Michael joined Bluecube Academy as an ICT Apprentice in November 2021. He has always had an interest in IT. Before joining Bluecube at the end of 2021, he...
Why did you decide to do an apprenticeship with Bluecube Academy?
As soon as I finished my college course at the end of summer in 2021, I looked for local opportunities in the IT industry. I was initially hired by a company but soon realised that I needed more experience and support. That’s when I started looking for apprenticeships.
With Bluecube’s IT apprenticeship scheme, you receive so much help and guidance and are taught everything you need. Whilst also allowing you to push the boundaries that your employer sets you too.
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship in IT?
Growing up, I loved making websites and was always editing and using the computer. Even finding cheeky exploits - mainly within games and uncovering cheat codes! For me, I naturally gravitated towards the subject and it was an industry with exciting career opportunities.
What was it in particular about Bluecube that attracted you to the apprenticeship scheme?
I knew I wanted to join Bluecube as soon as I walked into the office for my first interview with Rob Gilbride (Head of Talent and Development at Bluecube). The Milton Keynes office is all open plan and everyone was friendly, approachable and said ‘hello!’. I’d interviewed at a few other places before and found that not all companies were like this!
What has been your favourite part of the apprenticeship so far?
I have enjoyed every part of it so far, especially how you’re always learning, and the scheme gives you such varied opportunities to improve.
What’s more is that all the apprentices that you join with, share the experience with you, which is really beneficial. You all join with no experience, and it’s great to go through the process together – for both support and a healthy dose of competition. It’s interesting to find out how others are progressing and getting along with the work at Bluecube as well as their college work.
For me, the people at Bluecube are what have made this experience so enjoyable. From amazing and supportive team leaders to everyone being really friendly and welcoming in the general office. Since joining, I feel like I’ve become even more sociable, which is great.
How’s your apprenticeship going?
I’m just over nine months into my apprenticeship and still really enjoying it.
I remember my first day at Bluecube, I was super excited and it was a fun day. When I first joined I was put into the Crisis Response team; this experience was amazing and gave me the confidence I needed, especially when it came to answering the phones. Something I needed on the IT service desk later on.
I spent between 2 to 3 months in the Crisis Response team. While there, it helped me develop my phone manner. On the phone, it was all about reassuring clients that we’re here to help and make their computer secure so that they can continue working in a protected and safe environment.
Then I also worked for a short time in the Projects and Onboarding team, carrying out welcome calls and getting involved in IT projects, such as wiping machines, ensuring the client is on a modern desktop and then re-enrolled onto desktop manager.
One great aspect about working with the Crisis Response and Projects teams was that we were told everything step by step and in order, this made learning what was needed and expected, really straightforward.
Then, for a week, I also had the opportunity to work with the Builds team. That involved making sure clients had received packages and working with goods in, goods out. I’m hoping to get the opportunity to work more in this team in the future.
After this, I moved into FCR (First Contact Resolution), our 24/7 IT service desk, and joined the Enoshima team. Working within this team has been hard work but fun. There’s always a new challenge and someone is available to help you, no matter what. Escalating tickets is also incredibly easy to do as there’s always someone to talk to in the office in order to get clients’ issues resolved.
The support you receive whilst an apprentice at Bluecube has been incredible. We get constant feedback, weekly 1-to-1 meetings with our team leader. It’s a great time to raise any issues and receive ongoing help, or just talk through what training and development you can undertake next to improve.
Tell us about what you do on a daily basis in the FCR team
My daily tasks include checking emails, updating tickets from the previous day, answering calls and logging issues. When tickets come in from clients through the Client Portal, we triage them as quickly as possible, give the client a ring and then solve their IT problems. If we’re unable to resolve it, we escalate them to the 2nd and 3rd line engineers.
One of the great parts about working in FCR is that you always come across new issues, which really tests your technical abilities. It’s challenging, good fun, and every day is different.
What’s been the most challenging part of the apprenticeship?
For me personally, it’s striking that balance between completing the college work and working at Bluecube. I enjoy the job a lot that I sometimes struggle to find the time to fit in the college work.
We do have one day a week dedicated to college work (mines on a Thursday), and they like us to focus on completing our certificates which I need to start prioritising!
How do you think your apprenticeship with Bluecube will benefit your career? And what are you hoping to do in the future when its finished?
When I’ve completed my certificates, I’d love to take up a job offer at Bluecube or look for other jobs in IT. The apprenticeship scheme here has been a great help in transitioning from school into the workplace as they’re very different.
In the future, I would like to pursue my interest in operations and IT security. I’m hoping to find a job related to these fields.
What advice would you give to people considering an apprenticeship?
If you decide to do an apprenticeship in IT, make sure you’re willing to take on all the opportunities that are offered to you and put yourself out there. You’ll learn more about what you enjoy and want to pursue in the future.
Also - don’t be afraid of picking up the phone. You’ll receive lots of training beforehand and there are countless opportunities to build your confidence and extra support is given if you need it.