Technology

Meet the award-winning engineer helping to create the future!

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Technology

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blogs

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7/28/2020

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When Natasha Carpenter looks back 11 years to when she was a legal secretary, she can’t believe how far she has come in that time.Now she’s a winner of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Young Woman Engineer of the Year special recognition award, and also a recipient of a special recognition reward from Vodafone.As an experienced engineer specialising in fixed-lined telephony for commercial customers, she and her colleagues have been keeping UK businesses connected during the coronavirus pandemic. Young apprenticeIt was applying for a Cable & Wireless (now part of Vodafone) apprenticeship that changed her life.“I was just doing the same thing every day as a secretary, but this apprenticeship looked really interesting. I didn’t know anything about telecoms but I was interested in technology and how things worked,” she tells Vodafone UK News.Careers advice at her school in Essex pushed her towards office work, says Natasha, based on a sexist assumption that “girls didn’t really do this kind of stuff”.She admits that her line of work is still very male-dominated, which is why she’s so keen to spread the message – particularly to girls – that “no matter what you look like, your race, your gender, you can be an engineer if you want to”. Initially, customers couldn’t believe she was the engineer when Natasha turned up to a job.“They didn’t have much confidence in me at first,” she says. “It was a bit discouraging – but you just had to keep going and ignore what they said.”Thankfully, attitudes have changed over the last decade, due in part to the efforts of pioneers like Natasha getting out there, doing the job, and spreading the message in schools, workplaces and conferences.“Now they’re far more welcoming and encouraging,” she says. “There’s been a shift in mentality – now people say it’s nice to see a female engineer.”And Natasha is keen to stress that her Vodafone colleagues “have always been very helpful and supportive”. I want to show people what the future could look like…it’s exciting! The apprenticeship gave her the opportunity to learn about electronics, telecoms, maths, and health & safety, she says, and all about the other equipment manufacturers, such as Cisco, Juniper, and Marconi, and where their kit fitted in to the complex network.Natasha learned her trade in and around London, practising on training networks laced with deliberately engineered faults, she says. Then after Vodafone acquired Cable & Wireless in 2012, “things got really busy”.“What I love about the job is that you’re not just installing kit, you’re maintaining it as well. And you’re meeting customers almost every day. There’s always variety, something new.” Life under Covid-19Of course, the coronavirus pandemic has necessitated many changes to working practices.“We have to wear PPE [personal protective equipment], use hand gel, and anti-bacterial wipes,” Natasha explains, “and we’ve reduced the number of people visiting network sites at the same time to adhere to government guidelines.”Lockdown has also changed home life, with her 14-year-old son, Javon, having to carry on his education at home with the help of her dad and brother while she and her partner go to work.So does she get lonely out on the road, often working by herself?“I’m quite happy in my own company,” she says. “You used to see customers and chat to them, but at the moment we’re only doing critical work so we don’t see as many people as usual.“But you’ve always got someone to talk to on the phone when you want to.”And Natasha is particularly proud of the role engineers have played in keeping the UK connected during the pandemic.“If you hadn’t had people like us going out there your phone or broadband wouldn’t have worked. The NHS workers are heroes, of course, but we’re heroes, too,” Natasha concludes.Fortunately, Natasha says she hasn’t received any personal abuse from anti-5G protestors or 5G coronavirus conspiracy theorists as she’s gone about her work, but she’s glad to have had Vodafone’s lone worker app to hand, with its movement detection, two-hour check-ins and panic button facilities.When she’s not installing network routers and switches, or connecting businesses to the cloud, Natasha is learning about the mobile side of the business, too.“It’s always good to add to your skill-set and keep yourself constantly fresh,” she reflects. Creating the futureWith just one more female Vodafone engineer in the London region where Natasha works, progress in attracting women to these roles is not as fast as she would like, she admits, but she’s pleased to see more women coming through the apprenticeship programme.“People think they know what an engineer looks like, but they don’t. This is why I do speeches in schools and colleges and challenge the prejudices of the people I talk to.”Natasha is a member of the IET and STEM.org.uk, an organisation supporting learning in science, technology, engineering and maths. She is regularly invited to speak in schools, colleges, at conferences and seminars.“We need more people like me changing perceptions,” says Natasha. “I want to show people what the future could look like, a future that they could help create using technologies that haven’t even been invented yet. It’s exciting!”“In five or 10 years we might be using 6G, watching hologram TV, or buzzing around in flying taxis – all of these technologies will need fast connectivity to work.“And people like us to install it.” Search Jobs!  

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Natasha Carpenter, an award-winning Vodafone engineer, reflects on how to attract more women in to the industry and shares her experiences of keeping the UK connected during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Out on the road with our Field Manager Louis

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Technology

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blogs

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6/11/2020

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Field Manager, Louis Eszenyi, gives us a whistle stop tour showing what a typical day on the job for a Network Engineer looks like. Louis shares the inside scoop on what to expect when diving into a career within Networks by showing us around his daily instalments, commissions and maintenance of the Vodafone network. Helping us to #KeepConnecting.     For more information and to browse our live Network roles, click the button below! Networks   

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Step into the life of an Field Engineer as our very own Field Manager, Louis, takes you on a whistle stop tour of a day out on the job

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Q&A with Marcus a New Starter in the Business Analysis Team

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Technology

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blogs

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6/11/2020

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<!--[if !supportLists]-->·     Tell us a bit about you and your new role…   “My name’s Marcus and I am a Business Analyst in the BA team, which sits within the UK ‘Architecture, Design and Analysis’ department. The BA team is growing to meet the needs of the business, so there is no shortage of work.    ·     What initially attracted you to Vodafone?   Over the years I have worked at Vodafone on several occasions as a contractor, and I always liked the culture, work and people, not to mention the great environment! It was just a matter of finding the right opportunity at the right time. In fact, this is my first permanent role for a long time and I am very happy that I made the move.   ·     Give us a whistle stop tour of your first day!   The whole recruitment and on-boarding process was very well organised, with timely and clear communications. By the time my first day came around I had already received my laptop and phone via courier, straight to my house. I had introductory calls with both my line manager and the onboarding team the week prior to starting, which explained what to expect on my first and subsequent days.     On my first day, I had a 9:00 am call with my line manager, who checked I had everything I needed, and what to do if I needed help. She also walked me through the BA team ‘New Starter Guide’ which was immediately followed by a call with my assigned ‘buddy’ – a senior member of the BA team, who explained more work-related things and was available for any questions.   As I had been interviewed face-to-face by both my line manager and buddy, it did not feel strange to be chatting to them by Skype on my first day. Over the next few days I was introduced to all my new team colleagues, and made appointments to speak to several of them individually to get an understanding of the projects that we are working on.        I received the Vodafone ‘New Starter Guide’ from the onboarding team, along with several of invitations to calls with senior managers at Vodafone. These calls were hosted by HR and provided all the (50 or so) new starters the opportunity to learn about the business and ask questions.    ·     How are you keeping connected with your team?   We have a weekly team call, which everyone attends, which is followed by a 2 minute quiz for a bit of fun. We also have informal ‘tea break’ calls that our manager hosts, where you can just drop in for a casual chat about anything. On top of that is of course my weekly 1-to-1 call with my manager, which is pretty much the only call that I do with video. However, the person I speak to most at present is the Solution Architect assigned to my project – we have a good rapport and lots to discuss. All in all, I’m really enjoying my time with Vodafone UK and would recommend anyone to browse the roles available. It’s a truly wonderful place to work.” For more information on roles in Technology click below. Technology Jobs   

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Hello Marcus, and welcome to Vodafone UK! We’re really excited to have you join us. Firstly, let’s get to know a bit about you…

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What is Vodafone UK doing to combat climate change?

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Technology

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blogs

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1/13/2020

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Climate change is a critical issue facing everyone on this planet. We all have to reduce our energy consumption and the amount of carbon dioxide and waste we produce. But what are the best ways of going about it?John Teasdale, Senior Manager, Infrastructure Planning Rationalisation for Vodafone UK, explains some of the best options for the company.“Vodafone UK accounts for more than a tenth of Vodafone Group’s global energy consumption, despite being just one of 24 markets the company operates in. This equates to an annual electricity bill in the tens of millions of pounds.So we have a lot to do to reduce our carbon footprint…By 2025, Vodafone Group has committed to:Sourcing 100% of our electricity from renewables (wind, solar, hydro)Reducing our carbon dioxide emissions by 50% (compared to 2017 levels). How are we going to achieve this? 1. Producing our own energy We can’t say too much about this at the moment as our plans are commercially confidential but Vodafone UK is planning to develop its own solar farm, hopefully within the next couple of years. This major construction project could reduce our electricity bill by tens of millions over 25 years and markedly reduce our CO2 emissions. We’re reviewing whether to install solar panels on the roof tops of many of our buildings across the country, and exploring the possibility of sourcing electricity generated from bio-methane, a by-product of waste processing. 2. Becoming more energy efficient The biggest energy-consuming elements of the business are the masts, antennae, mobile telephone exchanges and data centres that send and receive your calls, messages and internet traffic. And as demand for our services is increasing, we face a significant challenge to manage a related rise in energy consumption. We are leveraging our technical capabilities and internet of things expertise to develop a “Smart Site” solution at our radio base stations. This involves a combination of lithium-ion batteries, remote monitoring sensors and controllers, all supported by an analytics and reporting platform. This new technology removes the requirement for traditional lead-acid batteries and reduces the need for mechanical cooling that is, using power to cool and circulate air around the site. This also reduces CO2 emissions. We’re also looking at more efficient ways to cool our data centres, maximising free cooling and installing on-site dynamic thermal management systems. And we’re switching to LED lighting where we can. 3.  Sourcing our energy in a smarter way As a big user of energy, we have influence in the market. We can incentivise the development of renewable energy installations through the use of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). These highly specific contracts between Vodafone and renewable energy developers detail everything from the price per kilowatt hour to how much energy will be generated. By locking in prices for set periods of time – as long as 15 to 20 years – energy generators have the financial stability they need to invest in renewable energy sources. In return, we get a traceable electricity supply verifiably based on renewable energy. So we plan to increase the number of PPAs dramatically. This will create a virtuous circle – more demand for green power leads to more supply which can then meet even more demand, benefiting us all.” Expect to hear much more about Vodafone UK’s environmental and energy reduction projects in 2020 as our Group-wide Planet project gains momentum. For more information, head over to our News Centre page here. 

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Senior Infrastructure Manager, John Teasdale shares how passionate Vodafone are in reducing our carbon footprint and how we plan to do it in the next 5 years…

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IT Transformation and rebuilding of UK IT

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Technology

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blogs

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8/22/2018

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Meet Ajit – Head of Consumer IT …. I joined Vodafone UK in 2016 as Head of Release Management with a single brief – to help recover the Consumer IT systems post a major systems transformation and help recover the UK business to improve Customer Experience and IT stability. Little did I know how big the challenge was going to be but at the same time so rewarding and empowering! I joined Vodafone UK from another major UK telco where I was hugely proud of my career achievements starting as a mid-manager to leaving as an executive IT director and proudly delivering a number of major systems and product launches. This sense of achievement was partly due to my background – growing up in Inner London from humble background and being the first in my generation to go into higher education. I quickly felt confident in myself and mentors around me to grow my experience and confidence to become one of the youngest BAME executives. Joining Vodafone was all about the challenge, the desire to get back into a position of empowerment, opportunity and make a massive contribution to the business. The challenge was to stabilise the IT estate, address a number of issues and problem areas to regain Consumer confidence and improve reliability and service levels. Grow and develop our internal skills and teams through insourcing and lay the solid foundations for the future. Focusing on the detail, leading by example and addressing the basics were the key to my success – it felt amazing to see the business turn around the results coming through in the form of NPS! I was very fortunate during this period to have great role models and mentors who allowed me to share my experience, make positive contributions and be heard and accepted. The CIO, Director of Consumer Services and Director of Strategy where key to my success and enabled me to lead us through the difficult times. What was also really important being a new senior leader and of BAME background was acceptance and trust – I have never worked in such a diverse, inclusive and progressive environment – this really helps! Now, the challenges and mission is different! my role has expanded to Head of Consumer IT and we are undertaking some of the largest and serious IT Transformation work streams ever! – using the latest technology, tools and capabilities. Ranging from Digital CRM, Digital platforms, Big Data, Automation and AI, IoT and Cloud. We work with the worlds best partners and attract the best people and skills in the world! Doing this whilst investing and developing our skills and teams through upskilling through Agile and DevOps and insourcing is the most rewarding aspect of my role. Being able to provide careers, development and support new apprentices and graduates is an amazing feeling! Seeing the direct results in customer growth and NPS is the icing on the cake! I would recommend Vodafone UK as there is no better place for IT in the UK at the moment! – especially if you want to work in an environment which is Challenging, Demanding and uses the latest Technology and Tools and of course, accepting and inclusive of everyone! The Future is Exciting! Ready?

