Working as a BT Apprentice! What is it really like?
Monday 8th Nov 2021
We sat down with Tom Culley, BT’s Network Degree Apprentice to find out what a day in the life looks like at BT, the largest provider of fixed-line, broadband and mobile services in the UK.
Let’s find out what he had to say!
What is your current job title?
Networks Degree Apprentice
What made you decide the apprenticeship route?
The support you can get from your employer to cover all of your university costs, as well as the amazing opportunity to work alongside those studies. The network I have been able to develop and also the opportunity to jump straight into work at the age of 18.
How did you decide what apprenticeship to choose?
I tried to find what standard/sector I enjoyed most. I always loved Technology and worked as a technician in a Theatre so moving into Networks or Software was my natural route from the apprenticeships available in 2018.
What piece of advice would you give to those leaving school in the next year who are confused about their options?
Go with your heart and what you enjoy – Apprenticeships will give you the real world experience that will guide your career and you should definitely consider EVERY opportunity that will help you get there (workshops/skills days, etc. etc.)
What one thing that surprised you about your apprenticeship?
The environment where it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake – my organisation gives apprentices as many opportunities that it can to push us outside of our comfort zones and into our growth zone!
In 150 words, describe what a normal day for you tends to look like…
A normal day in my role involves clearing through some admin and emails in the morning followed by a day or supporting our field engineers over the phone by testing new components and connectives and bringing these new provisions into service for our customers. I also spend much of my time building the configuration for new devices going onto our network across the UK and working with colleagues on new processes or troubleshooting.
Not only do I spend most of my time in a technical capacity, I also have the opportunity to be involved with process sharing and automation journeys to help make our business more optimised and efficient. Finally, I spend a few hours each week on ambassadorial activities, reaching out to students and teachers across my local area to spread the news on apprenticeships and open up students eyes to the amazing opportunities that they can offer.
How have you found your social life, did you feel that you missed out on the university experience?
I don’t feel that I have “missed out” as I’ve had plenty of opportunities to travel and visit friends thanks to an annual leave allowance and the funds that I have made from working as an Apprentice. I’ve often found being in a stronger financial position is something that my friends from University have wanted over the social life.
How would you manage your study time alongside your workload?
I try to use my weekly study day to the best of my ability but thinking ahead to when my deadlines may be due. I also find that the occasional hour or so after work can really help me with my studies. It’s not an easy route – but as long as you learn to be organised, it’s not as hard as it may seem!
How did you decide what employer to work for?
I found that BT was a really warm and welcoming organisation. Some employers who I visited didn’t come across with such warmth and I really connected with BT’s values.
Are there any final tips you would give to a young person who wants to do what you do?
I would just say to explore the opportunities that are out there – make the most of the many amazing resources online and if you don’t know what you want from your career, just try and do whatever makes you smile😃
Find out more about the opportunities at BT by registering here