[Growing Together] OVHcloud celebrates UK Apprenticeship Week
This week, OVHcloud is supporting UK Apprenticeship Week, helping the next generation of talent to make the most of their skills and potential. This year, OVHcloud has two apprentices in its London office, Josh and Theo, both of whom came via Pareto Law, a government-approved apprenticeship provider and specialist in sales training.
In this Q&A, Josh and Theo talk to us about their experiences so far.
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship, and how did you come to OVHcloud?
Josh: “Pareto has quite an intensive and competitive process for matching you to a possible apprenticeship placement, but eventually it comes down to your choice and for me, that’s about the people. I had two placement options, one with OVHcloud and one with a SaaS company. I met with [sales director] Joss and a few other staff, and by the end of the conversation I knew I wouldn’t just be a cog in a machine, I’d be treated like a person, and that someone would be looking out for my development and career.”
Theo: “I was the same – I’d been working with a lot of recruiters, had an offer from another sales company and an executive search firm, and I’d almost given up on this path when OVHcloud came out of the blue. When you’re at entry-level, a lot of interviews feel like interrogations but here it was more of a conversation, and I knew from the start that it was the right place for me.”
What else made you realise that OVHcloud was right for you?
Theo: “A lot of places ask about your experience and ability, but it felt like Joss and the team asked more about my character, what I was genuinely interested in and my potential. I’m really interested in how the technology works; as I see it, infrastructure is the backbone of society, so working with a company like OVHcloud suits me perfectly. There’s a lot to learn and that works for me.”
Josh: “I’m the opposite, and was less technical than Theo at the start, but it still felt like there was a place for me where I could focus more on the sales side and working with customers.”
What’s been the best thing about working here?
Theo: “The people, easily. Sales can attract a lot of strong-minded, competitive people, but somehow OVHcloud has managed to hire ambitious, capable people who know their own minds, but are still team players. I can call up a person in Canada or Germany, and they’ll be just as helpful as my team here in London. The level of trust has also been amazing – there’s obviously a lot of support, but you’re essentially given responsibility for the whole sales cycle, and that’s quite different to most organisations.”
Josh: “I’d agree with that – OVH people are very collaborative. Everyone has their own areas, so you know you’re not stepping on anyone’s toes. I was actually offered a bit more to work somewhere else at the start of the process, but you can’t put a price on good culture and the people you work with.”
Theo: “It’s also been great that although Josh and I started at the same time, at the same level, no-one’s ever compared us. We’re not ‘the apprentices’ – we’re our own people with our own skills, and that’s worth a lot.”
Any parting advice for other job seekers or apprentices?
Josh: “It’s hard to stand out from the crowd as a jobseeker or apprentice, and it can definitely feel like a meat-grinder, so it’s not easy. Sometimes the bad jobs will teach you what you don’t want to do – I was a night manager at Asda a few jobs ago and now I’m in IT sales. At the start of your career, it can feel like that dream path is out of reach, but it’s important to keep believing and striving for more and you will make it there.”
Theo: “I’d also say that you should remember to keep your options open. I had an offer from an aviation company at one point, and now I’m in IT sales. In hindsight, I think it’s more about the feeling you get from the company, the responsibilities you’ll have, the skills you’ll use and develop, rather than really pinning your hopes on one specific thing.”