BT is creating hundreds of graduate jobs to help deliver one of the UK’s biggest engineering projects

BT has announced 300 new graduate jobs to support its £3bn rollout of next-generation broadband and the development of new ultra-fast technology.

BT needs new technology to increase broadband speeds by up to a factor of 13.

The recruitment drive comes as part of BT’s attempts to make super-fast fibre-optic broadband available to 95 per cent of UK homes within the next few years – one of the UK’s biggest engineering projects – but also to develop technology that provides internet access up to 13 times faster than is currently possible.

‘These new recruits will have the opportunity to work in fields such as technology research, engineering, IT and TV, helping to create and build the next generation of communications technologies for the UK,’ said BT chief executive Gavin Patterson in a statement.

Network and systems engineers are needed to help plan and manage the roll-out.

The main part of the programme will involve deploying fibre-optic links across the parts of the UK not currently receiving super-fast broadband, creating particular network and systems engineering challenges in rural and remote areas

But BT is also planning two pilot tests of its new ultra-fast or “” broadband technology, devised at the company’s innovation centre at Adastral Park, Suffolk, that can provide internet speeds of up to 500Mbps (compared to the 76Mbps currently available).

Rural and remote locations create particular engineering challenges.

Graduate electrical, electronic and software engineers are needed to help continue development of these systems and to meet the company’s goal of creating even faster broadband technology that can deliver speeds of up to 1Gbps.

BT is looking for graduates with a combination of strong academic ability, a genuine passion for the work involved and a good fit with the company’s culture, said the firm’s head of talent programmes recruitment, Laura Haynes.

‘In addition to this, the competencies we look for include: brilliant communication skills; excellent analytical capability; strong potential to manage projects and problem solve; a drive to innovate and improve existing ways of working, capacity to build fantastic relationships,’ she told The Student Engineer via email.

BT plans to develop a way of increasing broadband speeds to 1Gbps.

Top tips for applying to BT

Applicants for graduate jobs at BT start by answering a series of questions through the company’s website. Successful graduates are then invited to complete a video first-round interview, which covers competency and motivational questions. The final stage is a competitive assessment centre focused on competencies, motivation and fit with the company’s values and culture.

Laura Haynes, BT’s head of talent programmes recruitment, gave The Student Engineer her advice for students who want to apply for engineering roles.

1. Research the company

Take the opportunity to learn about us both before you apply and throughout the recruitment process when you meet our employees. Recruitment is a two-way opportunity and you should ensure you are sufficiently informed to make a decision about whether we are right for you as well as vice versa.

2. Be yourself

Show us your true self during interviews. We’re looking at you as a rounded individual and we don’t solely focus on academics. Tell us about any work experience you have, what extra-curriculars you were involved in at university, where you see your career heading long term.

3. Don’t tell us what you think we want to hear

During assessment, focus on the questions you are asked and ensure you provide relevant, well thought through responses. Using your university career service for interview training, tips and techniques can be very helpful. Make sure you’re always directly answering the questions you are asked – don’t just tell us what you want to tell us or what you think we want to know.

4. Be prepared

Bring your best self to interviews. Get plenty of sleep, arrive early, take your time preparing. Nerves are natural and it is a competitive process but we will strive to make you feel comfortable so you can hopefully relax and show us what makes you great as an individual.

For more student careers news and advice follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn