In early 2020, Zack Jay joined Stiltz to commence an IT apprenticeship, and just two short years later, he’s finished the course which ran at Dudley College and received a distinction for his work. We sat down with Zack to ask him some questions about his motivations for starting his apprenticeship with Stiltz and what his time has been like so far…
Why did you decide to do an IT apprenticeship?
“From a young age, I’ve always been interested in computers; at school, I studied IT at GCSE. When I went to college, I felt a little disheartened because I already knew most of what they were teaching; it was mostly filling out forms, which wasn’t why I started. I knew that an apprenticeship was something I wanted to do. However, because of Covid, there weren’t a lot of places offering them. Dudley College contacted me and said there was a place available with Stiltz, I put my application in, and an hour later, I was told I had an interview the following day.”
What was your first day at Stiltz like?
“On my first day, the people in the office didn’t expect me to turn up as early as I did. I was supposed to start at 10:00am but was in the office at about 09:00am – call me keen! The first thing we did was have a quick meeting to meet the team; then, I was tasked with setting up my monitor and all my equipment. I finished everything in about 15 minutes; then, we slowly started working on more complex tasks. ”
Is there anyone who supported you throughout the process?
“The college was incredibly supportive from the get-go. When I started at Stiltz, most people worked from home, so the office wasn’t busy. I was fast-tracked for my exams but, unfortunately, failed one of them. Rob Soper and Lee Pardoe, my colleagues in the IT department, were supportive while I revised the hell out of that exam. I managed to pass it on the next try. A lot of the guys in the HR department were also helpful, I had no idea how to fill out certain forms, and they gave me the support I needed.”
What’s been a highlight of working for Stiltz?
“There’s so many! One story that makes me laugh is one of the engineers left his tablet on charge in another engineer’s van. He phoned me, wondering where it was, he thought he’d left it somewhere in the middle of nowhere. So, there’s Lee and myself looking at our management system, seeing the tablet slowly travelling up the motorway. So, we called the engineer and arranged for the two to meet. He was so apologetic, but it was rather funny.”
How did you stay motivated over the two years?
“A lot of it comes from my love of computers. I started learning how to code and some more complex things in my own time. In IT, it’s not simple; every day can be something different. It’s very satisfying to be able to help people to sort out any problem they have. If the system goes down, the onus is on the IT department. We need to be able to sort out any problem that occurs. I love that people are so happy when I help them with whatever their problem is. That’s the main motivation for me, fixing problems for people and the relief they feel when it’s all done.”
Having completed his apprenticeship, Zack has joined the Stiltz IT department permanently. Rob Soper, Head of Group Systems, says, “Zack has been incredibly hardworking and dedicated throughout his apprenticeship. He quickly became a trusted member of our team, a go-to individual for the business. Both Lee Pardoe (IT Support Analyst) and I were happy to support Zack through his apprenticeship. He has been a fantastic addition to the team, and I’m delighted that he has not only passed his apprenticeship but also agreed to stay with us at Stiltz.”
Congratulations Zack, from everyone at Stiltz!