Adastral Park
Education & skills   >   Case studies

Welcome to our Case Studies!

How has our education and skills programme inspired students to study and explore STEM subjects? How have we supported our schools network to inspire the next generation?

We have pulled together a series of case studies to celebrate how we have inspired some apprentices and graduates to pursue their interest in STEM.

We have also reached out to our amazing schools network to share how we have supported them and their students in the world of STEM.

Want to share your experiences? Please contact us via

Photo of Steph

Meet Steph, who was inspired to apply for a BT Degree Apprenticeship following work experience:

I decided I wanted to work in technology after completing work experience at BT whilst at Copleston High School Ipswich, where I worked with one of the first versions of the VR headset by Oculus. When I found out that BT would financially sponsor my degree and provide me with a full-time role, gaining invaluable experience in the industry, I knew the apprenticeship was the right choice for me. However, without the inspirational activities organised by BT's STEM Ambassadors, including my first work experience, I would not have heard of the apprenticeship scheme or had the confidence to apply.

The Apprenticeship scheme developed my critical industry knowledge, allowed me to start building a professional network, and provided me with the academic credentials that I needed to kick-start my career in STEM. I graduated from the University of Exeter with a BSc in Digital Technology Solutions, not only achieving a first-class with honours, but I also received an award for achieving the best academic performance in my final year, all of which would not have been possible without the truly incredible support from my cohort of apprentices, my university supervisor and my colleagues.

During my time as an apprentice, I was also given opportunities to join company-wide networks and volunteering schemes dedicated to giving back to the community and promoting careers in STEM. I co-led the Adastral Women in Tech network, hosting knowledge calls and coding workshops to help build skills and highlight the benefits of an inclusive work environment and diverse workforce. The Adastral Women in Tech network was merged with BT-Group's larger Gender Equality Network (GEN), where I now lead the internal engagement programme for a network of over 1,700 people!

I am extremely grateful to have had all the opportunities I have had. Now after 5 years within the company, I have stepped into a new role as a Technical Delivery Manager, growing my project management skills and learning about the benefits of Agile working! I am excited for the future and know that my technical skills and knowledge gained from the apprenticeship scheme will be invaluable in my new role!

Photo of Steph
Photo of Rose
Photo of Rose

Meet Rose, inspired by school STEM events at Adastral Park and now a Robotic Engineer Expert after joining as a graduate after completing her Master's:

I first came to BT Adastral Park whilst I was in primary school, attending several STEM event days including the 2012 Robolympics. At these events I was inspired to participate in coding activities and joined my school's robotics club run by STEM ambassador Dr Nicki Hughes.

During high school I participated in the First Lego League National and International Championships and undertook work experience at BT, reigniting my love of computing, and fuelling my desire to study computer science.

I went on to study Robotic Engineering at the University of Essex and do a master's degree in computer science studying computer vision. Whist attending university I returned to BT to assist in the hosting of STEM events as an external volunteer. This allowed me to give back to the community some of the knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject.

After my master's I returned to BT full time as a researcher for the then brand-new Robotics and Drones lab where I help design and build robotic solutions for Openreach. I continue to participate in volunteering activities including STEM events for schools and BT open days.

I am immensely grateful for both the early opportunities that I received to attend these events and the opportunity to give back to the community some of my knowledge, skills and experience. I hope to continue to inspire future generations in taking up computing technology and robotics careers.

The BT Education team based at Adastral Park are proud of their school relationships, especially with those close to Adastral Park. Meet some of the schools who work with the BT team to motivate and inspire pupils from KS1 to KS3 and beyond.

Ipswich Academy logo

Ipswich Academy is an 11-16 School based in Ipswich, Suffolk. It is part of Paradigm Trust, a trust that also contains 5 primaries and a special school. It has 1,001 students 40.4% FSM (Free School Meals). They offer Computer Science and Creative iMedia at GCSE level and Computing at KS3 (twice a fortnight in year 9; 10 week rotation in year 7 and 8). They are part of a Computing Cluster and are working towards their Computing Quality Mark.

Christine is Head of Computer Science and coordinates the Computer Science GCSE and KS3 Computing. Since 2022, Christine has engaged with BT and has brought her students to the Festival of Suffolk in 2022 and more recently to Technology Day, held in June 2023. She also brought along a group of students for Cyber First for Girls day held at Adastral Park. Several of her year 11 students completed work experience in July 2023.

"I have really enjoyed the Suffolk day of technology events - this year's event was really engaging. I loved "getting started with Cyber First" event and will be entering several teams in Cyber First Girls when it's launched in October 2023", said Christine. "As a result of attending events at BT there is more interest by the pupils to apply for work experience and to attend the CyberFirst girls competition. We hope that our engagement with BT will inspire some of the students to apply for apprenticeships or to return as graduates".

Moving forwards, I would love to see some events for year 9 students in the computing sector to help with options choices."

Photo of Andrew

Meet Andrew, a fresh graduate from the BT Degree Apprenticeship scheme, who specialised as a Network Engineer at Adastral Park:

My journey began in business studies at university, but a yearning for hands-on tech experience led me to the apprenticeship. This apprenticeship wasn't merely a degree pathway but a gateway to experiences and networking opportunities that I hadn't anticipated.

