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Emma Bird

Software engineering apprentice
Technology, Services & Operations

About you:
After completing my GSCE’s and A Levels, I moved onto a career in retail; I started on a low hours contract and within a year had worked my way up to a full time key holders position looking to become a supervisor. Since joining BT as an apprentice, I have completed a Foundation Degree and Level 4 NVQ.

At the beginning of the year I decided that I wanted to get a bit fitter and have since developed a passion for running and yoga; I recently completed the Race for Life which led to me raising £450! I really enjoy things like thisand take part in charity and volunteering events both inside and outside of work.

Your key duties and responsibilities:
I work in a team in the Traditional Voice area of BT TSO (Technology, Services and Operations) where I get involved with a number of roles from testing and automation, to design and implementation work for external customers. As well as my immediate team, I try to get involved with other opportunities and regularly take part in organising and hosting work experience for local students as well as a number of other opportunities the apprenticeship has provided.

Explain why you chose an apprenticeship:
Throughout school I knew that I didn’t want to go to university like all of my friends, but at the same time, didn’t really know what kind of career I wanted to have. I found a position in retail which I enjoyed, but it didn’t nurture my interests in IT. My Dad has worked for Openreach for a number of years and suggested the apprenticeship to me; initially it wasn’t the kind of thing I thought I could see myself doing, but after looking into the scheme a bit moreand attending an interview at Adastral Park, I knew it was the right choice for me!

How have you benefitted from your apprenticeship including your personal progression?
When I first started with BT, I lacked self-confidence with things such as public speaking, but I now regularly attend events where I will talk to a vast range of people both inside and outside of BT. I joined the company having no real idea of my potential, as well as no career plans, both of which I now have a much better idea of!

What do you consider your greatest achievements and future plans for your career?
Since beginning my role within my team, I’ve worked on a whole host of different things; the thing I have been most proud of has been working on a design concept from start to finish, implementing it then finally hearing it play on the radio and getting great feedback!

The service has since won an external award for innovation, which has made me immensely proud of both myself and everyone else involved.

I hope to continue taking all of the opportunities that come my way, pushing myself out of my comfort zone to explore new roles and career prospects within BT. I hope to eventually move into a management role but continue with the design aspects of my current position.

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