Joining our apprenticeship programme after sixth-form, Zain shares about the work he had the opportunity to participate in, his work in our Muslim Network and how he managed to win two awards as an apprentice.

What do you do?

I’m an Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Digital Operations Engineer, sitting within BT Sport. My work specifically focuses on the test infrastructure behind the BT Sport App & its live streams where I use video analytic tools to ensure streams are operating efficiently across all digital platforms such as IOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox etc.

What does your team do?

My team aims to ensure customers are delivered a range of live sports, across multiple players with the best and latest features on the BT Sport App - HDR as a prime example. The Digital Operations team remains focused on providing the best service possible by constantly minimising playback and technical failures across all BT Sport clients. 

How did you decide on an apprenticeship at BT?

I joined BT from coming straight out of sixth form at 18 years of age where I studied Economics, Psychology and Business at A-Levels. This is also accompanied with 9 GCSE’S at Key Stage 4. During my time at 6th form I was fortunate enough to carry out work experience with Allianz Insurance as a Business Administrator in their IT & Sales department which was focused on insurance plans.

From a career perspective, I was always fond of the technology sector seen as we have transformed into a more digital economy. Even to this day it's playing a key part in further propelling our economy to the next industrial revolution through continuous future developments. During my time at 6th form I was able to achieve a Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application skills from the British Computing Society which again drew me closer to the IT and technology sector. My older brother has also done a cyber security apprenticeship at Sky which excited me to emulate his pursuit for an apprenticeship after having multiple exciting chats with him around the benefits and amazing structure to the programme. Fast forward a year from that chat, here I am today on the BT Degree Apprenticeship Scheme!

What’s your favourite project you’ve ever worked on?

The most exciting project I’ve worked on was facilitating and leading the Contract Audit management & Business Intelligence Reporting for Media & Broadcast’s largest ever programme, Vena - a software defined network with orchestration, enabling automated customer-controlled service provisioning via website and API.

I was tasked with extrapolating and analysing data from 1000+ contracts from over 750 of our customers using existing billing data and customer information from our contract’s library. This task went on to aid BT’s technology migration team and its engineers to create a forecast plan, allowing the delivery of Vena MVP to continue. Alongside this, I also worked with Three Media to assist and review a ‘reporting’ requirement matrix that would be integrated into Vena’s Portal. This work helped maximise the efficiency behind the control, automation and service excellence of the Vena network for our customers.

 

 

 

Since you’ve joined you’ve won two awards. Can you share which ones?

In my two years of being at BT, I’ve been fortunate enough to win two awards. My first regional award came from Electronics Weekly’s Bright Sparks 2020 award for showing ‘Exceptional talent in the field of engineering’. This allowed me to join a prestigious group alongside 29 other young engineers in the UK to form ‘Bright Sparks Class of 2020’.

My 2nd award comes from winning the ‘Runner Up Special Achievement Award’ at the Tech Industry Gold 2021 Awards Celebration. This opened up the opportunity to share my career journey as a case study for students that wish to apply for early career routes.

I’m extremely grateful for winning these awards and only have my religion (Islam) to thank for this. Its teachings & values have shaped me into the individual I am today and helps me remain grateful in all circumstances and make the most out of all the blessings that come my way.

 

You’re part of the BT Muslim Network. Tell us a little bit more about it.

Yes, I am a senior representative of the BT Muslim Network (BTMN) where I lead my own Recruitment & Engagement Strategy function within Network. My work is focused around helping expand the BTMN globally across BT through building regional networks for our Muslim colleagues. I’ve currently onboarded 10 senior representatives into the BTMN Leadership team, accompanied with an additional 22 ‘Site champions’ across the globe (UK, Holland, Indonesia, India to mention a few) which support the aim of my global expansion project.

On the engagement front, I create and explore wider Diversity & inclusion initiatives both inside and outside the business to harness the talent of Muslim colleagues in the corporate world. In addition, also shedding light on some of the barriers to progress Muslims face in modern society using government backed research reports. Some examples involve me hosting the ‘Apprenticeship Discovery Series with the BTMN’, Ramadan knowledge calls, Islamophobia awareness month campaigns and many more. These initiatives led to greater engagement levels within our network, feeding into BT's Diversity and Inclusion agenda in terms of ‘educating and empowering our people’.

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