Earning a 1st in my degree was a proud moment, but the apprenticeship was more than just academic to me. It was about applying learning in a real-world context and growing through practical projects in the tech industry.

A memorable moment was assisting with Princess Anne's visit to Adastral Park in 2019. It wasn't just an event; it was an eye-opener to the opportunities and vibrant community within the tech industry here.

Looking back, choosing this apprenticeship over a traditional degree has provided me not only with academic credentials but also a wealth of experiences and a professional network, which I believe will be a solid foundation for my future in tech.

My story is one of personal growth, academic achievement and a belief in the power of practical experience, especially in the dynamic world of technology. I'm not just a graduate; I'm a professional, ready for the next chapter, thanks to the BT Degree Apprenticeship scheme.

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Photo of Abi
Photo of Abi

Meet Abi, who joined our graduate scheme following a summer intern role at BT which inspired her to apply for a role in the Research team:

I first really experienced what BT had to offer me as a career when I joined a placement scheme in BT's Research & Networks Strategy in summer 2021, between my third and fourth year at university. I had heard of the fantastic work that went on at Adastral Park, but the penny hadn't really dropped until I had first-hand experience in the placement scheme.

I had a keen interest in Science at school, particularly Physics, which lead me to study towards a Masters in Physics with Astronomy at the University of Southampton. I had an exciting four years and am very proud to have graduated with the award for most outstanding performance on the Master of Physics degree! When considering my next move after university, I realised I was most passionate in my role as a summer intern at BT so made the decision to jump back into industry. I was particularly drawn to BTs research and how we use this work to solve industry problems!

I now work in the Open Networks Research team and have loved my career at BT so far, getting involved in transformational areas in BT such as cloud technologies, as well as being involved in the volunteering schemes and networking with the talented community at Adastral Park.

Reflecting on this, I am proud of the path I have taken to where I am today, gaining a range of experience which I can take forward in my career. I am grateful to teachers, university supervisors and colleagues at BT who have helped give me the confidence to really go for it!

Photo of Dan

Meet Dan, inspired during work experience and now holds many awards during his Degree Apprenticeship:

I first decided that I wanted to pursue the apprenticeship pathway after having sought my own work experience at BT Adastral Park. It was here that I first recognised the fantastic opportunities the apprenticeship afforded for undergraduates to work alongside industry leading professionals on many of the pioneering technologies of our time.

For 2 years I had the fantastic opportunity to rotate throughout several diverse and exciting research areas, including AI and Optimization, Future Cyber Defence, Software-Based Networks and Immersive content. I chose to specialise in BT Research's Cyber-Physical research team, where I work on delivering the future software and network capabilities that will enable exciting new Drones and Robotics capabilities.

Choosing an apprenticeship over fulltime University degree has exposed me to several high-profile and innovative research projects, allowing me to gain a level of confidence and practical hands-on skills that would not otherwise have been possible.

A particular highlight of my career so far was being awarded The Institute of Telecommunications Professionals (ITP) Christopher Mills Award for Technical Excellence, National Apprenticeships award for East of England Degree Apprentice of the Year and Tech Industry Gold award for Highly commended Business Contribution. These are a testament to the brilliant opportunities and support provided by the apprenticeship scheme and my colleagues.

Now nearing the end of my apprenticeship, I can reflect on what has been a fantastic 4 years and can say with confidence that a BT apprenticeship represents one of the best available options for those young people interested in a technology career!

Photo of Dan
Photo of Jess
Photo of Jess

Meet Jess - an under-grad at the University of Cambridge, studying Engineering. Jess attended Holbrook Primary and then Ipswich High School where she was inspired by the STEM subjects and her visits to the Adastral Park, BT school's events:

When I attended my first event at Adastral Park I was only seven, but I distinctly remember the assembly where the teacher leading the program talked about the CoSpace event being held that year, and where it could lead, as well as the amazing opportunities that could be available to people who pursued the field. From that moment on I always knew I wanted to work in a STEM field.

Only four of us chose to attend in the first year, but after the wonderful things we'd been able to do, the numbers trebled the following year! The school started to get more involved in more STEM related events - totally inspiring the students!

Jess completed a silver and gold CREST awards as well as an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) - all on physics and engineering-based subjects - whilst at Ipswich High School. Some of her gold CREST was a real throwback to her time at Adastral where they were moving virtual robots around, as part of it included using robots to help 3D print and manage habitats on the moon and Mars.

"Magic is just science we don't understand yet"

With her interest in engineering from a young age, Jess has found the whole concept of flight intriguing and seem like magic - especially with the Artimis program that should be getting underway in sending humans back to the moon. Perfect timing to get involved in such a field and a great way to become part of something far bigger.

Time spent during a summer work experience with Octopus energy, working on their Vehicle to grid system and attending a battery conference, has given Jess a real interest in this topic.

I think methods of energy storage will be vital in our move to renewable energy, so that's definitely a field I'd like to do more in. Anything to do with green energy and tech would be sure to provide a relevant career - one I'd be able to use my skills to directly impact the environment for the good and which I'm very keen to do.