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What was also really important being a new senior leader and of BAME background was acceptance and trust

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Kate Ward

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Meet Tatiana: How Vodafone's Maternity Policy allowed her to get the work life balance spot on
Meet Tatiana: How Vodafone's Maternity Policy allowed her to get the work life balance spot on

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Technology

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blogs

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6/26/2018

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As a woman working in Technology I’m proud to work for a company that embrace diversity, inclusion and that have policies like that one that support women when we decide to have a family. by Tatiana Artahona After 10 years working as external IT Consultant, around South and Central America across several industries including Telecommunications, and finishing my studies of System Engineering and an MBA, I took the biggest risk of my life and accepted a job opportunity in the UK even if I didn’t speak English at that point in my life, that was how in 2006 I moved from my home country Venezuela to England, with 2 suitcases and lots of expectations. My UK journey started as IT Finance Solution Specialist in a manufacturing company which I will always be grateful for their trust and the amazing people that helped me during my adaptation period into the country, but after 4 years in England an opportunity to work for Vodafone came and I didn’t hesitate to pursue it and I applied for it. My Vodafone journey has been the most dynamic and innovative part of my professional life, at my current role as Global ERP Strategy and Portfolio Manager, I deal with a big variety of people (internal and external to Vodafone), challenges and opportunities; I can be doing benchmarks, teams certifications, software license agreements and renewals, changes to ways of working, new technology assessments or transformation programmes among others.  Most recently, last year when coming back from maternity leave, I wasn’t sure how the new dynamic of having a family and a demanding role at work was going to merge, but thanks to Vodafone maternity policy, I could not only take a full year to enjoy my baby but I came back working 80% being full paid for 6 months which allowed me to have a gradual return and did help a lot with the adaptation of coming back to work life after a full year out. As a woman working in Technology I’m proud to work for a company that embrace diversity, inclusion and that have policies like that one that support women when we decide to have a family.  If you consider yourself an enthusiastic person, and you are looking to be part of an inclusive, multicultural, international and challenging environment, Vodafone could certainly be the place for you.

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savannah swan

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savannah swan

Meet John - Regional Delivery Manager
Meet John - Regional Delivery Manager

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Technology

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blogs

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5/31/2018

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I’ve been working at Vodafone for almost 3 years, first coming to work for the business in February 2015. My current responsibilities include new build site rollout within the South Region and Technical Lead for the South Region Deployment. I manage a small team, 2 of whom are also EX Armed Forces, and have been doing this role since July 2017.  After leaving the Royal Marines in 2007, I looked carefully at a multitude of industries and professions. Eventually, after careful consideration, I took the leap and moved into the Telecoms industry with no Telecoms experience. Using my resettlement package from the Military to pay for climbing courses, I took to Telecoms like a duck to water and quickly grasped the basics. My career focuses on site deployment and infrastructure roll out. I started at the bottom rung of the ladder as a 2nd man on a Rigging team, working my way up to team leader across 3 disciplines (PCN, Microwave & BTS) within a very quick space of time. Working globally, I moved to office based work in 2012, first as Wireless Supervisor for a large UK based infrastructure company, then moving to a new start-up company as a senior manager. In this role, I helped to develop a telecommunications infrastructure company which was growing from an original 10 employees to 75 within an 18-month period. I believe my unique onsite technical background and my Military experience have served me well, as I can understand and solve problems quicker with my team.I believe coming from an Armed Forces background is a huge advantage when working within an organisation such as Vodafone, and I apply the Commando values I learned within the Royal Marines on a daily basis: Excellence. Strive to do better, I want Vodafone to be the best.Integrity. Being honest is a hugely important character trait in any business. Self-Discipline. Resist the easy option; working for Vodafone as a brand comes with great responsibility, we must ensure that the end user gets the best experience possible. Humility. Respect the rights, diversity and contribution of others, all of my team have a voice.Telecoms, and specifically deployment, is fast moving with clear set targets that myself and my team need to hit - it is not a “normal and boring” office job, nor is it for the faint hearted. An important part of my job is being responsible for motivating and driving the team to meet targets and objectives, which is incredibly rewarding. My average day varies from meetings with vendors & suppliers, to 1-2-1 meetings with my team or internal customers, to briefings on new business technologies and strategy.Working at Vodafone can be complex but, with the experience that everyone brings into the company and the facilities we have at our UK HQ in Newbury, there is a great working environment that gets the best out everyone. All rolled up it is not just another job, Vodafone is an inspiring place to work and if you have ambition, drive, initiative and passion then Vodafone is for you.  

