1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
As a networking & technology apprentice i support a team within this space and rotate to a new team every 6 months. Currently I work with the network operations teams, monitoring live equipment across the globe. In this role I monitor and respond to alarms affecting BT or its customers equipment and coordinate between device experts, field engineers, and supply and demand to resolve faults.My other job roles have been software development, Device and configuration testing, and infrastructure planning.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Across my 2 and a half years with BT i have developed a range of existing a new skills. I can now created a virtual and physical network from scratch. Physically change devices such as routers & switches and their parts, as well as configure them, and have learnt how to write small functioning software in two different languages. I have also developed key communication, problem solving, and logical thinking skills. All of these skills are important across the industry as a while and will be valuable even if you chose to change role or job.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I have loved at working at BT thus far. Like any job it has its difficult or stressful days but they are often out weighed by the achievement of getting through them. 90% of my time at work is spent working with people who are good company and working interesting projects that are new and make a difference to the people around you. My favourite thing about the programme has been the range of skills and areas to work in ensuring that you never get bored or have to do the same task too many times.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme is incredibly well organised while having a loose/ flexible structure. For example every 6 months you will rotate within the company to a new role. but it is kept flexible in that you can chose where you would like to go. I would describe the structure as more of a template that you follow and work within which allows each person to experience different things of there choice.The company is also used to having apprentices and so you will easily slot into any new team you join often having tasks and role ready for you to fill.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
BT has a vast support network. You will have a line/people manager to handle you personally, a rotation lead who manages your work and development and an apprentice coach who assists and supports you with apprenticeship and university requirements. Along side this there is a whole apprenticeship team to support you across you journey. All of these people provide immense amount of support when asked and all make sure one another are also doing so.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
The university of Suffolk provide lectures and study time each week to support you during qualifications. You also have access to all of the university facility and support network to assist you. Although all of this is available it is up to you to find and use it. I found across my apprenticeship it was easier and more effective to use current and past apprentices instead to support with university assignments and reports and use lectures to check and approve work.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The network engineering foundation degree i studied for was useful along side my job role. It helped me in roles such as testing where I was configuring a range of network devices but did not directly teach me how to do much of what my job required. The teaching instead provided as base understanding. The best way I can word this is that it did not teach me how to do my job, but did allow me to understand what i was doing. The training creates a good foundation and creates a base understanding of networking so that you can easily learn how to do anything within networking.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
Yes! I personally have been to career and job recruiting events for schools and adults. Additionally i have been involved in BT sports days, volunteering events that all employees are given paid volunteering leave days for, and attended evenings of card games and sport activities. As well as this I know many people that are in various hobbies/ activity groups in the work place, play various sports on site during lunch or after work, and even people that are members of the on site fire and ambulance teams!
9a. Would you recommend BT to a friend?
I would recommend BT to a friend and have done already with success because there is no downside. You will be paid a good salary that increases every year to work and mostly learn. You will be able to earn professional qualifications without paying a thing. You will have flexibility in your job role, you can be involved in many different activity's. And you will have a guaranteed job when you finish. I would recommend BT to anyone because you will be able to find something you enjoy doing at the company and because the apprenticeship provides a massive upside, with very little downside.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BT?
Do your research. Its not hard to go onto the BT careers page and have a look around, try to learn about the company values and ways of working before you apply and reach out for work experience or some viewing days at your nearest sight. you can do this through your school, college, official BT communications, or a friend or family member. Additionally know what you are good at and show that off. you don't need to be a tech wizard and the vast majority of people that i joined with where not when they started, we can teach you that along the way you just need to be willing to learn.