What it’s like to work at Publicis Sapient – and how to get a job there

Last updated: 21 Jun 2023, 15:42

Two Software Engineering interns who lined up permanent jobs at Publicis Sapient while studying for their degrees tell us about their career journey so far, and what’s special about the company.

Publicis Sapient logo

Mia Mannion is studying computer science at the University of Warwick and is due to graduate in 2023. After an internship at Publicis Sapient , where she worked as a software engineer, she was offered a graduate role with the company. In her spare time she is a computer science student ambassador, giving prospective undergraduates talks and tours on university open days.

Mia Mannon, intern and graduate at Publicis Sapient

intern at Publicis Sapient

Tell us about your interest in a career in software.

I studied computer science at GCSE and really enjoyed it. I decided to continue studying it at university as I enjoyed the subject’s combination of theoretical mathematical topics with more practical hardware and software-based topics. Studying it at university allowed me to confirm I wanted to work as a software engineer as I got to experience working with different technologies and languages.

What was it about your internship at Publicis Sapient that encouraged you to accept a full-time graduate role there?

The internship at Publicis Sapient was centred around ensuring the interns got as much out of their time there as possible. It was really well structured; we received training and got to work in teams on projects that are specially made for interns but that are also real life challenges for our existing clients. We were also able to get involved with company-wide events and socials. When we compared notes, many of my peers who interned elsewhere did not have as much of a structure for their internships – they were just given random tasks to do or shadowed employees. In contrast, I felt very valued as an intern. The culture at Publicis Sapient was also a big contributor to me wanting to start my career here – everyone was great to work with and I felt very comfortable and welcome.

Which skills and attributes from your interests, volunteering and work experience have you been able to apply to your career?

During my internship at Publicis Sapient I was able to use my volunteering experience to help organise two Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) days for the intern cohort. I was able to use my existing connections with charities I volunteer with to help organise the days, which was good fun. With my work experience generally, I think it’s contributed to my career by helping to improve my confidence. Having worked various part-time jobs when I was at school, I’m able to throw myself into unfamiliar situations comfortably. A lot of my extracurricular activities involve university societies, where I’ve been able to meet and work with a diverse range of people.

I enjoy drawing and painting in my free time and those skills are also useful in software engineering, which requires a lot of creativity.

Did anything surprise you about working at Publicis Sapient?

Our projects were supervised by various senior members of the company. I was surprised at how involved and invested they were in our project (for example, daily and weekly meetings). They were just as excited about what we had built as we were. At the end of our project, when we presented our work, many senior members of the company attended, both to support us and to see what we’d achieved. The project we’d worked on was also a realistic project for one of Publicis Sapient’s clients and we collaborated with people who were on that account.

What is the best piece of advice you could give to students/graduates considering applying to Publicis Sapient and when looking for a role in software engineering or tech?

Be yourself! As a student it’s easy to get stressed about job applications and assume you must be an overly formal, perfect applicant, but no one is like that in reality. The people who interview you are all normal people and want you to succeed; they aren’t trying to catch you out.

For students looking for a role in AI, I would recommend studying it as much as you can. If you’re studying computer science, take any AI and ML modules you can, potentially doing a masters or going onto further research. AI is a constantly expanding field, which is being led by researchers, so a strong understanding of the algorithms and the mathematical theory behind it is necessary.

Maksymilian Mozolewski (known as Maks) is a junior software engineer at Publicis Sapient. He joined the firm after graduating with a degree in artificial intelligence from the University of Edinburgh, where he combined his studies with assisting in tutoring first year students and his interest in Parkour. He also held roles in both the computer and games development societies.

Maks Mozolewski, junior software engineer, Publicis Sapient

Software engineer, Publicis Sapient

What drove your interest in a career in software?

My interest in computer science was sparked when I got curious about how games are made. I am naturally a curious person and I always wanted to know how things worked. I started exploring online tutorials on game development, picked computing classes at school and eventually chose an AI degree – I’d read a lot about artificial neural networks and that got me both interested and excited.

What was it about working at Publicis Sapient as an intern that encouraged you to accept the full-time graduate role you were offered there?

The number one factor was the company culture and the total respect for a healthy work/life balance. All the employees were genuinely nice people and the company clearly cared for them. The way our feedback was listened to made it apparent that we could enact change in the company if we wanted to. Another important factor was that Publicis Sapient is a software consulting company, and even more so a digital (business) transformation company. I believe DT is very important and working with Publicis Sapient lets me bring positive change to a large number of people. I also get to work in a dynamic environment, where the projects are constantly changing, and the challenges are always different.

Have any of your diverse hobbies(from gaming to Parkour to robotics) helped you add skills you have been able to apply to your career?

Mostly game development I suppose, I still do a good amount of programming in my spare time in that area (Open Source) which has taught me a lot about collaboration with other programmers and has kept my skills sharp. Parkour – not so much!

Did any other work experience give you insights into your career choices?

Yes. I've done some freelancing work in the general area which helped me understand how important communication with the client is, on top of understanding their requirements.

Has anything surprised you about working at Publicis Sapient?

The sheer number of socials getting organised! There’s always something new popping into my calendar!

What advice can you give to students when they are considering applying to Publicis Sapient and when looking for a role in software engineering or tech?

If you’re thinking of applying, I would tell you not to worry; the recruitment process at Publicis Sapient was very fair and respectful of my time. I would aim to go through the internship first if you can as it will make entering the graduate programme much easier.

When it comes to specific roles that interest you, communicate your interests clearly with your managers and seek out opportunities that suit you. I personally didn’t apply for roles in data (I am more interested in the software engineering side of things), but that is also an option.

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