Maria Jose

We had a chat with Maria Jose to find out about BT’s role in keeping the world connected, exploring her creative side as a newsletter editor and, her role in getting more girls into the tech industry.

Can you tell us a bit about your role and the work you do?

I’m currently a Contract Manager for the LATAM region. In short, it means that I make sure that both BT and our customers follow what’s stated in the contract. But in reality, it encompasses many other activities such as: managing the client’s P&L (Profit and Loss report) and making sure it’s correct, billing our clients, problem solving, tracking trends and performance, etc. I also interact directly with many areas such as operations, finance, cash collections, billing, sales, etc.

You joined us on the Global graduate scheme in Mexico 2019. What roles did you have on the graduate scheme and what did you enjoy most about it?

My first rotation was in fact, in Contract Management. I remember I liked it very much as it was very dynamic, every week brought different challenges and there was always something going on. It also meant getting involved in all aspects of the accounts and becoming an expert in managing accounts. During this rotation the pandemic hit, so I witnessed the different changes our clients had to go through in order to adapt and anticipate future changes and needs.

My second rotation was in Customer Success. It was a very interesting time to be part of this team as they were experiencing an internal transformation, moving from Client Services to become Customer Success. I witnessed the foundation of a new way of understanding our clients: getting to know their pain-points and needs to create a common approach that could address both areas. I also had the opportunity to learn Portuguese (at least to understand the language if not speak it) as my line manager and other colleagues were based in Brazil.

My third and last rotation was in Transformation. In this role, I had the opportunity to be part of a very creative and structured team who looked for cost-reduction strategies in different areas of the company. I learned that cost-reduction plans can be met though organisation, innovation, upgrading and upscaling.

How did you find the transition from graduate programme to full time role and what advice would you give to others at similar stages in their career?

I was fortunate enough to have had rotated in Contract Management as a graduate, so I was already familiar with the area. As a result, I believe the transition was much smoother and quicker. Of course, being a contract manager in a full-time role is different. It gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the account and take action and responsibility for it, this makes it much more exciting!

I would recommend other graduates take the opportunity to try to understand as much of BT, their rotation and area as possible. Be curious, explore and get involved. This will help broaden their spectrum and help them decide what they like and what they don’t. Another recommendation is to network: ask people about their activities, attend different meetings, talk to colleagues you don’t know, etc. Getting to know people from different areas and countries can help you decide what your next professional step might be.

BT is a British company but operates in over 180 countries. How would you describe BT and its purpose to people in the Americas who aren’t as familiar with it?

Right now, we live in a globalised world with multinational companies which need global communication and security solutions. Ultimately, BT helps bring the world together.

When I have to describe what we do in Global to my friends, I always say that instead of our clients going from country to country looking for communication and security solutions and getting multiple providers and complex contracts; BT provides one global solution full of expertise, integration, and reliability with the advantage of providing special attention and adapting to different local needs.

You’ve taken part in BT’s Tech4Women programme as a mentor. Can you tell us more about that experience and what BT is doing to disrupt the status quo in the telecoms industry?

Being able to share your experiences and be a friendly guide to girls interested in the technology and communications industry was a highly gratifying experience. It was so exciting to see how I could support girls to step out of their comfort zone and get involved in areas where women didn’t have the chance to participate in the past. I think this programme, along with BT’s support as a sponsor, is a wonderful way of empowering the younger generation to become more comfortable and active in these kinds of industries, break down barriers and help diminish the gender gap.

What kind of activities have you got involved in outside your day-to-day role?

I’ve always liked extra-projects. I think it is a great way of learning new things, skills and meeting new people while reaching a goal that’s outside your role. It makes your day more exciting and interesting. As a graduate, I had the opportunity to be an editor of the Sales Pulse Newsletter, a newsletter for the sales community on new product launches, interviews, events, etc. This allowed me to explore and use my creative side. Similarly, I was an editor for the Grads View Newsletter. I was also part of the Brilliant Speakers committee, a group which enables you to practise public speaking, developed from the Toastmasters programme. And last but not least, I am, currently, champion of the Engagement LATAM team, which plans and creates activities for BT colleagues within the Latin America region, including donation and engagement activities, celebrations and so forth.

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