We sat down with Amrita Tar to talk about the myths, misconceptions and most importantly, real life as an Apprentice at BT

Tell us about you and where in BT you work.

I’m 19 years old from West London, and currently in my second year of my Level 4 Network Engineer Apprenticeship. I work in Technology, Dynamic Infrastructure, and I’m the only Apprentice on my team! 

What made you decide to choose an Apprenticeship over university?

I’ve always been someone who loved the working environment and never saw myself going to university. For me, Apprenticeships offer a lot of career opportunities, and I’m lucky to be able to have on hands experience in what I’m studying – something university doesn’t really offer. As well as this, I’m able to build my network and meet people from various parts of the company and build great relationships. I’m also exposed to working with colleagues across the world, from India to Argentina to Italy. It’s a great experience, and one that university wouldn’t have given me!

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about Apprenticeships?

The biggest misconception about Apprenticeships (even I thought this before starting), was that it’s easier than university. If anything, it’s the same level or even harder! Not only do we work full time, but also have to study full time and maintain a healthy balance of both. Another misconception is that you’re stuck in that role forever – many colleagues have clarified that this isn’t the case! Apprenticeships open the door to many career pathway opportunities and I’ve seen this myself, where I’ve met people who started their career as an Apprentice Engineer but have now progressed into management for Cybersecurity. The opportunities are endless with Apprenticeships!

How does it feel to be nominated for the BAME Apprenticeship Awards in the Judge’s Choice category? How did that come about?

I feel so humbled and grateful to be nominated, but to be shortlisted is an even bigger honour! I’m thankful that the judges see potential in me and what I stand for as a BAME individual, and I cannot wait for the virtual awards ceremony on the 11th of November! Regardless of who has won, I am so delighted that I even got to this stage of the awards and I’ve been able to connect and network with other Apprentices who are involved too. Not only has the BAME awards given me exposure to other Apprentices across various successful companies who are on a similar journey to me, but it has given me many opportunities within BT, such as featuring on the Apprentice newsletter and the Apprentice website, but has also allowed me to network with individuals in BT who I may have never had a chance to speak to! I will forever be grateful for this opportunity and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

What does D&I in the workplace mean to you, and how do you think we can encourage more diversity within the Tech field?

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is very important to me – growing up in the BAME community, I always felt like us people of colour were always at a disadvantage because of our background and it always disheartened me to see the lack of diversity whenever I attended interviews at other companies when I was searching for Apprenticeships. I have always seen diversity and inclusion within BT, whether that’s at an event, interview, or an office, and it makes me feel so grateful that I am a part of a company who are actively aware of the importance of this and how it plays a big part in society. Within Technology, I feel like there aren’t many BAME individuals than in other fields, however I think to encourage more diversity we can campaign future opportunities (such as jobs and Apprenticeships) using photos of people who classify as a BAME individual. I already see a lot of campaigns with mixed and black ethnicities, but not so much of those who are Asian/Indian, so this would be nice to see going forward.

What career path are you looking to follow after your Apprenticeship is complete?

I have a lot in mind and it constantly changes! I’d love to stay in Technology but do something in HR/Finance/Talent Acquisition! I hope to progress my career rapidly in the coming years as I would love to be able to manage a team of my own!

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