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Hear from John and his journey from the Royal Marines to Regional Delivery Manager in our Networks team

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Nick Test Thompson

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Nick Test Thompson

Meet Nicholas - Networks Manager
Meet Nicholas - Networks Manager

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Technology

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blogs

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5/31/2018

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My journey with Vodafone started in June 2015 after I had made the decision to leave the Royal Air Force (RAF). A short service of 6 years, which saw me represent the RAF swimming team around Europe and the USA, along with active duties in Jordan and Afghanistan.  My role in the RAF was to provide logistical support to the UK’s Chinook fleet of helicopters, so naturally my first role in Vodafone took a similar logistical theme. However, this time I was looking at arranging fibre to be delivered to a large enterprise customer with over 1,600 national branches. At the time I knew very little about fibre so the first task was to learn as much as possible. Fortunately, Vodafone provided all the relevant training and support to ensure that I could be successful.  Alongside my new role I was completing a degree in Leadership and Management, and I was able to take advantage of the extensive academic resources available on the Vodafone University. All of which helped pave the way to a quick promotion to the role of Delivery Specialist. I took on more responsibilities such as training new starters on how to deliver fibre, conducting quality checks and working with the project teams to drive delivery in adherence of processes. During this time, I also took an opportunity to represent Vodafone at a Skiing Challenge in Klosters, Switzerland. This event was hosted by the charity “Supporting Wounded Veterans” where I was part of a four-man team from Vodafone competing against teams both corporate and medically discharged veterans. The aim was to ski over 100km in a single day along with completing a slalom challenge. In the build up to the event we received incredible support from the whole of Vodafone and as a team we raised over £10,000 for the charity in a 6-month period. Career-wise, I was in the process of transitioning over to mobile networks, where I took on the role of delivering fibre to Vodafone’s mobile cell sites in the South West of the country, rather than an enterprise customers estate. I was working across a geographical area spanning all the way from the West coast of Wales down to Cornwall, Devon and up to the home counties. The majority of time I was managing various stakeholders, from landlords to external fibre suppliers, engineers and local councils, to providing status updates to senior management on critical coverage sites. Recently I have been promoted to the role of Networks Manager Transmission Delivery and I have a small team both in the UK and an external team based in India. My role has evolved from looking after fibre delivery to managing a team to deliver both fibre and microwave solutions. Recently I have been mentoring an apprentice in the team to develop and support them in their role, while fulfilling their academic studies for their apprenticeship. Every day has its own unique challenges, challenges that are all worthwhile when you hear the great feedback from our customers about the Vodafone network. 

