After leaving the Army and taking a career break, Corey Taylor used the STEM Returners programme to land a job.
What do you do for BT?
I'm a Power Engineer and help maintain BT's power network. Day-to-day I clean and change engine filters and run tests to ensure the back-up engines are working. The engines I work on generate their own electricity and power BT's exchanges. No day is the same and I'm constantly learning new things and completing new training.
You've had quite an interesting career, though, right?
I served in the Army for six years and specialised in radio and satellite communications, set up communication hubs in theatre. My work took me to places included Kosovo and Iraq, and these hubs enabled the troops on the ground to communicate with each other. It was difficult, but my training made it easier to get the job done.
Why did you leave the military?
I wanted a job that enabled me to be home more so when I left the military, I started a career in IT infrastructure. My job was to install cable points, fibre optics and cabling inside buildings. While I enjoyed the work, I felt that I had gaps in my skill-set.
When my youngest child was born I decided to take a career break so I could spend more time with my family. I also went back to college where I studied Electrical Installation
What was it like being a mature student?
It was tough. Even after completing my Electrical Installation qualification I struggled to find my first job in the industry. I seemed to be in an odd position where I had lots of prior experience which made it difficult for me to be considered for apprentice roles, but equally didn't have the experience for direct entry. I needed a platform to help in my return to work especially after a two year career break.
How did STEM Returners help?
STEM Returners is a programme that works with employers to recruit, develop and retain qualified and skilled people who are looking to re-start their careers or transfer their skills to another sector. It gave me the opportunity to showcase my skills and experiences by getting me a foot in the door of BT. They had a connection with BT already and it gave me the chance to discuss what I had to offer directly with the hiring managers at an informal open day.
What was the end result?
The programme allowed me to secure a job within BT and gain a great career path in line with what I had studied. After the open day I was invited to join the BT STEM Returners programme: a paid internship to learn the job and hone my recently acquired qualifications in a practical environment. At the end of the programme I was delighted to accept a permanent position as a Power Engineer at my local BT site.
Would you recommend the programme?
Absolutely. It would benefit anyone who already has years of experience and knowledge gained through self-development and hard work and is longing for that career springboard.