Kayleigh Sutton

Kayleigh tells us about her progression so far, why she enjoyed her Grad programme so much, and what her role of a 'Digi-Life Guild' consists of.

Tell us about your experience on the grad scheme

I started the Customer Service Leadership Graduate Scheme back in 2018 after graduating from Cardiff University with a Business Management degree and wow did those two years go fast!

I chose this scheme because it offered three 8-month rotations as well as extensive training and support. It was an extra benefit that my scheme was located in my home region of Wales. My rotations allowed me to explore multiple career pathways with my first rotation starting as an advisor then team leader for a technical help team. For my second rotation, I wanted to explore a more project-based role and became a Customer Experience Professional which gave me the exciting opportunity to lead on the launch of BritBox for BT and EE. I decided to try something completely different for my last rotation and go into recruitment. This was my favourite rotation out of the three and solidified my passion for meeting new people and working in a fast-paced environment.

The graduate scheme also offers so many fun events and activities to attend. These can range from internal conventions such as Consumer Live and Roadshows to Leadership Launchpad, a three-day leadership course with other graduates across the business.

Throughout the scheme I connected with lots of different people helping to expand my personal and professional network, travel to different cities, work on lots of exciting projects and develop my transferable skills.

If I had to summarise my graduate experience in one word, I would say unforgettable. 

Did you always have an idea as to where you wanted to end up?

No and that’s ok! The beauty of being on a graduate scheme is that you can try out different career paths before you decide at the end of the two years were, you’d like to be permanently. BT Group have so many interesting and diverse roles it’s hard to pick just one. The approach I took was to research what roles seemed interesting and reach out to those within the roles to find out more. By doing this I was able to see if my skills would complement the role. This helped me make my choice in pursuing a career within Digital.

What happened after your grad scheme ended?

During my last rotation I had interviewed for the Digital Product Professional role and was offered the job a few days after. My previous manager and new manager agreed on a start date for me to move into my new role. Before starting my role, my new manager was extremely welcoming and involved me in team events ahead of joining Digital, which made the transition an exciting and seamless experience.

How would you explain the role of a Product Professional?

The role of a Digital Product Professional (PP) is great if you are completely new to Digital and want to build your career in this area. When I started, I was assigned a role within the EE SIM upgrades Merchandising squad which is made up of a Digital Product Owner (PO), Scrum Master, Product Designer, Content Designer and Content Editor. This is my first time working in an Agile environment and I honestly wouldn’t look back. 

The Product owner and Product professional work closely together to manage the backlog of the squad and optimise the digital experience of our product. You will be involved in a lot of collaboration workshops, problem framing sessions and customer journey mapping which gives you a chance to build great working relationships with your squad.

Progression in this role is great - From the start, my PO was very supportive and encouraged me to lead on calls with our squad and stakeholders to build my confidence in the role. I have recently moved into a Marketing and Trading propositions squad where I was empowered to lead on my first high profile gaming prop. This was great as I was taking on PO responsibilities whilst being fully supported by my PO throughout. After being a PP for just over a year I have managed to build upon my confidence and transferable skills within Digital that I have now transitioned into a PO role.

There is a community within Digital for all PPs to join where we have lots of different support and resource available from monthly calls to team and Slack groups. 

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The people! I love the culture that’s been created within Digital. I joined during lockdown where I hadn’t met anyone before and didn’t know much about the area I was working in, but through the power of technology and collaboration I was able to develop great working relationships with my colleagues. My favourite highlight was taking part in a virtual walk/run/cycle challenge with my tribe for charity where I hiked up the highest peak mountain in Wales (yes, I got lost and took me 4 hours!).

As a new joiner, it was important for me to be inquisitive and reach out to as many people as I could within Digital to learn more. BT make this easy by having a lot of collaboration tools such as Slack and Workplace but also have a very friendly and approachable culture where asking questions is encouraged.

Tell us about an exciting project you’ve been a part of?

It’s hard to name just one because although they are different, they are all equally exciting.

I am currently leading on the Christmas 2021 Digital Campaign with my squad and there are a lot of exciting elements to it. Not only is it my favourite time of year, but it’s also great to bring the website to life with the amazing Christmas creatives and offers we have. Working on a big campaign like this is great because you connect with lots of different people and once it’s live you all feel a sense of achievement.

I have also worked on many other interesting propositions such as gaming, NHS, Netflix, Microsoft 365 and tariff refresh to name a few. 

You were a key figure in setting up the Skills Guild; what is the purpose of the guild and why did you want to be involved?

When I first joined Digital, I found out about the Digi-Life guilds and thought it would be a great way to meet new people and get involved in something different alongside my role. The culture within Digital is set to empower you to implement new ideas and as I had a strong passion for volunteering; I wanted to encourage everyone in Digital to use the three paid volunteering days that BT offer. A few weeks later, the Skills Guild was created where we have a mission to empower people through skills and knowledge to enable us to become a world class digital team.

As a guild, we have achieved so much already. We have grown to over 20 members and have held our very own volunteering and networking weeks within Digital. The guild has helped me personally conquer my fears of public speaking by creating opportunities like presenting on the all-hands calls. Not only is it a great way to meet new people it really does increase my job satisfaction within BT.

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