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Whether it’s TV, mobile, home phone or super-fast broadband services, we’re turning people on to new possibilities. At Virgin Media we’re 100% focused on making our customers’ lives easier, richer and a little bit more fun. Together, we’re creating something special. And we’re loving every second.
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I’m now two months into my first graduate rotation, and it has been an extremely busy and exciting few weeks. With the Engineering Graduate scheme, we are given the opportunity to attend a lot of training sessions and courses to develop both our soft skills as well as broaden our technical knowledge. A number of these sessions have been open to all Engineering Graduates and Interns which has given us the chance to integrate as a group and have more familiar faces around the office. This has been a great advantage as I now have a group of people I can reach out to for social events as well as work related questions!
Whilst there has been huge emphasis on training over the last number of weeks, we have all been finding our feet in our first roles – which as expected with a new job, is a whole different challenge. My first role is within the Network Service Optimisation area of Engineering and I’ve been assigned my own project. My degree background is Web Systems Development and Virgin Media have taken this into consideration and placed me within a role that suits my skill base and will allow me to learn from highly experienced people as well as having a real life project that will be benefit a number of people once it is completed – no pressure for a first role! Over the last couple of weeks I’ve mastered the art of balancing my workload as well as taking in all the training that will benefit me in the long run. Within my team, I have a great support network and have learnt that there’s no such thing as a silly question which I’m glad to have discovered early on! I’ve been enjoying my first few months in this role and there’s already talks and questions of what we potentially want to do next – it still feels like we’ve just started but it’s good to hear that our sponsors are eager to hear what we want to do next!
Last week, all 2016 Graduates and Interns were split into groups so we can compete to raise the most money for our charity partner, Scope, as part of their “Scope Shop Challenge”. We now have just over a month to hopefully hit our target before we set foot in a Scope shop to take it over for the day. Already this challenge has been fun and pushed us to use our creativity to come up with fun fundraising ideas! This Scope Shop Challenge is just one example of how great Virgin Media has been in promoting integration between schemes, year groups and locations. It’s so easy to lose contact with the people you’re not directly working with so it’s great to see that Virgin Media have continuously promoted it through their core training sessions and social events.
Overall, I’ve been enjoying my time as a graduate and did not imagine that I’d have so many learning opportunities presented to me in the first few months and I’ve had numerous calendar invites for the next couple of months ahead so it’s looking to be a good year! Talks of a Christmas social event have started so I’m looking forward to seeing that come to fruition and get into the Christmas spirit!
We caught up with Lee, our post programme finance grad, to see how he was finding life as Programme Manager working in Liberty Global’s Latin American & Caribbean Group (LiLAC) and adapting to life over in Denver, Colorado!
“I’m currently writing to you from Kingston, Jamaica - sat in a Flow office cramming some work in before my flight back to Denver. I’m over in this beautiful country for the first time, here to drive a three-pronged improvement initiative targeting our mean time to install (MTTI), our customer care processes in our Call Centers and process improvements in network maintenance to reduce truck rolls in Jamaica.
Since I came over to Denver, I’ve worked closely with LiLACs President & COO and the Chief Transformation Officer in LiLAC to build this program from scratch - which meant designing and creating all the reporting and governance structures required to manage a Program that covers all of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and Chile. Working with these guys is a great learning opportunity and a rare chance to experience how Liberty’s most senior leadership operates.
The work we’re doing in Jamaica is one initiative from a list of 60+ that the Chief Transformation Officer and I manage. The beauty of this role is being able to immerse yourself in operations and still apply our VM trained financial rigor to your work - but you can’t hope to improve what you don’t understand, so I’m learning more about our Networks (Copper, HFC and FTTH), our Customer care, Sales processes and the economic environments that each of our LiLAC businesses operate in. The learning curve is steep, but owning the delivery of tangible improvements is very rewarding.
The end game of our Synergy Program is to drive a mixture of OCF impacting initiatives and Capex improvements across the region to create recurring, operational improvements in each of our businesses that improves their performance over the long-term. To put a value on it, we’re responsible for the delivery of the 2020 $150m OFCF synergy guidance that Mike gave to the Financial Markets back in Q4 2016.
But, that’s enough about work.
How have I found relocating to the states? I have to admit it did take a little time to find my bearings and get to grips with society here, you kind of have to throw your previous knowledge in the trash (picking up Americanisms, I know) and start anew - learning how healthcare works all the other things you take for granted in the UK is part of the deal.
That being said, I’ll freely admit to having fallen for Denver. The city is full of friendly folks, and yes, you do see quite a few Stetsons. It’s nestled at the foot of the Rockies, and being able to hike out into the most beautiful landscapes or go skiing on the weekends is incredible. The constantly clear skies with very little rain is a far cry from what I grew up with in Kent, though walking to work in -30 Celsius one particularly cold morning in winter was an experience I won’t soon forget!
It took a little while to settle in, but it now feels like home.Lee Rogers 2
Transitioning from Virgin Media to Liberty is also a change, but a good one. One thing that VM and Liberty have in common is that like Hammersmith, Hook and Bradford, the teams in Denver are still incredibly close knit - and with an office numbering circa 130 FTE I think I’ve learnt nearly everyone’s name in Denver by this point, which is a nice feeling.
While the cultures of the two organizations are undeniably different, both have a real focus on supporting staff, helping you grow your professional experience and acquire new skills, and encouraging you to shoot for excellence in our operations. Liberty, like VM, aims to be the best at what it plays its hand at.
I hope this has been a useful little glimpse into life in LiLAC and Denver, but I’ve now got to run to catch a string of flights to get me home.”