Hello, I Am Charlotte
If you’re thinking of doing an apprenticeship, just go for it and apply – you have nothing to lose!
Tell us more about your experience
Every 6 months I rotate into a new operational team of my choice. So far, I’ve worked in content operations, platform management, business transformation and am now working in the marketing team. Every day varies depending on the team. In marketing a typical day might involve liaising with one of our agencies to update banner adverts, reviewing social media platforms to come up with ideas for our LinkedIn page and adding these to the content schedule. I might also have meetings with my colleagues to work together on edits for a customer email.
Aside from this, I am also responsible for a leadership role. These roles are shared by the apprentices on my scheme and involve organising volunteering opportunities, school engagements, or work experience. By taking ownership of these roles, I’m exposed to skills I wouldn’t necessarily pick up in my operational role, like presenting or communication. Currently, I’m the volunteering lead and have a weekly meeting with other leads from different offices to brainstorm things we can get involved with and support ongoing projects.
The most exciting project I’ve been involved in is my contribution to the Galaxy programme to remove Huawei equipment from the UK’s 5G Mobile network. For this, a colleague and I created a community for the teams in the wider project to support their adoption of agile practices. We planned regular sessions with guest speakers, book reviews and question sessions with agile coaches – we wanted to benefit everyone, no matter their learning style. From the offset, the attendance was far higher than we ever imagined.
“Knowing that I played a significant part in creating something that provides value by guiding my colleagues through a big change is such a rewarding feeling.”
Being given free rein on such a large project was a great experience and I learnt a lot from it. Even though I’ve rotated into a new team, the community sessions are going strong and knowing that I did the groundwork to build it up to what it is now, is amazing. Another career highlight was when I got to represent my business area in an interview with the CEO of BT, Philip Jansen, for National Apprenticeship Week. It was amazing to meet Philip (albeit virtually) and we really got stuck into some great discussions. A lot of the questions asked, including my own, surrounded diversity and inclusion.
Off the back of this, Philip asked us to come up with ideas around how we can improve D&I in the Apprentice space. It was great to be able to work with apprentices from across the business and collaborate to tackle a subject that we all are so passionate about. We conducted some research and came up with some ideas and presented our findings to Philip’s team. We are waiting to hear back regarding the next steps from our proposition, which is exciting as there is the chance to make a real difference in the apprentice community within BT!
“I originally decided to do an apprenticeship because university just didn’t feel right for me.”
I’d never been sure of the career I wanted, as you can probably tell from my varied A-Level subjects (Geography, Film Studies and English Language!). I didn’t want the financial commitment of uni as I wasn’t sure what path a degree would set me on. I started my research into alternative options and became excited. Discovering degree apprenticeships made me even more so. Being able to work towards a qualification while earning a full-time salary was so appealing and I knew it was the right choice for me.
If you’re thinking of doing an apprenticeship, just go for it and apply – you have nothing to lose! I get asked all the time if I regret not going to uni and I can honestly say I don’t in the slightest. The skills you gain with an apprenticeship are highly commended in the professional world, and it’s something you can’t achieve with a degree alone. You have so many more opportunities in the world of work and a head start in your career.
It’s important to remember that if you do an apprenticeship and don’t like it, you are allowed to leave and, in the process, have still gained experience and money! If you’re unsure of which to go for, I would say try an apprenticeship first. You could even do a degree apprenticeship which is the best of both worlds! I used GetMyFirstJob when searching for available apprenticeships schemes and it was really useful, so if you’re looking into a scheme, I would definitely check them out.
“My role at BT wasn’t the first apprenticeship I applied for, in fact, I applied to about 7 schemes over 2 years. These can be competitive, but don’t let it put you off.”
If you have your heart set on doing an apprenticeship (like me) you need to be resilient. Rejection is never nice but I’m so glad I kept going. I wouldn’t have secured my role BT if I’d given up after the first rejection. It isn’t personal and there’s normally loads of factors towards why you might not have been successful. Eventually, the right role will come around – whether it’s your first application or your 50th!
When I started at BT, I was a complete novice and knew nothing – about technology or telecommunications. The support from my colleagues, managers, and fellow apprentices has been amazing, especially during the pandemic. I’ve been taught everything I need within my operational teams and have been assigned a buddy who’ll walk through everything with me until I’m confident enough to do it on my own. There are also loads of social and team-building events where I can network with different people in the business and other apprentices to build great connections.
I’ve picked up loads of skills in my time at BT. I’ve started to learn how to code in Python and Java, how to build and deliver workshops, improved my presentation skills and even how to manage BT’s internal applications, such as Jira and Dataminer. The main thing that’s developed is my confidence. On my first day, when I was told the responsibilities of my role, like presenting, organising events and leading on projects, I thought I’d do any of them. But now I can do these things without worry.
“I’m constantly putting myself outside of my comfort zone and I think that’s why I’ve learnt so much.”
When I finish my apprenticeship, I’ll be offered a full-time position in the role of my choice. I still don’t know what role that’ll be as I am only halfway through my apprenticeship, so I still have a lot of teams left to work in. Despite this, I’m confident that I’ll move into a team that I’ll enjoy, which is so reassuring. I want to show people that anything is possible and that you shouldn’t tell yourself you can’t do something. Humans are capable of lots of incredible things, you really can do anything if you put your mind to it.
Interested in becoming an ambassador? Find out more!