Based in Adastral Park, our technology hub near Ipswich, Owen gives us a glimpse of what he has experienced so far as an apprentice in Networks.
1. What did you want to be when you’re five years old?
As the same any other 5 year old, the most “out-there” kind of careers such as an astronaut or footballer or a scientist. The more niche careers. They always say to dream big!
2. Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?
It was a no-brainer really. Having been flipping and flopping between going to university or taking up on this apprenticeship, I ultimately decided to do an apprenticeship for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, is the elimination of having no university fees to pay whilst experiencing the “university lifestyle” and essentially getting paid to do a degree! Another factor was that it wasn’t necessary for me to move away from home, so I can continue to see friends and family more regularly in my spare time than I would being half way across the country. But, the main factor was that I was choosing what I enjoyed doing and BT providing job security for the future was a huge bonus. I feel I am learning much faster than I would be at university alone and I can put what I learn at university into practice very often.
3. You’re a Networks apprentice. What does that mean?
A networks apprentice is given the huge responsibility of contributing to the manning of keeping our network up and running. With the vast number of customers and equipment on our network, and with demand increasing every single day, my job is demanding, challenging and in a fast-paced environment. But I love it! The fast-paced nature suits my work ethic to a tee and because of the importance of the role, you are treated as a proper employee and trained and taught as a full employee, rather than a “tea-maker!” Networking is so rewarding and will be a sought after industry for many years into the future due to so many customers reliance on having a resilient, reliable and fast network.
4. How is BT shaping the future?
BT is always revolutionizing how we work, both as employees as well as to our customers. The work first starts internally, with plans to improve BTs workspaces and provide employees further support and training with our work to make employees more effective and more efficient. Externally, as seen on most adverts nowadays, BT has heavily ramped up production and services for the nation. The introduction of Halo keeps our customers always connected, the 4-3-3 strategy to help bring football to beyond limits across the British Isles and of course, giving 5 million school children tech skills as part of the “Skills for Tomorrow” campaign. The future is bright with BT!
5. Can you tell us a project that you particularly enjoyed working on?
One project I had just recently completed may not sound like the most exciting but it is the most integral. My office is 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year open because of the required maintenance of our network. My project consisted of uplifting our back up facilities in case our current office were to run into an issue. This seemed to be a logistical nightmare, but with the great cooperation of my colleagues, we were able to overturn the whole place, whist keeping tabs of the requirements of our teams in very quick time, and received lots of positive feedback for the works. I benefited greatly from this, developing my communication, network knowledge and project management skills.
6. What is the biggest advantage of doing an apprenticeship at BT?
The biggest advantage of an apprenticeship here is that BT is so much more than just a “telephone company”. There are so many different facets to BT that makes the cogs turn and make BT globally recognised. Learning about your role can seem daunting but you are taught from the ground up, regardless of your ability, and this alone was what put me at ease when I first started with the company. This alone, puts BT above the rest for apprenticeships.
7. What is going to happen when you finish your apprenticeship?
Hopefully, BT like me enough to keep me on! In all seriousness, the guaranteed job at the end of the apprenticeship was a major turning point for choosing this apprenticeship and it would be ludicrous to turn it down. BTs future is exciting and I wish to be part of this movement and ideology of where BT will be in a years’ time, 2, 5, 10 etc. I can’t wait to show what I have learnt so far and cant wait to learn more down the road, wherever I may be in the business!