Lilla Kricsan

We caught up with Lilla to learn more about how she’s grown her career with us through gaining professional certifications and utilising LinkedIn Learning whilst being supported and trusted by her team.

What is your current role?

I’m a Major Incident and Improvement Manager at Meetings, a smaller unit within BT which centralises around providing conferencing solutions such as Zoom, Webex and Teams. I am engaged during high priority incidents which can have a large impact on our customers. My main task is to lead and coordinate the relevant resolver teams, whilst providing regular and concise updates on the progress of the issue to our customers. Once root cause is identified, my work continues with the teams to drive further actions to avoid the recurrence of the incident.

Besides this, I act as a Customer Success Lead and work with Service Managers/Account managers on product launches and help them to ensure they have everything in hand to support their customers.

Essentially, it’s a perfectly balanced role: I get adrenaline from the major incidents, fulfil my curiosity with technical details, and do a bit of project management as well.

Can you tell us about your career journey since joining the business?

I joined BT in 2017 as an Event Coordinator and became part of a newly established team in Hungary - managing high profile conference calls. A year later I was appointed to be a Team Coordinator of the event team, and overall spent three years there, overseeing hundreds of conferences.

I felt like it was time for a change: we are the generation who were told that we can be whoever we want to be, but no one seems to talk about how overwhelming it can be when a wide variety of career paths and opportunities are available, and this is what I was facing within BT.

Even though I was leaning towards people management, I ended up doing something unlike me: I went with the flow, allowed myself to be influenced by other people’s perception of me, and took a chance. That is how I ended up on a technical route, and became an Incident Manager at first, then a second line engineer. Although my time in these roles were short compared to my former experiences, they heavily contributed to me being able to advance to my current position. Some might think that I’ve been playing it safe, because ever since I joined up to today, I’ve been with the same unit. But it has allowed me to gain a more holistic view, understand the responsibilities of various teams, the synergies between them, and their contributions to bringing in new customers.

How has BT helped you grow your skills and career?

I can call myself lucky as it has been a top priority for all my managers to see their people’s growth. Thanks to their support and BT’s Learning and Development team, I had the chance to attend various trainings and acquire certifications for IT service management and project management and  ITIL V4, Safe 5 Agilist, and Prince 2 Foundations as well. These certifications and the skills that I’ve gained have given me the opportunity to lead an operational transformation, despite not having practical project management experience prior to it.

In 2020, I was nominated and accepted for the Future Leader Program, which I consider to be the most valuable experience of my career. A year long training series which equipped me with leadership skills and practices which I have the chance to put into use daily and will be able to do so for years to come. What made the program special is that through individual and group coaching sessions we could work on removing roadblocks, and essentially realise the next steps through other people’s guidance and learn about ourselves in the process.

This is where I heard about the BT ROC (Regional Operating Centre) Internal Coach Community as well; I requested support from a coach when I felt I hit a wall in my career journey. They helped me overcome negative patterns and behaviours which stopped me from moving forward and made me recognise my wants and needs at work. In addition to that, a manager suggested a mentor for me, and we’ve been working together for two years now. Slightly different to how it was with a coach, but just as beneficial, and I’ve learnt a lot.

BT also now offering LinkedIn Learning (a digital online learning platform) is possibly one of the best things out there, and is accessible to everyone: no matter whether you’re looking to develop hard or soft skills, there is a course on everything if there is a gap to be filled, or you have the urge to educate yourself on something new. This platform is something I utilise frequently.

What kind of activities do you get involved in outside your day-to-day role?

Currently there are several active collaborations with schools and universities in Hungary, as well as in Debrecen, where I work for BT. At the University of Debrecen, we have a dedicated university course, where with other BT employees, we give lectures for students about the business life, equip them with soft and hard skills, and we share our experiences about the multinational corporate world. Alongside my colleagues I’m the coordinator and also instructor of this course. It is very much a passion project for all of us, as we did cherish our time at the university. Now we can go back, visit the same classrooms, but this time stand on the other side of the table, giving back something to the community. 

We are aware of how difficult it can be for students to envision what they can do with their knowledge and what their options are. The corporate environment might not be everyone’s cup of tea, so even though some of our real-life examples come from BT specific situations, our aim was to build a course around skills that can be useful after finishing their studies, boosting their skills and value in the job market after finishing their studies.

How do you feel like you belong at BT? How would you describe your team culture?

Although in our team we all have our unique roles and responsibilities, when it’s needed for us to work together, we fit like a puzzle.  Whilst I’m trusted to make decisions on my own, it doesn’t mean that I am alone: either someone from the team or my manager is there to support me if needed, which is reassuring.

It feels safe to raise concerns, point out issues, and make recommendations for improvement. Just because something has been done in a certain way for years, it doesn’t mean that it has to stay like that, and that is very much supported and welcomed within our team, and in my experience in the wider unit as well. It might not be possible to make changes in certain areas – at least not from one day to another - but identifying and raising problems are the first steps to start making progress. Having the ability and the means to do that without the fear of repercussion is important and valuable to me.   

What makes you proud to work for BT? What is unique about BT and the customers we serve?

People keep showcasing their version of the “Personal, Simple, Brilliant” values, which might take a different shape depending on the role they’re in, but regardless of that, it never gets unnoticed by our customers. They recognise the voices they had talked to and supported them on the helpdesk, and agents also remember the interactions they’ve had with regular clients. Even if it’s a short interval, bonds are being formed along the way. I do believe this is unique, not something that you get to experience daily with every communications provider.

What do you get up to outside of work?

I’ve been doing kendo (“the way of the sword”, essentially Japanese style fencing) for seven years now, so whenever my shift allows, I attend the practices at the local dojo. Imagining that you’re a samurai and shouting at the top of your lungs for two hours is a very effective way of stress management! 

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