Lucy Warren

We sat down with Lucy, our apprentice in Contract Management to learn more about what it means to be an apprentice in BT Group. 

Can you talk to us about your role and day-to-day responsibilities?

Currently, I am based in the Contract Management team and have the responsibility of overseeing two customer contracts and owning their P&L (profit and loss). This means making sure that the customer and the business get the best value from the contract, both parties comply to the terms as well as working with different stakeholders to ensure smooth and effective contract delivery.  

A normal day can consist of; emails to contract, contacting account managers to consider new sale opportunities, calls with the service manager to understand any issues affecting the service and customer calls to understand how things are going and how they want to move forward and their future plans.

I also look at forecasting the contract revenue and costs, presenting a contract governance review to mangers to convey the health of the contract, and most importantly protecting the contract by trying to increase and not decrease the gross margin. 

What opportunities have you been given as an apprentice in your role?

Alongside my day-to-day role, I was asked to develop a contract management training programme. The idea was that it be used for people joining our team to follow and to help learn the fundamentals of contract management. It is now more widespread than this and is used in the wider enterprise unit.

It was exciting working with different teams and stakeholders to establish the programme. It’s a great feeling knowing that I have had the opportunity to create something and leave an impact behind on that team. 

What misconceptions do you feel people have about apprenticeship schemes?

When mentioning I am an apprentice, most people assume I must do a trade job like plumbing or hairdressing. They are surprised when I say it’s with BT Group. They then think I must do a job in IT but there are so many different schemes to choose from.

There is often the assumption that apprentices are poorly paid, but we have so many great opportunities across the business. I get the chance to gain real work experience, get paid and receive a degree at the end of it which I do not have to pay for because it is included as a part of the scheme. 

What challenges have you faced and overcome on the scheme?

It can be challenging when it comes to balancing university and the workload sometimes. However, scheduling in time for university and studying it helps me stay on track. If any extra time is needed for university work, I always make sure to speak to my manager about this so I can balance both work and study.

Joining such a large organisation can be overwhelming. By arranging calls and engaging with your team and other apprentices when you start can help to build a picture of BT Group and understand how the business works.  

What is your team culture like?

The team is so welcoming and friendly, everyone just wants to help one another. If anyone is ever stuck, there’s always someone ready to help, even if they don’t know the answer they will try and help you find it. 

Across the business we have different networks colleagues can join to share experiences or act as an ally. One of these networks is D&I (Diversity and Inclusion) and there is a monthly newsletter with upcoming events and a monthly call discussing D&I topics.  

What advice would you give to those looking to do an apprenticeship with BT Group?

Take time on your application, think it through. Consider using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action Result) method in both your applications and interviews as this can help set out a clear way to provide examples of what you have done and experience you have.  

Research the company, know our values, our purpose, what we are doing or looking to do, this will help when writing your application and even in face to face or video interviews.

And if you do land the role …

Be open to new experiences, seek them out and ask questions!

If someone offers you an opportunity, take it! Don’t just wait for things to come to you, it is important to find opportunities. For example, someone in your team might be working on a project you are interested in, ask to get involved.

When starting your new role reach out to team members, set up calls with them and find out what they do, their experience and background. It really helps to build trust and rapport with your team. By setting up calls directly it can show your enthusiasm to get involved and be part of the team.  

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