Kate Self is one of our Degree Apprentices. She's working in BT TV and, although she's only been here six months, she's grabbed hold of every opportunity available. Here, she tells us what life in BT has been like for her so far, why she opted for an apprenticeship and offers some great advice for people considering the apprenticeship route.
What did you do before starting your apprenticeship at BT?
Before I started working in BT I was studying for my A Levels. I studied English Literature, IT and Film Studies. As well as undertaking my A Levels, I also had a part time job as a waitress.
Tell us a bit more about your apprenticeship and the experience you've had with us?
Although I have only been in the apprenticeship 6 months I have learned a great deal and have had some amazing opportunities. I have had the chance to work on different projects including BBC’s Aurora, helping with the testing, reporting and documenting. Throughout my apprenticeship we rotate in the different departments. During my first rotation I have been in the Operational Governance team helping out with Change Management and Service Transition. I also get the opportunity to help out with any work experience, visits or school visits at BT Tower, which the apprentices organise.
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship at BT?
I chose an apprenticeship at BT as it looked best suited to me. I had previously done some work experience within BT TV and Procurement so I got an insight into what the scheme offered. I liked the idea of being able to rotate around the different departments and getting knowledge in most areas. At the end of our apprenticeship we become an expert in the department we are best suited in and enjoy. BT is also an incredible company to work for, allowing me to be fully involved in the day to day work, whilst earning a salary, and at the end of the scheme I’ll qualify with a full Degree.
What advice would you give to someone considering an apprenticeship?’
I would tell them to research the different apprenticeships and what they have to offer. Although some apprenticeships may start with a higher salary there is less chance for progression. They should definitely review what the apprenticeship has to offer, whether they qualify with a degree or get any additional training. Also, what can be achieved once the apprenticeship has finished. Furthermore, don’t be scared to network with any apprentices, finding out more about their day to day role as an apprentice, I’m sure they will be happy to help.
What are your future plans for your career?
Over the next couple of years I hope to obtain a more in depth knowledge in TV and the different departments. I want to challenge myself and be a part of new exciting opportunities. There is such a variety to discover and I’m excited for the future.
What made you choose an apprenticeship?
I decided from a young age that university was not the right option for me. Although I wanted to continue with my learning, I also wanted to get hands on and be in the work environment. An apprenticeship allows me to gain on the job experience, as well as deepening my learning.
Additionally, with my apprenticeship I also go to university to enhance my knowledge and qualify with a full Degree. As well as on the job experience and a degree, I am also earning a competitive salary, whereas being at university would not have given me these advantages.
What did your parents say about you going for an apprenticeship?
My parents were very supportive of me. They were happy that I wanted to continue my learning and that I wanted to progress with my career. When I discovered BT Apprenticeships they agreed it was the apprenticeship which best suited to me. Both my parents were extremely proud when I was successful in gaining the apprenticeship position. Even now my dad continues to tell everyone he meets, what an amazing opportunity I have.
What advice would you give to a young person at the start of their career?
I would suggest networking as much as they can, don’t be afraid, the worst that could happen is that they would not get a reply. Look around at what the different companies have to offer, they all differ slightly depending on experience or continuous learning. Try to get some experience within a workplace whether it’s a couple of days or a week, it all helps. Most importantly, try your best and don’t give up. I worked so hard to obtain my grades and into the position I am in now.