Women in IT case study: Emma Cavanagh – BT
Women in Tech A Higher Apprenticeship has helped 30-year-old Emma Cavanagh to change career.
Having previously worked in the financial sector for eight years, Emma Cavanagh, 30, from Ipswich, wanted a change of career and was interested in moving in to the IT sector. Having had family members who had already completed a BT Apprenticeship and who had progressed well within the organisation, Emma was inspired to follow in their footsteps and chose the BT Higher Apprenticeship in IT.
The point of realisation
“I realised I needed a career that would challenge me to learn new skills, develop me personally and enable me to progress within the IT sector,” Emma says.
“Friends and family were very supportive of my decision to change career and encouraged me to apply for the Apprenticeship at BT as it would help me to explore my interests whilst giving me the structured learning needed to help me choose the right career path.”
With a Level 2 City and Guilds qualification in Customer Services, three A-levels and ten GCSEs already under her belt, in October 2010, Emma, then aged 26, began her Higher Apprenticeship at BT.
Whilst she worked towards a Level 4 BTEC Diploma in IT for Professionals, and a Foundation Degree in Network Communication Technologies, Emma was busy managing, monitoring and maintaining network equipment that is critical to communication operations nationwide, which included broadband and mobile networks.
“Looking back to the start of my Apprenticeship, I am amazed at how much I have grown and developed, from someone with little technical knowledge around telecommunications and someone who hated talking in front of people,” Emma says. “I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone to learn and improve and I believe I am growing by the day.”
Throughout her Apprenticeship, Emma worked in a team of around 40 people who remotely managed and repaired network equipment to ensure customers received a seamless and high quality level of service.
“During the 2012 Olympics, many of the network operations and broadcast technologies were managed from within my office,” Emma says. “I assisted in managing faults that might otherwise have affected Olympic venues, and I also had the opportunity to help out at the BT London Live event at Hyde Park, where I got to meet some of our Olympians. It was great to play a part in the Olympics!”
“I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone to learn and improve and I believe I am growing by the day.”
In addition to this, Emma’s Apprenticeship allowed her to get involved in numerous other activities including charity events, secondments and a coaching program. Emma says “These events have really helped me to develop the skills I need to be successful in the workplace. Having left school with no clear direction of where I wanted to go, my Apprenticeship has given me the skills and direction I needed; it has helped to change my life!”
In February 2013, Emma completed her Apprenticeship and achieved a distinction in her Foundation Degree. After completing her Apprenticeship, Emma gained a permanent role at BT in its IP Services team and was subsequently successful in gaining promotion into the management team.
In recognition of her achievements, Emma was named Central Eastern Higher Apprentice of the Year at the National Apprenticeship Awards 2013 and was also Highly Commended at the National stages of the competition.
To find out more about Apprenticeship opportunities, please contact the National Apprenticeship Service on 08000 150 600 or visit the website apprenticeships.gov.uk