Apprenticeships

Kickstarting your career during COVID-19

July 13, 2020

Virgin Media apprentices talk about their experiences in “remote starting” their careers with us.

It’s not easy starting a new job during a pandemic when normal working life doesn’t exist. At Virgin Media we’ve had to adapt how we onboard new starters in some roles. Here, two of our new intake of Business Admin apprentices, Amir and Emma, tell us how the experience has been for them.

 

Emma told us “The application process started for me in February and was very efficient- an online application form, an invitation to a telephone interview and then the same for a discovery centre in the Reading Head Office. I felt very well informed the whole way”. Whilst Amir having completed his application form and passed the telephone interview “was excited to attend the discovery centre. My dreams were edging closer to becoming reality!”

Both Emma and Amir were able to participate in one of our face-to-face Discovery Centres in Reading, but as we continue to recruit Apprentices to start with us from September we are now running these events virtually.

For Amir “The day passed in a bit of a blur, but I must have done ok with the individual and group activities as I got the call the very next day that I had been accepted. I can’t tell you how happy I was!” and Emma too received her job offer “the next day, followed by the contracts a few days later.”

But for both it was a concerning time, ‘Lockdown’ was beginning to be discussed as a very real possibility and understandably doubts started to creep in. “With coronavirus spreading, will I still be needed? And if so, might I be looking at a long delay to my start date?” were Amir’s first thoughts and Emma too wondered if “the job offer would be removed or delayed indefinitely.” But for both their concerns were soon put to rest “Thankfully, my soon-to-be manager kept in contact with me, the hiring process could continue and I could start off working from home” and the same for Amir too “Virgin Media stayed in regular contact by email, calmed these concerns by assuring me I could start, I’d just be doing so working from home”.

There are some practicalities of course to getting new starters onboarded with us and both visited our new Head Office in Reading to collect IT equipment and get set-up, Amir described it as an “eerily” empty office as most of our team usually based in Reading had already begun working from home, but they got to meet a few colleagues and pick up what they needed to get started.

Now set-up they were able to begin working from home the very next day, Emma recalls it all very well “the induction was really thorough and I felt very reassured that we would all have enough support with plenty of people to contact if we had any issues. Starting a new job from home was quite a learning curve, especially as I had never even had a professional office job before. Luckily I never felt stressed or under too much pressure. In fact, there is a great emphasis on keeping everyone connected – this is important in the office but now more important than ever.”

Amir reflecting on all his virtual introductions said that he was “a little sad not to be able to be physically alongside my new team, but they were still there for me via video calls and I soon got used to the routine of working independently.”

Since joining both Amir and Emma have been able to enjoy many virtual social activities and different project tasks all alongside their apprenticeship learning. Emma has “been able to adopt a good routine which allows me to work productively and manage my time between my work tasks and my apprenticeship learning- I have never once felt that doing this virtually has impacted the quality of my learning and in my day-to-day work, my team has made full use of the technology available of us to continue my learning remotely, where I have learnt so many new things and been included in such a wide array of tasks.”

Virgin Media have adapted quickly to meet the challenges this pandemic has forced upon us and we continue to recruit vital roles for our business, getting new starters off to the very best start, albeit virtually in most cases right now. There is no denying though that our new starters are “definitely looking forward to meeting everyone when it is safe to go back to the office” but Emma sums it up nicely by saying “I am also very thankful that this has been managed so successfully and I have had the opportunity to begin my learning remotely.”

If you are applying for and starting a new role with Virgin Media over the coming months please be assured your team will do everything within their power to ensure the process is smooth, the contact with your colleagues abundant and you have all the tools and support to successfully kick start your career with us!

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