Published on: September 11, 2023

Empowering Talent Through Guided ServiceNow Experience: A Journey of Growth and Learning

In our dynamic world where access to opportunities is not evenly distributed, New Apprenticeship has embarked on an endeavor that has been inspiring thanks to the incredible individuals who participated in the ServiceNow Developer Experience program. This initiative aimed to bridge the gap for underrepresented and marginalized talent, harnessing their untapped potential from across the country. Our goal was clear: to nurture and train these individuals into skilled apprentices, subsequently connecting them with companies seeking their rapidly developing talents. What sets New Apprenticeship apart is its focus on ServiceNow, a high-demand platform for its well-versed and various features in IT service management. 

The following is the story behind this new program;  from its conception, the challenges we faced, to the resounding success we’ve achieved. 

 Conception of the Concept

Our journey began with a simple but profound realization – the untapped potential residing within marginalized communities. This is core to the mission of NewApprenticeship recognizing that by uniting people from diverse backgrounds and delivering effective training, we could create a truly transformative impact. The unique twist for this program though, was it’s focus on individuals with pre-existing ServiceNow bootcamp experience that enabled them to quickly accelerate into a Developer role, a skill that is in high demand in the job market.

Starting the program was no small feat. Fueled by a mission to empower individuals often overlooked by traditional systems. We utilized platforms like LinkedIn to identify the right candidates who had already demonstrated the passion and aptitude to quickly upskill. We focused on those who had completed ServiceNow bootcamps, even if their hands-on experience was limited. Our vision was ambitious: to build a strong foundation in just 6-8 weeks, equipping them for the demanding world of ServiceNow. However, it wasn’t without its challenges.

Overcoming Hurdles: Challenges and Triumphs

As with any meaningful journey, obstacles emerged. The program’s first cohort had to overcome difficulties due to our lack of clarity about the technical requirements. Because many participants had limited experience with technology, we needed to adjust the project plans accordingly.

Adapting our strategy quickly, the second cohort focused on individuals with wider technical knowledge. This change reaped rewards, making the training process smoother and more effective.

True success, in our eyes, lies in the growth of our participants. A standout example is a young woman who started with limited experience but evolved into a confident spokesperson for the New Apprenticeship program. Her journey from learning concepts to confidently presenting them showcased the program’s efficacy. Learners praised the hands-on learning environment and access to highly skilled ServiceNow instructors, which provided a safe space to develop their skills. 

Through trials and triumphs, our NewApprenticeship development team realized that a combination of a well-structured plan and flexibility was key. Adapting to the needs of the participants and the industry was imperative. The lessons we learned emphasized the importance of agility, teamwork, and effective communication.

Real-World Engagement and Embracing Change: Igniting Learning through Innovation

A notable strength of the ServiceNow Developer Experience lies in its emphasis on real-world engagement. This was achieved by assigning Learners a mock project designed to simulate a consulting firm’s requirements. The project was strategically divided into phases following the agile methodology, allowing participants to glean practical insights into effectively navigating real-world projects.

Celebrating Success: The Impact of the Event

The program culminated with a ServiceNow Talent Showcase that was an amazing example of the talent and growth of our Learners. Learners had the opportunity to pitch themselves to potential employers, fostering excitement and open dialogue. Clients and partners provided valuable advice and insights, enhancing the apprentices’ journey.

The ultimate measure of success for our program is the successful employment of its graduates. Assessments, certifications, and qualitative evaluations all play a role in gauging participants’ growth.

“Our goal goes beyond just job placements; it’s ensuring learners possess the knowledge and confidence to excel in their careers”

Delante Lee Bess

In the end, the ServiceNow Developer Experience was a testament to the transformative power of education and opportunity. It proves that by harnessing the potential of marginalized individuals and equipping them with relevant skills, we can drive positive change in the workforce and beyond. 

Below is an additional Q&A that I conducted with Delante Lee Bess who is NEW’s VP of Digital Transformation. All answers have been edited for clarity and brevity. 

Delante Lee Bess

How did you come about this concept?

We cultivate overlooked talent, shaping them into adept apprentices for partner companies with a unique focus on industry-specific needs. Responding swiftly to ServiceNow talent demands, we provide rapid, 6-8 week training, sourcing candidates from LinkedIn with ServiceNow bootcamp experience for familiarity. Our approach ensures hands-on experience and a strong foundation before graduates engage with employers.

What were the biggest hurdles you experienced and how did you overcome them? 

In any new operational or management venture, encountering challenges is inevitable despite careful planning. Communication could have been improved, yet efforts were made to navigate the intricacies. With two cohorts, the first cohort lacked clear target group which caused difficulties due to unclear requirements and limited technology experience. Learning from this, the second cohort targeted individuals with technical knowledge, leading to smoother training and concept delivery. Such challenges are common in new endeavors when identifying the right target group isn’t immediately apparent.

How long did this take to execute?

Over the course of a month, we assembled and recruited individuals who shared our dedication to uplifting marginalized populations with humility. The process of recruiting those who aligned with our vision took some time, as we reached out and connected with potential candidates on LinkedIn.

What did you learn from developing this program?

Executing a well-defined plan while maintaining flexibility is crucial, necessitating agility in identifying the target audience and emphasizing teamwork and effective communication.

Can you talk about the growth you have seen from learners who have participated in this program? 

Witnessing success is truly rewarding. A young lady we partnered with exemplifies this – we provided her an opportunity, fostering substantial growth in her skills. Her journey led her to become a spokesperson for her cohort, impressing us with a remarkable presentation and even hosting a LinkedIn live event. Her conceptual understanding of ServiceNow’s navigation and user-centric thinking left a lasting impact, as she confidently presented within the company and led live sessions. Feedback from these experiences highlighted her exceptional clarity, empathy, and care, creating a safe and effective learning environment.

Can you share examples of specific projects/initiatives that the learners might be involved in during their time in the program?

Participants engaged in a mock project, mirroring a real-world experience at a consulting firm, under a different company name. The project was divided into three phases, each lasting two weeks, following the agile methodology. This guided approach in Agile Sprints ensured a supportive learning journey over a six-week period with hands-on guidance.

How does the company plan to integrate the program to accommodate changes in technology and industry trends?

Embracing AI, we’ve developed two distinct AI bots. One serves as a chatbot for internal employees, providing assistance. Another is designed to coach our apprentices, complementing their real-life Performance coaches. This AI coach addresses apprentice queries and is available 24/7 on the apprentice portal website.

From the ServiceNow Talent Event, did you see any success come out of it?

The event was fantastic, as it offered every learner a chance to present themselves and their achievements to our clients and partners. It created an opportunity for them to showcase their skills and accomplishments to potential employers, generating enthusiasm on both ends. The clients and partners engaged in open discussions, providing valuable advice to the apprentices during the event.

How will the company gauge the program’s success and what specific outcomes are you aiming to achieve?

The primary objective is to secure employment for the participants, with a balanced approach that includes assessments without undue pressure. An important milestone is obtaining a ServiceNow fundamentals certification, providing valuable skills. Internally, we assess their grasp of concepts and confidence in communication (qualitative), while quantitatively, the certification serves as a key measure of achievement.

For employers seeking to connect with this exceptional talent pool, we invite you to reach out and learn more. Feel free to contact Delante Lee Bess via LinkedIn to explore the potential of collaborating with these skilled individuals.