Paul Kelly

Senior Technology Consultant

When I left school, like a lot of my friends, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. My main hobby was computing though I never really knew what part I’d be interested in or what sorts of jobs were available. Most importantly I needed to find a job that would pay the bills, and my Dad mentioned there was a lot of money in plumbing. So with this, I decided to attend an open-evening at Middlesbrough College for a plumbing course.

Further Education

I arrived with around a dozen other students, and we were briefly introduced to the world pipes and tubing; lead pipes, brass pipes, white pipes, black pipes, big pipes, and small pipes. I could feel myself falling asleep at my desk. Needless to say, I did not go on to become a plumber. I made a swift escape from the open evening and off we went home to rethink my options. On the journey back home I passed another open evening, this time for IT and at a different campus, and decided to make a stop off. It focused on website development, graphics design and games programming. One look at my parents and they knew what I was going to ask: “Where do I sign up?”

After two years, I finished College and went straight off to Newcastle University to do an ‘Information Systems’ course. Three years later, I graduated from University, and still didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. I managed to find a Master’s degree at Teesside University for Computer Systems and Networks and planned to move back home. A week before the move I met Jess. A second year university student who was doing the exact same course I did. Typical. To cut a long story short, a lot of weekly commutes later we’re still together after four years.

Placement

During this course we got an email around university about a series of graduate recruitment presentations. I decided to go along to one for a company called Waterstons, who I had heard of during my time at Newcastle. The presentation was great and I knew that it was where I wanted to be so I sent off an application to work for Waterstons. Strangely my uncle also mentioned he knew of a job opportunity, a one year IT placement, going at Quorn Foods where he works. He spoke with the IT team and managed to get me a contact number for someone called ‘Fred’. I contacted Fred and he was able to get me in for an interview. I managed to get the job and started in the big bad world as an IT technician, helping with basic user account management and desktop support a month later.

Starting this new job, I actually found out that Waterstons were working with Quorn Foods and Fred, who I had been speaking to, was a Waterstons employee. At the time he was assisting the IT Manager to upgrade their entire infrastructure; moving onto completely new kit away from the previous owners. Small world. During my placement, I was able to meet a number of people from Waterstons who were on site for all sorts of projects. They were extremely friendly, approachable, and even took time out of their day to explain things to a novice, like me, about the work they were doing and how it all works.

Waterstons

Around half way through my placement, I was given the opportunity to work for Waterstons. I had made it clear to Fred that, although I enjoyed working at Quorn, I’d love nothing more than to work for Waterstons. Thanks to Quorn, they agreed to end my placement early and I moved on to work for Waterstons. Now, I’m part of the furniture. I love my job and everything about it. My colleagues are fantastic and the entire place just feels like home. Everyone is extremely helpful and to be honest we’re all really close friends. Everything about the company is customer focused and not just about sales. A company that cares. Not something that is easy to come across.

After a year and a half at Waterstons, I was promoted to Senior Consultant and moved into a new role as the Service Desk Manager. At the time of writing this I’m 32 months into my time at Waterstons and currently relocating to London as I’ve just been promoted into a new role as the Team Leader for the South.

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