Let's start at the beginning, Georgi. How did you hear about Tech City Stars?
In college through teachers, and there was a presentation and when I saw what kind of jobs there were then I just made me even more interested.
But why Tech City Stars? What was different about this apprenticeship?
It was the fact that it gave me an opportunity or a window into Tech City. I knew I was interested in IT and that Tech City was the best place to be. Other apprenticeships are different in that you can go into work for three weeks and then one week in college, but I like the fact that I can focus on work and that it doesn't get affected.
And work is complemented by the evening classes.
Yeah that's kind of tough actually but you get used to it. I wasn't really used to the long hours because I was in college where I used to going in for just two or three hours per day. And I guess getting used to long hours like that is actually a good thing because it prepares you for the future.
What do you want to do after the programme, I hear you are training to be a Project Manager?
Yeah I initially thought I wanted to be an engineer and I had my eyes on that until I saw what project management was like. I soon realised I preferred that.
Oh that's interesting, what made you reach that decision?
Project management is more about taking on the responsibility and that's what appealed to me. It can be small tasks such as making sure something's labelled to helping to run a whole project, although it is smaller stuff at the moment because I'm only an Apprentice. Even so it feels like I make a difference. At college it just felt like a waste of time, I'll be honest.
What do Optimity do?
We're an internet services provider. We supply people with technology to aid their business. I have always loved technology and Optimity helps me explore what I enjoy. I once built my own computer before the apprenticeship, but I don't think you need to have done something like that before you apply.
So do you think you can start from scratch, without much technology experience?
Well you don' t need to have a lot of specialist skills but you do need to have a personal interest in IT. Plenty of people on the course are like that and they're doing brilliantly. You can't just want to go into IT for the large salary and that's it.
So now that you're here, what are you doing in the office day-to-day?
Ok, so we go to customer sites to figure out what the cabling routes are going to be, what sort of equipment we need. We then come back here and we do a method statement which allows us to gain access to the building which we're going to be working on. If we don't have access then we basically can't do anything in terms of getting the circuit in place. Afterwards we get all the hardware which might be anything from a power supply which is five quid to an antenna which can be five grand.
Optimity have six other Apprentices. What's that like?
Competitive apparently. The Star of the Month competition is important and there's a bit of pressure to perform. But by the end of the programme I really want a fulltime job in Optimity - they're a good company to work for. This is the team I'm in and I want to stay here.
And one last question: it sounds like you've learnt a lot; in what way has the Apprenticeship changed you and your outlook?
It's a bit early to tell but it has made me much more focused and confident in my future because I know I can deal with the professional world if I put my head down and try. I have definitely learnt a lot about technology and how to run a business. I don't personally know what other impacts that's going to have on me, yet. But I think (and hope) they're going to be pretty big.
Role: Project Manager Apprentice
Start Date: September 2013