Hello, I Am Shahzeb
My journey started while completing my GCSEs I started to realise that the traditional academic environments were not suitable for my way of learning due to the fact that I really struggled reading from textbooks, making notes for my classes and generally found it difficult to focus on this setting. At this time, I found I was more curious about the cooperative environment and the more practical aspects of working in a full-time job. This led me to pursue a T-Level in Digital, Design, Development and Production to gain on the job experience despite most of friends going on to do A-Levels and wondering why I chose to go this academic path. Doing a T-Level turned out to be the right choice for me as it was where I discovered apprenticeships and all the benefits they had to offer. I would be able to continue my more practical way of working and learning while completing a degree alongside and getting paid for the privilege. However, coming from a traditional Pakistani background, my parents were against pursuing this route as they believed I would have better opportunity of securing a job if I went down the university route!
Tell us more about your experience
What are your interests outside of work?
I enjoy Social Media Marketing and it is an interest I pursue outside of my apprentice. I feel it is a very useful skill to have in today's day and age where social media is heavily used to promote! I also enjoy looking at Digital Technology outside of my apprenticeship such as Gaming PCs, Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence.
Can you describe your job and what you do on a day-to-day basis?
In my day-to-day job, I am currently within the Future Voice Rotation which involves me in working with the Technical Pre-Sales Specialists within BT Business. This can involve me creating High Level Design Documents (HLDs) to send to clients looking to buy BT products for their services. It also often involves me speaking to customers and sales specialists to further assist me with the completion of the HLD.I also create Infographics for my team and rotation to aid those new to the rotation/team, especially for Apprentices and Graduates who may be completely new to the field! I also serve as Events Manager in the Birmingham Office for the BT Muslim Network. This involves in me running events such as Eid and Ramadan events to spread awareness about the religion. These events are often spread across several key sites with other members of the network.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
The highlight of my career so far has to be when I attended the Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards as a guest last year in 2022. This was truly an amazing experience, and I had the opportunity to meet some amazing apprentices which eventually led to me becoming the Technology Lead of ACE Insights, an Apprentice Network built to help current and aspiring apprentices achieve excellence with many other amazing Apprentices on board!
What has been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
The biggest challenge of my career so far would have to be the differences between work life and school/college life. Jumping from a T-Level in College straight to working for a corporate company was a bit of a shock to me. However, working with other Apprentices, who were in a similar position as me, and gaining the support of my colleagues meant I was able to adjust to the corporate work lifestyle a lot easier.
What sort of support network do you have at your company?
At BT, the support network is very strong, and they truly do push a positive impact on Early Careers as a whole. Apprentices and Graduates, especially within my team, are given plenty of opportunities such as Networking Events and Careers Fairs. There are also variety of Ethnic Networks which helps to make sure everyone feels included.
What will happen at the end of your apprenticeship and have you discussed this with your employer?
At the end of Apprenticeship, we feed back and say what rotation we enjoyed the most as a part of our job role. Using that information, our manager can refer us to a role within that sector.
What would be your words of advice to someone thinking about doing an apprenticeship?
My words of advice to anyone thinking about doing an apprenticeship is to always network with other people. Me networking with others has landed me opportunities that I would never think possible. Another piece of advice is to never give up when a company doesn't get back to you. I had to apply for many apprenticeships before I got the BT offer, it's very important to be resilient and learn from your failures when applying.