Marshall Alderson - Network Engineer Apprentice
Q: BEFORE YOU STARTED YOUR APPRENTICESHIP, WHAT WERE YOUR CAREER GOALS AND EXPERIENCES?
Before starting the apprenticeship, I had no experience in a working environment, my only experience in IT was in a classroom. I’ve always wanted a career in IT as it has been something I have had an interest in from a young age as I grew up around family members who also had a job in IT. I saw an apprenticeship as the best route as I felt like the hands-on experience I would gain from an apprenticeship and working with the equipment would be much more useful than the typical learning in a classroom.
Q: WHAT APPEALED TO YOU ABOUT TAKING THE APPRENTICESHIP ROUTE?
I knew that from an apprenticeship, I would be able to gain hands on experience in a working environment with the equipment which for me is much more valuable than learning about something in a classroom without being able to learn with the devices or software there.
I decided to progress onto the level 4 network engineer apprenticeship after completing my level 3 as while working at PWS, I discovered that networking is the area that interested me the most in IT and it is something that I am hoping to progress into and gain much more experience in the field in the future.
Q: WHAT KINDS OF TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR JOB ROLE?
I have a variety of responsibilities within my role as an IT technician, which vary massively meaning that no tasks are ever really the same.
These tasks range from:
- Managing our phone system, i.e., changing routing or creating new users
- Installing network equipment like switches and access points
- Installing and configuring servers
- Managing our security system
- Providing front line support to end users
- Installing networks into new sites
Q: WHAT HAS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT BEEN IN YOUR APPRENTICESHIP JOURNEY SO FAR?
My biggest achievement in my level 4 apprenticeship so far was updating all of our Wi-Fi access point and our Wireless LAN Controller. This involved speaking with managers on multiple different sites to schedule with them when was best to perform this upgrade if there was anyone in over the weekend as doing this would bring down our Wi-Fi. I then had to apply the update to the controller and make sure all of our access points came back up for when people returned to work on the following Monday.
Q: WHAT WORK TIPS, TOOLS, OR LIFE HACKS DO YOU WISH YOU HAD KNOWN ABOUT EARLIER?
Something I found extremely useful while working is to keep a note of everything you do while working on something. This is helpful in case you need to roll back a change you have made in the future or if you need to refer to what you have done again. If this is something new, I will also add the notes I have made into our technicians OneNote to share the information within the team and make it easy for anyone else to refer to them.
Another tip is to investigate something as much as possible before starting on a job i.e., speaking with users and getting the full story on something that has happened which might have caused this issue, doing this means you can plan exactly what you need to do for something much more efficiently as you’ll know the cause and can work around that.
If you are also looking to go down the apprenticeship route and become a successful apprentice like Marshall, learn more about our Level 4 Network Engineer programme.
If you’re a Baltic apprentice and want to share your story as one of our Champions, check out the details and get involved!