I started the Vodafone apprenticeship scheme in January 2015. Before starting at Vodafone I was at college completing my A-levels and I also had a job working for a Cocktail company at the weekends. I was half way through completing my final year of A-levels when I started at Vodafone, I decided to carry on with my A-levels in my own time, for 6 months this was certainly a challenge but very worthwhile!
Vodafone as a name drew me in and I applied to the Apprentice scheme. As I got further and further through the recruitment process I found myself wanting to be part of this company and then when I arrived at their Newbury Headquarters I was amazed again. I got to speak to various Vodafone employees throughout the process, I asked one simple question “Why Vodafone?” Without fail, all or part of the response was “because of the people and the culture”. Personally for me, hearing those comments time and time again made me realise this was the company for me!
Since I joined the apprenticeship scheme just over a year ago I have worked in three different teams. I started with 3 months in IT quality management where I was responsible for creating a process to ensure all Vodafone documents were ISO9001 compliant which on occasion involved meeting with Governance stakeholders and attending audits. I also became involved in IT projects to ensure that there was consistent quality throughout.
I then moved into the Test Management team where I have spent the majority of my time at Vodafone. I started by testing our EuroTaveller propositions, this involved travelling to different destinations within Europe and ensuring products where to design. In my time within the Test management team and as well as my everyday work remit, I became the Test Manager for Vodafone’s text Santa proposition. My main focus was the Customer Experience testing function. The challenge put to me was to design a way to test CX (Customer Experience). As with all design problems it started small, I looked into designing a proof of concept on a very basic customer Journey. Once this was successful I presented my findings/idea to senior management and Customer Experience Testing. I was the only driver in this initiative which allowed me to really see how its principals could be applied throughout the business. When the project was complete I had created and left the testing team a Customer Experience Testing BAU Process which, I am proud to say, is in its first BAU run as we speak!
After successfully deploying Customer Experience testing, my placement within the team came to an end and I have now started on my next placement within IPMS (networks). My remit within this team is focused on trying to reduce the amount of orders that have remained within the order stack and also, with huge importance to Vodafone, I am also tasked with looking at how to reduce the impact this has on our customers. I am thoroughly enjoying this new placement and if everything goes to plan the Networks team that I am now a part of should have reduced the amount of Customers orders that are stuck by over 50% within 2 months. Whilst all of my exposure and everyday work is for Vodafone I am personally learning about Vodafone’s network from an operational perspective, practicing UNIX and created a reporting process for use in my area.
As a result of my work within the Test Management team the BAU process that I created I took on the task of going through page by page Vodafone’s desktop and mobile website. The desktop site that customers can carry out upgrades, order free SIMs, reset accounts etc. essentially anything I could do to assess the customer experience. Following on from this work I tracked what I thought needed to be changed and made suggestions based on my findings. As part of the same process I spoke with my colleagues, friends and family who had recently got new contracts with Vodafone about their experience and requested all of the communications they had received. I then started the lengthy task of going through every document, word by word as if I were the Customer receiving this communication. The questions I asked myself when looking at all of the data were: Was it user friendly? Easy to understand? If I had no tech knowledge would I understand what I am being told ? I also took on the task of reading the small print of our contracts! Every step of the way, if I found an issue I would catalogue the evidence and collate all of the information to then pass onto my colleagues within Vodafone that can use my findings for the greater good of the customer. Following on from my research and presenting my findings I was invited to attend some “War room” style meetings and be a part of fixing the customer issues that I uncovered. Unbelievably and very proudly this resulted in me being awarded the first Technology Hero award in February 2016.