19 Feb 2019
What was your first role with us?
I started my BT career as an apprentice within Engineering Services as an Electronics engineer. I joined as part of the Ipswich field team. These past 3 years have been some of the best of my career so far.
I never knew I’d end up being an engineer but it has been the best thing I have ever done! I needed a change and wanted something where I could progress into and develop as a person. I knew I didn’t want to go back to college or university so an apprenticeship was the best way forward for me. It also empowered me to run head first into a male dominated industry. Yes I was a little apprehensive at first - but it has been a fantastic journey, and everyone has been so welcoming.
Tell us about your apprenticeship?
So my apprenticeship is the best one in BT in my eyes. The best thing about my apprenticeship is that every single day is different. Not only did I learn about my job I also gained so many life skills and I grew as a person. The past 3 years I have also made many relationships with my colleagues that will last a lifetime. You are never alone in a BT apprenticeship.
What is one of the best aspects of your job?
The best thing about my apprenticeship is that every single day is different. Not only did I learn about my job, but I also gained so many life skills and I grew as a person. The past three years I’ve also made many relationships with my colleagues that will last a lifetime. You’re never alone in a BT apprenticeship, there’s always someone there to help and support you.
Why did you choose an apprenticeship over going to college/university?
For me, college and uni were out of the picture. I couldn’t afford to pay for the tuition for uni and I was done with learning from a board. The apprenticeship was the best option and the most exciting one for me. I learn so much better when my hands are doing the work than when I’m sitting at a desk staring at a board.
What’s the most interesting / coolest thing you’ve worked on so far?
Some of the best things I have worked on so far are engines and subsea cables. The engines are huge! Some are the size of a small house. Some of the big engines are from old ships and it fascinates me that these are running BT’s Network whilst the power is down. The subsea cables are also just awesome. They go from the east coast, across the North Sea to Holland. They are basically fibre optics which transmit light through a cable that’s smaller than your hair, to Holland, UNDERWATER. Amazing!
How is your time split between studying and your day job?
During my apprenticeship, I did struggle with getting the balance right at first, but I was soon told by my manager that I could take whatever time I needed. I suffer from dyslexia and I made this clear in the application process. You may think this could have held me back but I never let it. Everyone in my team were supportive and gave me all the help and support I needed. So with that struggle and a really understanding manager, I took one day a week to do my NVQ and study. This allowed me to be able to sit and concentrate for one day. Then the rest of the time I would be out and about with experienced engineers learning and developing all the skills I needed.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of doing an apprenticeship in Engineering?
Do it. Say yes. Enjoy it.
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