Not going to university was the right path for me
Six years ago, while completing my A-Levels, I was facing a dilemma the majority of 18 year olds face; do I go to university just because everyone else around me was, even though I had no idea what I wanted to do, or do I look to join a company with the view of working my way up?
Faced with that dilemma I applied for a job at comparethemarket.com (CtM) within their customer ops team, which at the time was only a six-month maternity cover. I applied for the role with the ambition of getting a job at a well-known reputable local company with the view of being able to hopefully, at a later date, work my way up on the career ladder. Luckily for me, I was successful in my application and I joined the CtM customer ops team on 3 March 2014.
I was in the customer ops team for about three months before being made permanent. From there I was then asked to manage the complaints process, which included dealing with the customer’s complaint, investigating it thoroughly with relevant teams and then doing the root cause analysis of the complaint. This role was an important one for me, as it gave me exposure to how the business works, from the product teams to the commercial teams, and it also gave me the opportunity to work with other stakeholders within the business. I had this role for just over two years before moving into the revenue assurance team as an Audit Executive.
My role as Audit Executive consisted of me dealing with our external partners, arranging audits and analysing data. This enabled me to gain the skills needed to become an auditor, and 18 months later I was moved into the role of auditor. I held this position for just over two years, where I was able to prove myself by working hard and increasing my responsibilities, and recently I was promoted to Audit Manager.
If I was to give advice to someone taking the same path as me, it would be to believe in yourself and to grab any opportunity given to you with both hands. I’d also say that when I was leaving school, schemes like BGL’s apprenticeship programme weren’t available. If I was 18 again, I would definitely be applying to be on the apprenticeship programme. Not only does it support you in gaining professional qualifications, it also gives you the experience of working, which always gives you a competitive edge over someone who has just finished university.
Development of colleagues within BGL is a big part of its culture and values. Throughout my career I’ve grabbed opportunities to attend some really good training workshops that are put on by the inhouse Learning and Development team, as well as external workshops, all of which have enabled me to develop and grow my skillset. I’ve also had great line managers who’ve supported me with my personal development plan.
Another great benefit of working at BGL is that they will support you with professional development, something which I’ve recently benefited from in beginning to study for my CII qualifications.
Whenever someone asks me to name ‘the benefits’ of working at BGL I genuinely forget to name them all because there’s so many! From the professional side – helping you develop your career, to offering many perks, such as discounts with many high street brands such as ASOS, John Lewis and Ikea, subsidised meals from our onsite catering, virtual GP appointments, the annual BGL Family Funday and the BGL awards ball to name just a few! All I know is, I feel so lucky to work for a company that cares so much for their colleagues.
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