Your first day at BT: I remember walking into BT Centre, it was day one of my first proper job out of university and I had just moved from the other side of the world. You walk through into the BT Centre reception and you really appreciate how big the company is! I started alongside seven other graduates in Procurement, and fortunately we had all had the opportunity to meet beforehand at the induction day. There was a collective nervous excitement as we went around being introduced to everyone in the office before getting settled with our new teams. My manager had already got in touch with me via email so that was really helpful, then it was just a matter of trying to remember everyone’s name (which I am terrible at!). We spent time learning about what our team does, what we will be doing in our rotations and explaining how we fit in amongst the different areas of the business. It was all naturally a lot to take on board and I was absolutely drained by the end of the day! Walking into BT Centre on that first day feels like so long ago now, we have all had so many interesting opportunities and I can say that I have learned more than I could’ve expected.
Your first year at BT: My first year easily exceeded my expectations on a number of fronts. From a settling in a foreign country perspective, I moved in to a flat with three BT graduates and made lots of new friends across the business. From a work perspective, my team got me really involved in a number of projects, from tendering for the superfast fibre deployment in the UK to looking at encrypted mobile phones in the IT security category. I had exposure presenting to seniors in the business, from finance to operations, and continued to develop my negotiating skills and commercial acumen. I loved getting involved in the graduate community, I booked onto the Graduate Ski Trip in Tignes for a week which was one of the fondest memories as having taking fundraised and taken part in the Gradiator challenge, which involved hiking, cycling and an obstacle course all in the name of charity. Leadership week is one of the big highlights of the scheme, you have the opportunity to meet and work alongside grads from all over the country being put through a number of challenges, but I don’t want to give anything more away as it is a surprise. I think you should go in with an open mind, take every opportunity with both hands and be willing to go outside your comfort zone. You will be surprised at how much you will take away!
How I got here: I always find it hard to believe that only three years ago I was sat in my bedroom in Sydney applying for the BT graduate scheme. Since then I have flown to the UK for my assessment centre, returned to Australia to pack up my life, moved to London, started a new job, made new friends and travelled around Europe. My journey at BT started in Procurement, which for those of you that don’t know is an area of the company that is responsible for placing supply contracts for goods and services, negotiating competitive prices and including excellent terms and conditions. I had studied International Business & Management at university, so it was a really interesting area to start in and I had the opportunity to learn from some really talented and experienced colleagues. After completing my first year on the graduate scheme I was fortunate to stumble across an incredible opportunity to move into the Consumer line of business into a role in the BT Sport Commercial team as a product manager. At the same time as starting my new role, I had volunteered with a friend on the graduate scheme to run the Graduate Charity Challenge. This is an event that is run each year by members of the graduate community, where the participants take part in a physical challenge to fundraise for charity. After a year of planning, we had more than 80 graduates tackle a 25 mile night hike through the peak district finishing with a muddy assault course while raising over £28k for The Supporters Club. This is just an example of one of many exciting extracurricular things you can get involved in with the BT graduate scheme, there are loads of opportunities to get involved in the community outside your day job.