Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) employs more than 436,000 consultants in 46 countries and employs 149 nationalities. Many of them start their IT career as a TCS graduate trainee. Dutch-born Chris Draaisma joined the European training program after studying international business at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen. He joined similar graduates from Germany, The Netherlands and Hungary. 

But what does the program involve? Here, he gives an insight into his daily life, what he’s learned over the past year and how he likes to unwind.

This year has been huge for me. After studying international business, I joined one of the world’s largest IT companies. 

It’s been both enjoyable and challenging. I’ve learned about IT, developed business and communication skills, and worked with some of the biggest companies in the world. Everyone at TCS is so humble and willing to lend a hand, which has been a real help.

My day starts with…

Chris Draaisma.

A wake-up call at 6.45am. I commute for an hour and a half, so to save time I’ll take an egg sandwich in the car. Along with coffee, of course.

On the way I listen to a podcast, usually a comedy or something about philosophy, or an audiobook – I like to use the time to learn something. 

Towards the end of my course at university I wrote a thesis for a headhunting company, which focused on IT. I noticed there were lots of vacancies in the area, but as my studies weren’t really related, I didn’t think it was for me. 

Then I discovered some IT firms were offering traineeships to people from a business background. 

I spoke with a few companies but TCS impressed me the most. I quickly felt at home – and knowing I’d get to train in India for three months was exciting because it was exactly the kind of experience I was looking for.

The job’s exciting

I started at the company in August 2018, with an induction where I met the rest of my team and future colleagues, a group which included Germans, two Dutch guys and seven Hungarians. In this first program phase, we were introduced to the business, TCS culture and the principles of agile working. 

My group then travelled to India, based in Trivandrum in Kerala for six weeks. They call the area “God’s own country”, and now I know why. It’s beautiful there. 

Every day, we took the bus to the training centre to find out about artificial intelligence, the internet of things, machine learning, and much more. We spent time with all the teams, getting to know more about their work and what was important to them.

We also learned about the most important developments in IT and what the future holds for the industry. Those talks triggered my interest in areas like DevOps and scaled agile principles.

I can now make apps…

I didn’t expect to be able to do that within a year. But after we came back from India, I joined a new project and learned about OutSystems, a low-code development platform that helps large businesses make mobile and web apps quickly.

That showed me how easy it can be to build something yourself from scratch. After four months, I felt comfortable with the technology and now, if I have an idea, I can make it into an app and use it on my phone in what seems like no time at all. 

Source: Shutterstock

After that, I joined the team of DevOps consultants, who work on a set of principles that automate the processes between software development and IT teams so they can build, test and release their products faster and more efficiently.  

I’ve had so many opportunities to learn in the past year, and gain qualifications in areas like DevOps. I also spend a lot of time on personal development. 

Teamwork is key

I go for lunch or coffee with my colleagues and they’re all very open and willing to help. People really take the time to tell you about their experiences and what they’re doing.

I’ve gone from having almost no IT experience to working with people who have been doing it for 15 to 20 years. They started as developers, became project managers and now they work as DevOps consultants or agile coaches. 

I’m not just shadowing them while they work, though. They really include me and give me responsibilities in the project. 

At the end of the day…

I usually work 9-5, but every now and then I leave a bit later. I wind down by working out and have some basic gym equipment at home. I recently bought a spin bike – I like to build up a sweat and watch something on Netflix at the same time.

I’ve been making my own TV stand, too. Woodwork is one of my hobbies – I find it very relaxing after a hi-tech day at the office.