Featured Apprentice Story
Umayr is a final year Software Engineering Apprentice at BT, currently completing a Digital & Technology Solutions Degree with Ravensbourne University London.
Umayr has worked for a number of teams across BT's Digital unit:
• IT Transformation – Change and Adoption – In a company as tenured as BT, many systems are outdated and no longer fit for purpose. He played a pivotal role in the company wide strategy of shifting towards more agile ways of working. This included analysing the data for agile adoption, running workshops with teams across the business to understand Agile better and finally supporting the build of a team site for everyone to access.
• IT Openreach – Systems and Robots - Umayr played a leading role in automating a crucial security process for Openreach’s customer information databases, creating an application which automated password changes for each user. This application drastically increased productivity of its users by reducing the time it takes to change passwords for over 30 databases every month.
• CDIO Business Office – Responsible for the daily business of BT CDIO, Harmeen Mehta where Umayr Organised and co-ordinated a team floor walk for him with various teams across Digital being able to showcase how their work is fitting into the Digital strategy. Harmeen said that the floor walk was ‘one of my best days in BT’
Umayr is currently working in one of BT's Data & AI teams, involved in data migration to GCP (Google Cloud Platform). He is responsible for creating data pipelines that source data from BT's Supply chain systems into GCP buckets where the data is cleaned and manipulated for storage and later use onto the cloud. Umayr is working with a number of technologies to undertake this, including Python, Docker and Apache Airflow.
Umayr has also held the position as comms lead and senior representative for one of BT’s people networks, the BT Muslim Network. He has spearheaded many comms campaigns such as Islamophobia Awareness Month and Ramadan within BT. These campaigns have gained traction within the business and amongst senior leaders, including Global CEO, Bas Burger.
Additionally, Umayr has actively taken part in promoting apprenticeships to school leavers from BAME/Disadvantaged backgrounds and has also visited 10 Downing Street to share his ideas to the Secretary of State for Education on how to attract more disadvantaged individuals into such schemes.
Umayr has also been involved in improving D&I within the apprentice population at BT by playing a leading role in a D&I working party sponsored by BT CEO, Philip Jansen. Umayr played a pivotal role in making changes like blind CV recruitment for apprentices and more.
Umayr has played a leading role in supporting and promoting Apprenticeships both within BT and outside of BT too. He is an active Apprenticeship Ambassador and Features as one of the faces of BT’s apprenticeship campaign on the BT careers website, on all promotional material used at apprenticeship attraction events and social media. He has also been active in taking part in careers fairs and talks pertaining to apprenticeships by visiting schools/colleges across London and sharing his story at events like the festival of Apprenticeships, Young Professionals conferences and more.
• LinkedIn – Umayr has been an active voice on the platform, sharing his apprenticeship journey and key milestones in his careers so far. As a result of his posts, many students have reached out to him for advice and support in how they go about applying for apprenticeships and hints and tips in ensuring they secure the best one. Through this network his posts have received hundreds of likes and over 250,000 impressions combined.
• BT Muslim Network – Diversity and Inclusion is also a huge passion of for Umayr and he is currently the Communications Lead on the network. In this role He has launched a number of BT wide initiatives:
- Led on BT-wide communications campaigns during Ramadan and Islamophobia Awareness Month, involving Executive sponsor and Global CEO, Bas Burger. In addition during Ramadan the BT Tower screen was lit up with a ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ message expressing inclusiveness and support for those taking part.
- Umayr hosted a knowledge call on Islamophobia which attracted colleagues from across the business, with over 100 colleagues joining.
• Diversity and Inclusion Working Party - Delivered to BT CEO Philip Jansen’s on his ask to improve D&I within the apprentice population. This led to the setup of an anonymous speak-up hotline for apprentices to call out inappropriate behaviour; D&I drop-in sessions and created a diverse apprentice alumni network to showcase successful role models to current apprentices.
• Downing Street - Umayr was selected to represent BT apprenticeships on a visit to 10 Downing Street and take part in a roundtable with the Secretary of State for Education and propose how to increase uptake of apprenticeships amongst ethnic minorities.
• National Recognition - Umayr was quoted in The Times, The Tab and the Huffington Post on Muslims being disadvantaged due to the university student loan system. The media attention prompted a letter to be delivered to the Prime Minister with support from Stephen Timms MP and Lord John Sharkey.
Through Umayr's work, he has received the highest performance review of ‘brilliant’ from his line managers.
Umayr's work has been recognised through him winning the Highly Commended Apprentice of the Year 2021 in the Digital and Technology category for the BAME Apprenticeship Awards and has also been shortlisted this year for the Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards in the Judges category.
These experiences and initiatives have given Umayr a fantastic start to his career and has put him in a great place to navigate beyond his apprenticeship through his network, forward thinking and passion to inspire others.