertake summer internships and one of those was at Zaizi in 2018.

For eight weeks, I worked on a whole range of projects, looking mainly at cybersecurity and learning about Agile and DevSecOps. I realised that I really enjoyed working in this area.

I liked that Zaizi works on a lot of government projects, focusing on the user and making software that has a clear benefit. I loved the culture here; everyone is very supportive and collaborative. It was a really nice work environment. So when it came to looking for jobs after uni, I wanted to come back!

Product Management at Zaizi

Product management wasn’t something I had come across before. From what I’ve seen, it’s about articulating the reason for a project and figuring out the best way to deliver it by getting the most value out of everyone’s work.

So I’m hoping in this role, I’ll be able to use some of the problem-solving and analytical skills from my degree and engage with lots of different people. I’m looking forward to working with the product team here at Zaizi and learning from their vast experience. 

My first few weeks will be mostly shadowing and training. But I’m excited to get involved in live projects and see how the complete process works — from discovery to the final product. 

I’ll be back again in a few weeks to give an update on what I’ve been up to.

Next blog in the series: Learning about product management

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