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Hear from Nicholas and his journey from the Royal Air Force to Vodafone

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Nick Test Thompson

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Nick Test Thompson

Meet Olly - Operations Authority
Meet Olly - Operations Authority

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Technology

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blogs

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5/31/2018

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I joined Vodafone in 2014 on the Technology Graduate scheme and ever since I have been given fantastic opportunities to develop and progress, experienced multiple areas of the business and enjoyed every minute. Whilst on the graduate scheme I was lucky enough to rotate round four different areas of the business. I started my journey in a retail store in Newcastle Upon Tyne, which allowed me to experience the front line and meet thousands of our customers over the two months I was there and hear first-hand how they found our products and services. I then moved down to Newbury to live near the HQ and start my next rotation in Problem Management. Here I reviewed large customer impacting incidents, identified their root causes and worked with teams across Technology to eradicate issues and mitigate repeat incidents. Following this role, I moved into a Service Transition role which enabled me to work on multiple large scale transformation programmes across Vodafone as well as local initiatives to improve culture for our teams. My final rotation was working on the MoJ (Ministry of Justice) project working with 3rd parties to have the Prisons, Courts and detention centres surveyed ready for a large network transformation that was going to take place. In just under 2 years my network, skills and experiences had grown exponentially. I was supported throughout by fantastic managers and mentors helping me to achieve my goals and overcome any blockers in my way.I was then approached for a full time position in the Fixed Service Transition team focusing on customers on boarding for new and existing Contact Centre Customers. Ensuring operational requirements were met and all our bases were covered for new customers going live. To be successful in this role it meant dealing with lots of teams across Vodafone UK and Group and opened my eyes to the scale of large projects and programmes. Most recently I have taken up the role of a Business Manager to the Head of Operations. When I was approached for the opportunity I simply couldn’t refuse. This role is very fast paced, working closely with the Head of Operations and the leadership team enabling them to operate efficiently together. It has given me a fantastic opportunity to understand how our Network is operated and what it takes to run a large scale function. Working closely with senior managers has allowed me to learn from their experience and draw on their knowledge No two days are ever the same and I learn something new every day! Vodafone is such a great place to learn and develop and that is hugely down to the people here. In just 3 years I have managed to experience several roles across the business and build a great network of connections across the business. Everyone who has supported me along my journey so far has genuinely wanted to help me achieve my next step. I have no doubt that I will be able to take the next step in my career at Vodafone as soon as I’m ready.

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Hear from Olly and his journey from Graduate to Operations Authority

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Nick Test Thompson

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Nick Test Thompson

Meet Jason: The truth behind recruiting for Big Data Analytics
Meet Jason: The truth behind recruiting for Big Data Analytics

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Technology

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blogs

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5/31/2018

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"As organisations seek to become more data-driven, the competition for data professionals is higher than ever before" by Jason Porter Opportunities and CultureAfter 4 years in agency recruitment specialising in Data Analytics, I decided to make the transition into an In-house/RPO environment. I started off recruiting finance roles in corporate functions for Vodafone, but due to my technical recruitment background, it quickly became apparent where I could add the most value and was given the opportunity to lead the recruitment for Vodafone’s global Big Data implementation. The task at hand was to recruit Vodafone’s Big Data Analytics teams spanning 15 different countries. At first, it was a real culture shock for me, coming from a small agency where it was siloed, to working in a complex organisation where I partner with stakeholders in three different continents. It took some time for me to adapt to working in an agile way, but everyone was very supportive and always provided the resources I needed in order to succeed. Driven by visionI knew I had a big challenge ahead of me. As organisations seek to become more data-driven, the competition for data professionals is higher than ever before. The available talent is more consumers like than ever, so it’s important to deliver a powerful message to the market so that we stand out from our competitors. Being able to talk to prospective candidates about our vision for Big Data Analytics, the significant investment in people, the cutting edge-technologies we use and the terabytes of data on customer behaviour we have available, gave me the platform to attract some of the highest calibre Data Scientist’s in the industry. Exposure and a 360° viewWorking closely with some of the most reputable professionals in the Data Science field, opened up my mind and I discovered the commercial value that Big Data Analytics can have on a global business, how data science can be used to give us a 360 degrees’ view of our customers and the significance it can have on allowing Vodafone to make impactful decisions.   Since working at Vodafone, I really feel my career has taken off and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to play a key role in something so pioneering and contribute to our truly exciting future. Ready?

