Sam Cottom

Product Quality Assurance Apprentice
Salford Quays: The Soapworks

Hi, my name is Sam Cottom, I am one of the apprentices that joined TalkTalk in September of last year after finishing college earlier in the year. As National Apprenticeship Week is coming up at the beginning of March I thought I would share my experience at TalkTalk so far.

Why did you want to join an Apprenticeship programme?

After I finished college I realised that the learning environment in higher education and the environment I would have experienced at university was not right for me. I therefore wanted to look at other alternatives to pursue a career in tech. And as someone who learns a lot better with hands on experience doing practical work I knew that an apprenticeship would been right for me. Another reason I knew that an apprenticeship is perfect for me is because I would get to experience working in a professional working environment which will prepare me for any future roles I might work in.

What attracted you to TalkTalk?

I was attracted to TalkTalk because they are a big name in British telecoms, so I was excited to have the chance to be able to gain experience in such a well-known and professional business. I thought it would also be a great way for me to break into the technology industry. I was really looking forward to getting stuck in with some work in an area I was interested in working in. After hearing all the support that TalkTalk provide both with training and its personal support for its staff I felt that I would not be overwhelmed when I joined the company.

What do you like about the culture within TalkTalk? How does it support your career development?

TalkTalk gave me a lot of freedom from the day I started, which is really great as it allowed me to get stuck in with hard work from the beginning. I still had the support of other members of staff in my team if I was struggling or if I needed any extra help. The support provided by my manager and other team members allowed me to quickly learn about my role and the kind of work I would be doing. I was able to get stuck in with the work which made me feel like a valued member of the team.

"The support provided by my manager and other team members allowed me to quickly learn about my role and the kind of work I would be doing. I was able to get stuck in with the work which made me feel like a valued member of the team."

Which of the TalkTalk values resonates with you the most and how does your programme allow you to live that value?

The TalkTalk value that I relate to the most is ‘We Can Always Be Ourselves Here’. I have always felt like the atmosphere at TalkTalk has been very relaxed and welcoming which I think is due to the independency that is given to all the staff. It allows everyone to be themselves. I also relate to this value as it has helped with my self-confidence in the short time I’ve been here because it has made it easier for me to talk to other staff members about work or any other issues I have had.