From non-tech roles to Infrastructure Technician of the Year

We caught up with Infrastructure Technician Apprentice of the year, Alice Jones who successfully completed her apprenticeship programme in 2019. Alice (29) worked as an IT Engineer and was formerly on the Infrastructure Technician Apprenticeship Programme.

Alice’s route into IT industry was not something she’d ever thought she’d be a part of, following her interest in childcare and her aim to be a paediatric nurse. During her school years, Alice did well in her GCSE’s achieving 11 A-C’s, completed her diploma, then received an unconditional offer to study nursing at Canterbury Christ Church University. Following a change of heart, Alice decided that she no longer wished to go to university but still wanted to gain a qualification and work, leading her to her first apprenticeship on a Customer Service Advisor programme at age 19. “This provided me with  transferrable skills to use in my current job”s, and following this experience Alice now gets fantastic feedback from customers, such as “Understanding, Kind and Gentle”.

Alice then tried out different jobs like working as a Personal Assistant, Care worker and Private Nanny leading to a Managerial role in the fleet and construction industry.  Throughout her jobs, Alice gained many transferrable skills from admin, organisational, time management and more.

Whilst working in the construction role, one of Alice’s tasks was to find an IT company that could look after the internal systems. Whilst researching IT companies and their services, Alice came across IT support service company Cutec Ltd. She spoke with Mark Director at Cutec and commissioned Cutec to manage the IT support for her employer. Regrettably, a few months later the construction company stopped operating and Alice was made redundant. Upon having a conversation with Mark at Cutec, Alice mentioned that she was looking for a new job due to recent circumstances, and Mark invited her for an interview for the role of an Office Manager which she successfully achieved covering a maternity role.

Fast forward a few months, the contract was due to finish and the senior team had noticed that Alice has many skills and had been heavily involved in the company for a few months. Mark advised they would like to sign her up for an IT apprenticeship, whilst working in the role of an IT Support co-ordinator.  “I knew nothing absolutely nothing about computers, but I was excited as I was the first female engineer in Cutec”.

As Alice started her job as an IT Support Co-ordinator Alice gradually made her way up from the admin to her new role as a Support Specialist. She started off making calls, passing jobs to the onsite engineer and password re-sets and booking jobs for onsite engineers. Alice explains, “The team started to notice that I was doing more technical tickets (The aim was to do 10 technical tickets, in one day I completed 27 tickets)”. Following her success, Alice was promoted from a Support Specialist to become a fully-fledged IT engineer.  Sadly, just as Alice started to get into her role, she unfortunately had to take a break from work and learning but was back on track in no time. “Cutec and Dan (my pathway planner) have been so supportive, kept me calm when returning and gave me confidence when getting back on track.”

The day in the life of an IT Engineer at Cutec

Alice works 9.30-5.30 in a team of eight and is currently the only woman.  In my role I am assigned tickets following client’s requests for assistance, which works in priority order. Working on the priority throughout the day get as many done as possible. In addition, working with projects such as Microsoft 365 Migrations. “Cutec have been an amazing company to work for and incredibly supporting. They have given me all the time I needed to study, and my teammates were great for giving me advice and training too”

 

Alice’s development

“Doing the Infrastructure Technician apprenticeship has definitely boosted my confidence. I had a low self-esteem when I started. It’s shown me that I can do stuff. You must juggle work and studying at the same time, which I’ve learnt to organise my time.  Additionally, there are so many things that I’ve learnt, which that helped me with my apprenticeship and with clients”.

 

What Alice didn’t realise she would get out of an apprenticeship

“As well as confidence, I also gained the feeling of achievement and being proud. When I got into childcare it was something that came naturally but in terms of IT, this was never natural. When I was in school and had IT Homework, I used to get in trouble at school because I would never complete it. If someone said to me 4/5 years ago, that I’d be a qualified IT engineer in 3 years’ time. I’d never in a million years think this would happen. ” The crazy thing is, if people would say to me, what would be my dream job, this would be it. I absolutely love it”.

One of the things Alice noticed while working in her IT role is that a very small minority have made comments assuming she will not be able to help their queries as she is a woman. Alice advised “It’s really important that we break the stigma and see more women in the tech industries”. “I am more than capable to do the job, as my other peers. “We really need women in IT to break the stigma”

 

Words of Advice?

Alice had some words of advice for aspiring apprentices or tech lovers that may be unsure of what to do.

“You’ll never know unless you try” This was me and it’s turned out to be the best thing ever. Don’t listen to your fears and believe in yourself, also in areas that you can, take the help that is given to you and really go for it.

You may have times when you feel like you failed, you have to think it’s not the last time, it’s not the be all and end all” Pick yourself back up and try again! Don’t get disheartened. “If someone thinks they cannot do this, don’t agree prove them wrong”