We spoke to 'future leader' Lauren - currently Senior Manager, Broadband, TV & Voice Customer Experience in our Networks team - about her career so far.

Hi Lauren, let's start with your day job. What do you do at BT Group?

I lead the Technology Customer Experience team responsible for Broadband, TV and Voice. We're a really diverse group of people from across the business with a range of different skills, united by a single goal to improve the Customer Experience. We work with colleagues across our business as well as customers on a day to day basis. We fix individual complex customer faults but our core purpose is to use this customer insight alongside our excellent data and technical knowledge to identify the big problems, so we can fix the experience for many customers. I've been in the team for around six years, but my role has developed and changed along the way.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

It has to be the variety - every day is different. I love being on the pulse of what's happening with our customers and seeing the impacts we have when we deliver real positive change. One day I can be deep in the heart of a technical investigation, other days I could be collaborating with other teams on a new product we're bringing to market. Recently, I've also been working within the Broadband Value Stream looking at how we as a business evolve, I am very excited by this next wave of transformation that will deliver real change for our colleagues and customers. There's also so much variety in who I get to work with – there's always something new going on and I am constantly learning.

Tell us a bit about your career so far? Where did you start?

I was always interested in Tech, but I wasn't clear on what my career path could look like. After completing my degree in Computing IT at Queens University Belfast I started on the BT graduate scheme in 2013. My first role was within the TV Client Engineering team in Belfast, working primarily on the TV set-top boxes, including the closure of the BT Vision platform and customer migration onto our Youview TV platform. I was always motivated by the customer-focussed elements of the job. What interests me is this is real stuff – working on the products and services that end up in our living rooms and in our families' hands. When I joined BT, we had just got the BT Sports rights and it was an incredibly exciting time - I think a pivotal time when the BT brand started evolving in our customer's eyes. One of my proudest moment so far has been getting business cases approved to establish the Technology Customer Experience team – it started as a good idea and we built the evidence, confidence and reputation that we could make a real difference. Through strengthening these close, customer-centric relationships, we've driven real positive change over the years for our customers.

What have you learned from the last year about being a leader at BT?

It has been a very different year for us all – I came back to work following maternity leave in June 2020. Coming back to work, but at home, was a very different experience from what I'd expected. I've always been based in our Belfast office, and with most of my team based elsewhere in the UK I have been used to working remotely – although I really missed the opportunity to jump on a plane and spend time with the team. While I was always comfortable with the remote way of working, now that everyone is in the same position and everyone is embracing it, I think it's really strengthened our abilities to collaborate virtually. This year, I've also been really focused on team wellbeing - the feedback we've had is that now we're all remote, everyone feels closer. We make more time for those broader conversations – like getting to know each other personally and just checking in to make sure everyone is OK. So, my focus as we return to offices is to maintain that closeness and build on it further.

What advice would you give colleagues who're interested in applying for and being part of a talent programme?

It's all about being open and hungry for the development opportunity. I feel fortunate to have been on several of BT’s talent programmes – I have always been one of those people who has said yes to things and given them my all. You have to go in to it with an open mind and make yourself and your development a priority. You only get out what you put in. So, look for those sponsors, get mentors and look for opportunities to support your own team with what you're learning as you develop. Importantly, get feedback and push yourself out of your comfort zone. That tricky feedback is what helps you grow. You need to see yourself through other people's eyes.

More colleague stories