"One thing I’ve learnt at BT is that no one expects you to know everything when you join."
Hi, my name is Séainín, I joined the Technology graduate programme last September, although I took a less traditional route to a career in technology than many of my peers. After studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Queen’s University Belfast, I decided to study a conversion Masters in Software Development, also at Queen’s. The combination of the two degrees occasionally gets an odd glace, but I think they have given an excellent base to build my career.
When I applied to BT, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Did I have enough experience? Would I be able to code well enough? But I managed to settle into the rhythm of the interviews quite quickly. I had originally stated a preference to be based in Belfast, but when I received a call one very windy Friday in Spring asking if I would like to attend an assessment centre for Ipswich, I found myself answer, “yes”. Attending assessment centre the following week, I was within touching distance of the job. As you have probably guessed by this blog, I got the job, and found myself relocating from Belfast to Ipswich!
The move was a big step, but one of the most fantastic things about the graduate scheme is that the vast majority of people are in the same position, and the graduates become a little community. There is always someone organising a social event of some kind, from birthday parties to pay day socials!
My original nerves about starting my job were alleviated very early on. I have fantastic support from my manager really encourages me to learn new skills, and has given up time to develop technical knowledge in a way that helps me, the team and the business. As graduates we also have a Development Manager, who is a great support to us, and is always there to talk through any challenges we’re facing.
One of the best things about BT (apart from my role!) is the volunteering aspect. As an employee you are given three days a year (on top of annual leave) to take part in volunteering activities. I’ve been very lucky to be on the Children in Need graduate committee. Each year, the new graduates try to beat the total raised by the graduates from the year before. Needless to say, we are a competitive bunch, and the challenge was set!
After quite a few weeks of planning, and many working lunches, Children in Need week rolled up. A cake mountain was piled high, caffeine whizzed around on little trolleys, as we donned funny ears and even funnier costumes.
Looking back it was one of the most enjoyable things I have done since I’ve joined BT. I got to know so many more graduates and so many people that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet through organising Children in Need. One thing I’ve learnt at BT is that no one expects you to know everything when you join, and everyone I’ve met has been more than happy to help me.
All this and I’ve only been here four months! I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what the rest of the programme brings.