Moving from a non tech role to being heavily immersed in technology could be a daunting prospect but for Steve it was both necessity and the chance to follow a fascination and interest in how technology works.
An experienced salesperson in ironmongery products, Steve’s main exposure to technology was through his enjoyment of gaming and also being the ‘go to’ person for family members to get items fixed like their phones etc.
Unfortunately, Steve’s sales role came to an end and he found himself unemployed and searching for his next sales role. On a whim and following his interest in tech, he also applied for several IT apprenticeships but having heard nothing back he concluded like many other people that apprenticeships were mainly for school and college leavers.
However, giving it one more attempt, Steve saw Intequal’s advert for an IT apprenticeship at a company called Syn-Star. Syn-Star has been providing IT and telecoms support to a wide variety of organisations across Hampshire, West Sussex and Surrey since 2002. Steve explains “I thought I probably won’t get it as I’ll be too old at 31 but just for a laugh I’ll give it a go!”
Fast forward and Steve is now officially a ‘go-to’ man fixing technology for a lot more people than just his family. Syn-Star saw the potential in Steve and recognised that his customer service focused people skills would combine well with his problem-solving nature to provide them with a natural front of house person for their retail business.
Steve embarked on a Level 3 Infrastructure Technician programme and through his apprenticeship studies and on the job training his knowledge has really escalated. His manager Robert actively supports Steve’s development by giving him opportunities when new tech problems arise that he has yet to encounter to really widen his experience through different practical troubleshooting activities. This also provides the chance to apply the knowledge learnt through his studies which is such an essential part of training.
As Steve said, “When I first started the apprenticeship, the first few weeks was like being smacked in the face with a brick with so much new knowledge to understand. The benefit of my job role was that I found I was soon applying what I had learnt and this really helped speed up my understanding. I began to fix hardware and software issues myself rather than just handle customer enquiries and quotes and enjoy the tech detective work and satisfaction of solving issues. I love the moment when you press the On button, after taking someone’s equipment apart and it is all working properly again for them!”
Steve is one of some 97% of apprentices being trained by Intequal who have been able to keep on studying through covid-19 despite the organization he works for being extremely busy with the phone ringing of the hook at the start of the pandemic with customers needing laptops and phones fixed as the world mobilised to remote working due to lockdown. Many parents needed their children’s laptops fixing to enable their remote studies too.
Asking Steve if he was glad he made the choice to change tracks and follow a career in technology he cited the famous quote by Mark Twain
“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Wise words indeed thanks Steve.