Stuart Priestley: BGL's first tech apprentice
After a decade in the hospitality industry, current Junior Software Engineer apprenticeship, Stuart Priestley, joined BGL looking for a change. Now he’s flying high as one of our first tech apprentices.
From contact centre, to developing black box insurance products, to joining comparethemarket’s innovative and cutting edge software team, it’s been a busy six years for Stuart. Find out more about his journey so far below.
I was beginning to feel dissatisfied in my existing role as a Business Manager in the world of hospitality. After spending a decade in that field, it’s sometimes difficult to find the courage to try something new, but BGL Group stood out from the crowd. I took the leap of faith in January 2012 after securing a role as a Customer Experience Representative in the contact centre. I knew this was my chance to develop new skills and expand my career, and I was certainly not wrong!
Everything at BGL has been brilliant from day one. My time in the contact centre was rewarding, as it allowed me to develop many new skills and understand and assist customers with their insurance needs. I was given the opportunity to become the subject matter expert for many of my colleagues - I enjoyed mentoring others and shared my knowledge and experience to help the business improve their processes.
I was then fortunate enough to be selected to join a brand new team and play a key role in setting up a new proposition – black box insurance. This involved taking a concept and moulding it into the successful product that it has become today. Through this experience I was able to expand my knowledge and skillset and network with a variety of other business areas.
It was playing an influential part in the black box insurance team that helped re-invigorate my passion for technology – I’ve always been a tech ‘geek’ but this really brought it all back for me. Then in 2016, when BGL opened the doors to the very first Apprentice Junior Software Engineer opportunity, I had to apply.
My journey through the selection process for this role was flawless - I had an initial telephone interview which led to an aptitude test in round two. This was a brand new experience for me, but nonetheless everything was explained clearly. I was thrilled to learn I had made it to the final stage of the interview, the assessment centre.
The group assessment involved engaging in various different activities, during which we were discreetly assessed by experienced members of the BGL Tech team on a number of key performance indicators and values. Here, we also had an interview with members of the BGL Tech teams and were able to meet lots of our potential colleagues. I was delighted when I was offered the role of Apprentice Junior Software Engineer apprentice with comparethemarket.
BGL has been incredible from day one, allowing me to develop my skills and pushing me to expand my knowledge into a more challenging role, supporting me throughout my journey and making me feel valued every step of the way. The apprenticeship has allowed me to study a degree whilst working and has enabled me to develop into the Software Engineer that I always wanted to be. I can’t think of a better employer and look forward to spending a lengthy career at BGL where the prospects are endless. Age is just a number and I would like to think that my experience as an apprenticeship inspires others to challenge themselves and go and do what they want to do with their future.
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