Arthur Davison

Why no two days are ever the same and what his GradLabs work consists of, Technology Graduate, Arthur Davison, tells us about his placement and what he'd recommend to someone considering a programme like his at BT

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m a second-year graduate on the London technology scheme. I’m currently on my second rotation and work in the Service Platforms Transformation team. I’m focussed mainly on automation, but the work my team covers is diverse and requires a huge number of skills and experiences to help bits of the organisation transform or change the way they do things. I spent my first rotation of 8 months in the BT TV security team with a focus on anti-piracy.

What does your day to day consist of?

Honestly, no two days are the same. When I joined the team, I was trained up in Blue Prism, one of our automation tools for building software robots, so I’ve always got some automation work going on. That covers the full part of the process, from speaking to the customers, building our design documents, and developing the robot to help free up time for the customer. All with the intention of allowing them focus on more important tasks. I’ve also spent time working on other proof of concepts in Python, all aimed to make people’s lives easier and give employees back some time where they would usually have to do repetitive, time consuming tasks. I also commit a lot of my time to a small Blockchain tribe as part of the GradLabs group. GradLabs is a team of 15 graduates exploring new technologies in the hope of building out opportunities within BT that we think are being missed. Our goal is to educate and find the opportunities in BT where Blockchain could drive real change. Blockchain is an innovative technology allowing you to store data in an unalterable way. We’re currently working on a suite of exciting use-cases that we believe have real promise and benefits for BT.

What impact does your work have in the business and/or customers?

Everything myself and the team work on has an end goal of helping BT become faster, easier, cheaper, and better. We want to make sure that everyone can maximise on their potential. My personal work is all focussed on taking repetitive manual tasks away from our employees and giving them their time back. This allows each of us to spend more time innovating and putting our efforts into places that really matter.

What’s the best project you’ve ever worked on?

The Blockchain work that the GradLabs tribe is focussing on is exciting. The scope of some of these use-cases are massive and it’s nice to be at the forefront of that. Everyone in the tribe has a genuine passion as it’s all voluntary extra work we’ve taken on. I feel it’s a privilege to be surrounded by intelligent and interested people, all of whom are driven to deliver what we believe are game changing outputs. 

How did you get into the BT Graduate scheme?

My degree was in computer science with artificial intelligence, and during my third year I took a placement at BT. I worked with the Network Cloud team, based in Sheffield. I always knew I wanted to come back to BT when I finished my degree. I did however sandwich in a year working for a pharmaceutical market research company after graduating. My main role was helping to build a new artificial intelligence department and inject AI into their business processes. I’ve been back at BT for a year and am currently in my second rotation of three.

What have you learned about your career since joining BT?

It’s the people you surround yourself with that make the work exciting. I’ve come to think of working a bit like school, without your classmates’ school would just be hard work. Work is the same, it’s the team around me that makes the work exciting and inspires me to contribute to the bigger picture at BT. I’ve found working from home hard but feel relieved now that it’s possible to spend time in the office and get to know the people I work with a lot better. I’ve been back in the office at least once a week but usually more, and not just in London. I’ve had the opportunity to work in many of BT’s offices over the past couple months including the new building in Birmingham which is a great space to be productive with the team.

What would you recommend to someone considering a graduate programme at BT?

It’s the same as most things, you get out what you put in! BT is so much more than just broadband and there are opportunities everywhere for anyone who is keen to get involved. My experience has been that whatever I’ve wanted to pursue, I’ve been supported and encouraged to go after it. In my first rotation I wanted to get a grasp on Amazon Web Services and my manager encouraged me to get the cloud practitioner certification. In my current rotation, my manager has supported me on all the Blockchain work and has helped our tribe to connect with all the key stakeholders to get us off the ground. There is so much more scope as well. If you’re interested in security, 5G, cloud, or almost anything technical, the chances are that BT have teams dedicated to it and will help you build your career in whichever direction you want to go.

What are your future career plans once your programme comes to an end?

It’s not something I’ve really thought too much about. I’m just focussed on my current job and planning what I want to do in my next rotation. Once I’ve been placed in my third and final rotation of the graduate scheme, I’ll spend time reflecting on my time across BT and where I felt I thrived the most. All my plans have BT in mind, I believe I still have much to offer BT and even more I can learn from BT. It really is a great place to start your career.

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