Case Study 8: Daniel Julian (Level 39 | Future Un-Ltd)


Take me back to seven months ago. What were you doing?

Seven months ago I was working at Argos, just part-time, still looking for a full-time placement, but I knew I wanted to work in tech.

But why not uni?

It just didn't really appeal to me. I've got loads of friends who've gone to uni and it didn't seem right. I didn't feel comfortable wanting to go. I went to school, passed everything successfully, but I just didn't feel like I wanted to continue at uni.

And here you are! For those who've never seen Level 39, just describe it.

In a nutshell, Level 39 is a Technology Accelerator in the heart of Canary Wharf. We are the biggest in Europe, owned by the Canary Wharf Group itself. We've got 148 companies here at the moment, with about 400 people across them all. We're spread across two, soon to be three, floors of One Canada Square, and we get cookies at three o'clock! Hehe!

Which is great! Makes everyone who comes to interview you very jealous. These other companies you work with, are you communicating with them every day?

Well most of them. Some are self-catered because they're bigger, but many members will drop into the office and say "Hey Daniel, can you help me with something?"

So what are you doing on a day-to-day basis?

I'm helping them, helping the team, and clients as well because we have an event space too. I help with a lot of Internet based issues and sort out various tech problems.

I see. It's a very client-facing role. Do you like that?

I do! I enjoy it because, even coming from Argos where it was very customer based, it's similar but more high end. It's the same skills involved. You get to meet a lot of new people as well.

Are you excited about coming to work? What appeals most about working here?

Yeah! Well, aside from the great view, it's always fast paced. You never know what to expect when you come to work but you know that something will make the day go by quite quickly. Instead of being bored and saying "I've got five hours left!", it's "Oh my gosh! I've got ten minutes left!" because you're busy doing stuff and everything is changing. "Can you do that? Can you do this? Yup! Yup! Cool." It's great!

Do you think you make a difference in the office?

Definitely. I would definitely have to say that. One example: we were moving around the office, just changing around the layout, so after they'd unplugged all the computers, no one knew how to put it all back together apart from me.

Tell me about Tech City Stars and how you've found it since starting?

Tech City Stars has been really good: there was Reboot Camp, then how we applied for jobs, and then, once we got in, the way they put together the whole course, the way the structure works, it' s really good and I enjoy it.

Do you feel you know who to go to when you need some advice?

Definitely! Well I know that I could ring-up Tech City Stars if I ever needed to. I haven't had to, so that's good. My manager is always there to help, so that's useful as well.

And where do you see yourself for the future? What are your aspirations?

Stay here and develop in the role. It's a great company, made even better having Canary Wharf Group as our parent company. On top of that you're in a nice environment and you get to meet such great people. It's a really warm atmosphere!

What would you say to people who are thinking about doing an apprenticeship but they're not convinced.

Do it. If worst comes to worst, you'll still get a year's worth of experience, you'll get a qualification out of it and you'l l get paid along the line. I would say go for it.

But why with Tech City Stars?

For me the clincher is that all of the roles on offer aren't the roles that you would see on an every day job search. There is such a wide variety of jobs and there are different focuses to your apprenticeship. That's what makes it special. All the roles alter depending on you, your company and what you want to do. I think that's really different. There's such a wide variety, and variety's always good.

Age: 20

Company: Level 39

Job Title: Level 39 Apprentice

Start Date: May 2014

Quote: ' Instead of being bored and saying "I've got five hours left!", it's "Oh my gosh! I've got ten minutes left!"'