This week marks my 6-month milestone on the Virgin Media Business (VMB) internship scheme and I can honestly say I have learnt so much in such a short space of time. I am currently on a placement year having studied Business Management for two years at the University of Liverpool and will graduate in the 2021-22 cohort. I really enjoy my university course due to the breadth of modules covered, from the analytical side of economics, statistics, and accounting to the more creative modules such as marketing and entrepreneurship. It is for this reason I enjoy my role within the Product department at VMB too.
Landing the role of a Product Manager was a daunting prospect but an exciting challenge for me. My knowledge of the telecoms industry was admittedly nowhere near the level I believed it was at and I thought having to understand all the ins and outs of my product was going to be extremely overwhelming. However, with the support I have received, I quickly got on board with all the “techy” side of things which then opened up a whole plethora of opportunities for me. It was here I realised Product Management is so much more than I thought it was! We don’t just sit around talking in acronyms all day about our product’s functionality; we work with a whole variety of departments varying from Billing and Delivery to Legal and Marketing. I also manage stakeholders both internally and externally, gaining wider insight into different areas in the B2B world as a whole, whilst undertaking a range of tasks that give me true responsibility. One day I can be working on commercial propositions, the next, creating product content and collateral- each day is different, with projects being varied to suit all interests. Being a Product Manager really is like being a mini CEO!
I enjoy working at VMB knowing that I can really impact the business in a positive way and that the innovation I bring is being valued. Working within a male-dominated team with a large amount of product management experience between them, again seemed daunting at first- however, this is probably the best position I could have been in to start up my career. I have the ability to not only learn from a friendly and very experienced network but also smartly disrupt their ways of thinking; challenging the status quo and making them change their way of thinking- not just carrying out the same processes just because “that’s how they’ve always done it!” Being fresh out of education, I could use this new way of thinking to my advantage, truly making an impact by shaking things up a little!
VMB stood out to me as I was motivated by working not only within a leading telecommunications company but also within the fastest-growing section within the Virgin Media group. Working within a large corporation with a shiny, new office is always an exciting prospect, but what I also appreciate about VMB is that you are truly cared for by your community and network around you. The array of support systems within the company have really made me feel welcome, settled and valued, even with starting my placement virtually, in the middle of a pandemic!! Having great relationships with my graduate buddy and mentor, as well as creating meaningful connections with wider VM networks, adds the personal touch to the role- you’re not just there to sit and do the day job but build connections that really matter too.
On VMB’s internship scheme I feel I’ve really hit the ground running, having training integrated into the scheme beginning from the minute you walk in the door (or first turn on your laptop in the current Covid-19 climate!). Gaining on-the-job experience tied in with VM’s tailored development programmes have not only aided me in acquiring a whole new range of skills but also end-to-end exposure across the business, gaining insight and connections into areas of the business I had never even considered or heard of!
A few highlights of my time at VMB so far include working on a sales podcast about a recent customer win on our product, receiving my first “shout” for a presentation I pitched, and being nominated for the “Grow with Us” award at the Future Careers Awards. These are also all moments where my success has been recognised and it is so refreshing to work within a company that recognises your potential and widely celebrates this.
As for my future goals, I am extremely motivated to take the next step of my career path internally by gaining a place on the VMB Graduate scheme. The rotational aspects of the scheme really appeal to me- with roles in business management, business readiness, and improvement consultancy standing out to me. This will aid me to find my niche and set myself up for a healthy career in a function in which I know I enjoy and within a company I know I am motivated to succeed in!