Joe Whittle joined us to talk about his experiences over the last few months on our Retail Secondment programme and how the programme has set him up for a career in video content design

How did you hear about the secondment programme?

I worked for EE in Retail, in the York City Centre store while I was studying Film and Television Production at the University of York. When the lockdown began, I was able to find more time to evaluate where I was in my career and look for work in the field that I truly wanted to be in – enter the secondment program.

I was on FaceTime to a couple of friends from the store and one of them brought up the secondment programme. I hopped onto Workplace (our internal social channel) and had a look for myself. Low and behold, there was a secondment in the exact area that I studied to work in – media production. 

Did you need a background in your chosen area, and how did you find the selection process?

The secondment that I am a part of was created to move employees from Retail to Digital. This specific role required a background in media production and experience with the necessary software and skills.

The selection process for me was really simple, I applied by filling out a form and sending off my CV. I was then asked for evidence of my previous projects, to see if I had the right experience for the role. Following this I was invited to a Skype interview; the interview lasted an hour, we spoke about everything from university, to my Retail work, to a theoretical brief.

A week or so later, I got a call offering me the position, and the rest is history!

Tell us about your seconded role and the type of work you are involved in.

I am a Video Content Designer; I plan, film and edit videos for (mainly) internal use. However, with the ever-changing local lockdown rules, it’s less filming and more editing at the moment.

I’ve recently completed the video content used as part of the Digital Unscripted segment of Consumer Live. Outside of that, I’ve been working on smaller projects varying from showcasing innovative work in Digital, to telling the story of the first month of Evolve, the new recruitment pathway. Coming soon is a video series called Portrait, a platform for us to tell personal stories of people influencing change in Digital.

Everyone has been so welcoming and as daunting as it seemed at first, everything just seemed to piece together so quickly.

The initial secondment period was 3 months, and it’s flown by. It’s now been extended for an additional month whilst we figure out if there is a more permanent position for me. Fingers crossed everything works out!

Regardless, it’s safe to say that the secondment has solidified my desire to continue working in this area and has developed my skills and experience.

How different was your Retail role to what you’re doing now?

The roles are polar opposites! Retail and Digital are two completely separate worlds. In Retail, I found it easy to get wrapped up in a bubble of monthly targets and phone specifications.

Coming into Digital was a daunting experience, to say the least! But, learning new rules, creating your own schedule and having the freedom and support to try different things has been, in a sense, liberating!

What have you learned from your time on secondment?

Too much to say! I don’t know where to start. Having the chance to enter the Digital world and learn about the different, progressive ways of working has been fantastic. There’s a huge amount of innovation across the entire team and even just filming and editing it has opened my eyes to say the least. 

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