Madiha Bashir

Madiha Bashir on her newly started Grad Programme, career journey so far, and multiple people network involvement

What’s your role within BT and what does it consist of?

I’m currently working on the Project Management Graduate programme within BT’s Global division. The role involves managing multiple projects including their deliverables, communicating with our customers and key stakeholders. The programme consists of three, eight-month rotations within the business, which allows us to experience different accounts and their ways of working, resulting in a greater breadth of knowledge. Having recently graduated with a degree in Business Management, I’m looking forward to learning on the job and being challenged in a new working environment.

Tell us a bit about how you’ve got to where you are today?

I started working at BT as a 999 Operator in November 2019 within Voice Services as a temporary job, initially just thinking I’d be working through Christmas before looking elsewhere, but I really enjoyed the work, and loved my colleagues on the nights and evenings I was working so I was happy to have had my contract extended. When I got offered a permanent role within Voice Services a year later, it was an immediate yes. I liked the company I was working for and my colleagues, and knew I wanted to progress within the organisation. The support I received from my colleagues during my final year at uni for my university work, the nature of the job as an emergency operator, and my application for a grad role within the company really aided me in getting to where I am today, I’m very grateful for their guidance and encouragement. 

How did you find the application process and assessment centre?

I enjoyed the assessment centre despite it all being virtual because of Covid. I got to meet some senior members of staff, as well as various other members of management. We had regular competency interviews, scenario-based questions, a team activity and then a Q&A on how the activity went. More than anything, it was a useful way of seeing if you were a good fit for the company and if the company was a good fit for you. Everyone was very friendly, which helped me feel less stressed about it. I knew I really wanted the grad scheme because I already loved working for BT and wanted to progress and continue to do so, which I think helped my application and assessment centre. 

How are you finding your Graduate programme so far?

I’ve been enjoying the graduate scheme so far and there have been many opportunities to interact with people across different parts of the business and graduate network. We’ve been allocated ‘graduate buddies for overall support, which has been helpful if you have a question or need help understanding something and there’s no-one else to go to, but I’ve found that everyone in BT is very open to helping you out. 

You’re a member of two of our internal networks, what made you want to join and what’s your involvement within each of them?

I’m a member of both BTMN (BT Muslim Network) and the SHINE network; both networks have an element of inclusivity, which is why I was drawn to them. At SHINE, a diversity and inclusion initiative that creates an inclusive and supportive environment for all colleagues using connections and knowledge sharing, I’m part of the operations team working as operations lead support helping to run progress calls and tracking performance. I’m the engagement lead for our global division for BTMN, working towards driving engagement within the network and co-ordinating with representatives and colleagues within the business to help grow and expand the network. 

How do you manage your time between all three positions?

I have the capacity to dedicate time to the people networks and any sideline projects I’m involved with, when my projects are running smoothly, but my main role as a Project Manager takes priority for me. Therefore, I am able to manage communications and my work more effectively, and I can set aside time for the networks and for extra activities I’m involved in. 

What would you say to someone considering joining BT as a Graduate?

I’d definitely say to just go for it. BT as a company really value their graduates and want to challenge and push you in the best way, so there is a lot of room for growth. My specific programme consists of different rotations around BT, giving graduates complete exposure to different parts of the business and varied experiences throughout the duration of the programme.  

What are your career plans once your Grad programme comes to an end?

Right now, I’m focussing on becoming an efficient and skilled project manager, and I look forward to gaining experience within different fields. I’d like to join a part of the business where I can see the difference I’m making, either to the business directly or the social impact. The fantastic thing about BT is that if there is a role available in the area you want to work in, there is support on offer to help you get there. I’m looking forward to what’s yet to come and see how my journey on the graduate scheme pans out. 

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