Tech Industry Gold student work shadows OpenReach


Nineteen talented Tech Industry Gold undergraduates earned the opportunity to work shadow a digital business leader at a recent event for students, universities, and employers organised by Tech Partnership Degrees.

As one of the unique benefits for students of industry-accredited Tech Industry Gold degrees, each of these students spent a day with a CEO from the IT industry or the head of technology (CIO or CTO) from leading companies across the economy.

The shadowing opportunities were awarded as spot prizes to individuals who particularly stood out for their talent and motivation at the Tech Partnership Degrees’ event held in Reading in March 2018.

Thanks to the support of DWP, Fujitsu, Jaguar Land Rover, Telefonica, Capgemini, OpenReach, Network Rail, Digital Catapult, Accenture, DXC Technology, National Grid, Quicksilva, NHS, IBM, Met Police, Mullen Lowe Group, BT, and TATA Consultancy Services for making these opportunities possible.

Palak Goel is studying the BSc IT Management for Business (ITMB) degree course at Loughborough University, accredited by industry through Tech Partnership Degrees. The Tech Industry Gold degree course has given her the opportunity to work shadow Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach.

Here Palak describes her experience.

“During the summer I had the pleasure of shadowing Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach, for an entire day. Openreach is a functional division of telecommunications company BT plc, that owns and maintains the telephone wires, ducts, cabinets and exchanges that connect nearly all homes and businesses in the UK to the national broadband and telephone network.

I won this opportunity when I participated in an event hosted by Tech Partnership Degrees where my team from Loughborough University had to present a project idea to transform any city in the world into a smart city. I won the award based on my performance during the presentation and my knowledge about the topic.

My day at Openreach started with me sitting in on a roundtable meeting with Clive and his business managers, where they discussed their business strategies for expanding the business. At first, the language they were speaking seemed to be from another world because it mainly consisted of acronyms which made absolutely no sense to me, but luckily for me, Clive saw the confused look on my face and explained all the acronyms to me. It was good to see how the team discussed ideas openly without any hesitation but what I found the most interesting was the amount of humour during the meeting. I was then given the opportunity to observe Clive’s meeting with his staff where they synced their calendars and discussed the monthly finance and stats.

Apart from the structured meetings, I also got the chance to speak with different people from the organisation. I met with one of the customer service managers who handled complaints sent by customers directly to Clive. From what I understood, Clive wanted to make sure that a response to every complaint sent directly to him should be replied to on time with a personal touch from him. I then talked to the head engineer of Openreach who explained to me the entire process of how a single thread of optical fibre cable was made and then showed me how various equipment is used to establish a cable network. He told me about how Openreach is upgrading the vast wired broadband and telephone network across the UK from copper wire to optic-fibre cable. My talk with him was probably one of the most interesting parts of the day, and I am thankful to him for answering all my questions. I don’t think I could have gained so much insight about how a network works even if I did extensive research on the subject.

In between all the meetings Clive took some time to discuss what my plans are for the future, which I really appreciated.

I would strongly urge all students associated with Tech Industry Gold degrees to keep a look out for future events as they might be able to get a similar opportunity. Lastly, I would like to thank Clive Selley and his team for making my experience at the company an insightful and memorable one.”

The work shadowing experience was made possible by Tech Partnership Degrees and Openreach.

Find out more about Tech Industry Gold degrees.

Find out about the next Tech Partnership Degrees’ event.