Darren is an Operations Manager at EE. He is the Enterprise Adviser for Hele’s School, Plympton.
“I left school after one year of A Levels and I needed to find myself a job, so I started working in food retail as a trainee manager. The job included a supervisory training course at Plymouth College. Completing this training got me the opportunity to become an assistant manager for a jeans retailer, which I really enjoyed. I stayed in the business for 13 years working in various roles from store manager to assistant contracts manager.
After this, I wanted to buy myself some time to figure out what I wanted to do so I applied for a customer service adviser role at Orange (which is now EE). I was taking inbound calls for people on pay-as-you go phones. I enjoyed working for the company so much that I am still here 17 years later! I worked my way up through to team leader and then operations manager.
Being an Enterprise Adviser is an interesting opportunity to support students with the first steps into work. My son has just gone to University so I know what it’s like for a teenager looking for that next step.
I enjoy having the opportunity to influence students, creating a buzz about the future and helping and supporting those with challenges. I want to show them that there are opportunities available for them. We’ve been giving students a chance to develop their life-skills and attributes that employers will value; for example, by giving year 8s a chance to do presentations.
I’ve taken part in careers events and talked to parents involved in local communities. The school is really passionate about wanting to give the students the opportunities that will help them get the best out of themselves and I am there to help them with my business experience and knowledge about apprenticeships.”