Redefining my engineering career

Rosie Whitfield

Design Engineer

November 23, 2022

We get up to a lot of weird and wonderful things within our B2B space. Here to tell us about their world is Rosie Whitfield, our Data Services Network Design Engineer.

Starting out with us as a business graduate, Rosie shares what she does and why a slight career change in engineering made a very big difference.

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?

I work within the Future State team. This means we literally plan what the future of our network looks like for our B2B customers. We think of it as everything beyond the router at Virgin Media O2, planning a solution for what the customer needs to upgrade their networks.

Why is the future state of our networks important at a company like Virgin Media O2?

Our work is focused on developing and revolutionising connectivity for our customers with new technologies. This can be within their sites, throughout their campuses and also in their data centres.

Working as a low-level designer, we collect the granular detail to make these deployments a reality. The wider team also looks at how we can make processes within Virgin Media O2 more seamless with automation. There’s a lot of moving parts.

How did you get into such a specific role?

I had a bit of a squiggly career — something I feel like we embrace over here. In my last year of University, I realised I didn’t want to be a chemical engineer. I’d lost my passion for the subject and was looking for a new challenge.

Along came the business graduate scheme. It felt like such a big decision to switch but once I went to the assessment, I knew it was where I wanted to be. I excitedly called my dad after, which is always a good sign.

What was it like to move from wanting to be a chemical engineer to joining our business graduate scheme?

I was coming in with something completely different. The Data Services team (now called Near Core Activation) wasn’t originally offered with a position on the scheme, but with an engineering background, it was something I wanted to pursue.

I approached the team about including it as a placement and everyone was so understanding and supportive – it was a resounding yes. Over the 2 years, I completed four 6-month placements, the Data Services one being a true highlight.

The graduate scheme has been an invaluable experience. You get a personal development plan and a structured way of working. For me, it was a no-brainer. Because of it, I realised it wasn’t about stopping engineering altogether.

Network Engineering suits my brain a lot better. I’m now working in Near Core Activation on the design team. It’s exactly where I want to be.

What else have you been able to get stuck into at the company?

My brother has cerebral palsy so I wanted to get involved in something that reflected me a little bit. Joining our We Care network (a group that makes carers feel visible, supported, and valued) has been a huge part of why I love working here. #

I’m the network’s Event Coordinator and it’s been amazing to work on campaigns such as National Inclusion Week, and Carers Week, and learn about our other networks. It helps you gain compassion about areas you may not have been aware of.

I’m super proud that now all carers at Virgin Media O2 will be able to get time off that doesn’t eat into their annual leave. I know this will take a lot of stress and free up more personal time for people whose world this will affect.

I love what I do every day. Sure, we may not always get it right but I’m loving being part of a company that’s open to conversation and more importantly, open to change.


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