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savannah swan

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savannah swan

Meet Imran: A year on from his Internship with Vodafone in Big Data
Meet Imran: A year on from his Internship with Vodafone in Big Data

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Technology

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5/24/2018

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savannah swan

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savannah swan

Meet Emma: The mastermind behind Group Services's first ever Digital Learning Week
Meet Emma: The mastermind behind Group Services's first ever Digital Learning Week

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Technology

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blogs

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5/2/2018

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Meet Emma: The Mastermind behind Group Services's first ever Digital Learning Week As a Learning and Development professional, it would be hard for me to tell you anything other than why learning is important. However... I have also seen and experienced how hard it can be to convince employees, across the organisation, that they should spend as much of their time as possible learning by Emma Roper                                                                                               My name is Emma and I am L&D specialist. The scope of my role reaches employees globally and I'm currently responsible for driving the Digital Learning agenda for Vodafone Group Services.  It's a very exciting time to be part of Vodafone. Our Digital strategy - to provide 'the most engaging digital customer experience' - launched in October. Since then, my role has been heavily focused on creating and deploying digital learning initiatives, which are exciting and relevant, for the whole organisation. My interest and passion for making digital a more meaningful and accessible 'thing' for people, began shortly after I joined Vodafone, when I became the Group Services Digital Sensei. I was tasked with building a community of Digital Ninjas who would work with senior leaders to help drive the adoption of digital workplace tools and apps alongside their own jobs and as 'digital' became more of buzz word around the business, peoples’ appetite to know more, grew. Increasingly, I was being asked what learning was available for all employees. Knowing how challenging it can be to encourage employees to prioritise their development, it seemed like a good opportunity to fuel the interest in digital. So, digital learning week was created! This April, I organised our first ever Group Services Digital Learning week. Offered to all employees globally, the week-long learning event took place in the new Innovation Space, in our Global HQ in Paddington. The aim of the week was to provide employees with the opportunity to learn more about key digital trends and technologies, hear from internal and external experts and experience some of the innovations for themselves.   We had 25 (free to join) sessions across the week, hosted by people across Vodafone who shared their stories, learnings and expertise. We also invited our external partners, Decoded and Avado, to talk about creating a digital culture, the future of work, machine learning and more. We were lucky enough to have a session on Digital Ethics, hosted by Professor Luciano Floridi of Oxford University’s Internet Institute. There were also a number of product demonstrations, which gave employees an opportunity to give Digital a go!   Throughout the week we heard inspiring stories, heard how technology is changing just about everything and why learning is, and will continue to be, a critical part of any digital transformation. Matt Beal,  our Director of architecture  and Innovation (who presented during the week) said “Digital is a transformative business agenda. To be successful, every employee needs to take ownership for the role they play in the change”. Personally, the three biggest takeaways from the week were culture, curiosity and collaboration.   1.       Culture: Creating the right culture and environment for digital transformation is critical. It needs to be inspiring, open to disruption and tolerant of differences. The culture needs to embrace the lessons of failure and be open to experimentation. Culture should be collaborative and brave. What's more, in a digital world, change is the only constant. Speed and agility remain as important as ever. 2.       Curiosity: Everyone should challenge themselves to be more curious. In a fast paced, ever changing environment, the willingness to learn and ask 'why?' is so important. From a capability perspective, it is imperative we spend time learning new skills and developing professionally in order to stay relevant. Learning opportunities are everywhere and we must go and proactively seek them out. 3.       Collaboration: This is non-negotiable. In organisations where operating is increasingly complex, cross-functionality of teams and the ability to work well with others is crucial. As we see Agile ways of working, permeating every corner of our organisation, often a behavioural change is needed to make this shift. All of our employees were encouraged to try new ways of working throughout Digital Learning week.  One thing is for sure, learning will be a critical part of our digital journey and, as a result, my role as L&D specialist will continue to evolve.    L&D no longer needs to create content, but curate it from a variety of sources. I will play a role in helping connect those willing to share their experiences with those willing to learn.   Over 7000 people benefited globally from Digital Learning week and feedback from our employees has been amazing. Knowing I have played a role in facilitating this learning opportunity makes me very proud. Having the opportunity to develop this initiative was amazing and I feel very lucky to work for an organisation that allows me to try new things out, on such a large scale.       The Future is exciting. Ready?  by Emma Roper

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savannah swan