Customer notice: You are running a browser which is not fully supported on this site. We cannot gurantee correct functioning of this site unless you are using a browser which is fully supported. Examples of browsers which are fully supported are Internet Explorer 9 (or higher), Chrome version 47 (or higher), Firefox version 40 (or higher) and Safari version 9 (or higher).

Loading...

Profiles

Find out more about who some of our people are, what makes them tick and what they do in their day job

Helen Wales
Continuous Improvement Manager

How long have you been working for KCOM?

I’ve worked here for about 11 years. I started as a graduate in IT, spending time in lots of different IT teams and learning more about the business. It gave me a really good foundation for the beginnings of my career. I stayed in IT after the initial 2 year graduate programme, moving towards resourcing and then more and more into continuous improvement, firstly within IT but in the last few years this has been across the business.

What do you do day to day?

It is a mixed bag! I work closely with our senior leadership team around our business milestones, making sure that we’re working towards those and our strategy overall. I do a lot of hands on project management and I’m Prince2 qualified. In fact I’ve benefited from quite a bit of training, internal and external, over the years, having always been supported by KCOM to do this. I’ve also had mentors and coaching from colleagues which has really helped my career. I’m currently working on a solution for our engineering side of the business to improve customer experience and communication. I tend to get thrown into gaps, or as someone said to me, ‘where your skills and experience are most valued Helen’!

What do you enjoy about your role and working for KCOM?

The variety has to be up there, the work keeps me interested. I owe a lot to KCOM, to the line managers I’ve had and teams I’ve worked in; I’ve had a lot of opportunity to build my skills and progress my career. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but I feel like the management support I’ve had has been great. I’m also able to work very flexibly, not only in relation to my working hours, but generally managing my own time. A great benefit when you have a family!

Rob Finlay
Consultancy Manager

How long have you been working at KCOM?

I joined in 2005 as a result of KCOM acquiring the company I worked for at the time. I was part of a team doing data and enterprise storage and consultancy. I then moved into a role as Consultancy Manager.

What do you do day to day?

I have a few different hats! I am a people manager for a number of people, looking after them and their career development and welfare. They’re out and about working with various different customers. Another hat of mine is responsibility for about 8-9 different customers from a delivery point of view. I link in with our sales and HR teams, project managers and have face to face time with the customers. I liaise with the customer and my KCOM colleagues throughout the product build and delivery, as well as throughout the ‘life’ of the customer after the product goes live. I’m also an escalation point for the customer afterwards for any queries or issues.

What do you enjoy about your role and working at KCOM?

I think it is the variety, the types of customer are varied, such as financial services, retail, telco, I like that I’m not stuck working with one vertical or one size of company. I also like the variety of the different kinds of work that we do. I’m not actually doing the delivery myself, so I’ve got an oversight of everything, some of which I don’t understand but I don’t need to as I have technical people working that do! The flexibility of being able to manage your own time and decide what’s important is a key benefit. KCOM certainly gives you a level of trust. I like working with professionals; my colleagues know their area well and you can blend teams together well.

Something interesting about you……

I studied for my degree at the same time as my son!

Ellie Hannah
Field Technician

How long have you been working at KCOM?

I’ve worked here for about 15 months now. Before joining I did some work experience with the team on Saturdays so I could get an idea of what the work actually involved. I followed that with a month of unpaid work experience to really get to grips with what the job entailed technically.

What do you do day to day?

It’s my responsibility to decide the best order to do the jobs I’ve been assigned each day. We work in pairs, one of us works at the house end, clipping the new cable to the outside of the house and the other works at the telegraph pole end splicing the overhead cable to the underground cable. I have to make sure the fibre is live and reconnected the telephone line, if it’s not working properly I have to try and find out why and fix it. The aim is to get about 5 visits done per day. We get quite a lot of the general public coming up to us to ask questions about the service, installations etc, when they spot we’re from KCOM. In this role you’ve got to be open to talk to the public and happy being approached face to face; you’re an ambassador for the company after all. As we’re homebased and out and about, we rarely go into the office. We generally go there for team meetings or training sessions, and I see my team leader roughly once a month. It’s really your partner at that time that you see the most. Having said that, you can always make contact with people and there’s a really good team spirit.

What do you enjoy about your role and working at KCOM?

I like working outside and working with my hands; intricate jobs suit me. I like the fact that there is always an end result. I also enjoy working with other people, so having a partner day to day works well for me. I’m not bothered about the weather either, which is lucky. If you are, this isn’t the job for you! This is traditionally seen as a male job, but there’s absolutely no reason why a woman can’t do it! There are huge opportunities for learning different skills here. I started doing the installs inside customers’ houses, now I’m working on the pre-build part. There’s always the opportunity to move over into other areas too, where you can pick up new skills. There’s no reason to ever get bored with your job! Working for a caring organisation like KCOM is great.

What do you do outside of work?

My main hobby is growing vegetables on my allotment. I also cycle a fair amount and swim outdoors. This job keeps you fit and strong too, which I like!

Sally Kirkwood
Field Resource Control Manager

How long have you been working at KCOM?

I was actually referred by a friend to the customer experience side of the business. I joined in 2012 as a Customer Insight Executive. After a few years and a short break away from KCOM I returned. Initially as a Field Operations Control Team Leader and then progressed to my role now as Field Resource Control Manager.

What do you do day to day?

It can be quite project orientated. We’re currently bringing in a new system to improve customer experience around having an engineer attend a home or business premise, and improving the communication with the customer around that journey. Day to day I have ‘scrum’ calls, follow up calls based on actions and operational meetings. I work really closely with our resource planning manager to make sure we’ve got enough engineers out in the field. I’ve got a team of 14 direct reports, so I could be talking to any one of them throughout the day (or night). My team also look after all phone kiosks in the estate and our vans in the fleet. I work really closely with our consumer and business provisioning and operations team, looking at how we can improve efficiencies. I also look at regulatory matters and frequently have service review meetings with suppliers. It’s really broad and varied, and can change from day to day!

What do you enjoy about your role and working at KCOM?

I enjoy the ability I have to make change, I’m very much allowed to manage myself and my own time. I know exactly what my and my team’s remit is. I like the fact that we’re trying to continuously change for the sake of our customers. It’s really fast paced; I’ve never worked somewhere where the hours go so quickly! I was attracted here as I’ve got the ability to not just be a number. You’re really recognised for what you deliver. KCOM really are good at supporting people to continuously develop and progress. I always refer to it as a little bit of a family feel. We’re quite flat hierarchically. KCOM don’t look at just the skills in new recruits, attitudes and behaviours play a big part too. I always look for that in candidates that I interview. When I came back to KCOM I didn’t have some of the skills a company traditionally might have looked for that role, but that didn’t matter.

What do you do outside of work?

It is random; I’m obsessed with sharks! I’ll spend quite a lot of time either watching or planning to dive with sharks. I’ve dived with them a few times now, and it was amazing. I’m in awe of them! I also like hiking with our Labrador, I like being out and about.

Craig Reed
IT Delivery Lead

How long have you been working at KCOM?

I joined in 2012 as a Trainee Software Engineer within IT, progressing to Software Engineer then Senior Software Engineer. In 2015 I became a Team Leader and I’ve now been in my role as IT Delivery Lead since March 2017.

What do you do day to day?

I am responsible for the delivery of new requirements to, and the operational support of KCOM’s customer experience systems. This includes internal portals, web based support tools, as well as external websites. My role has a strategic element, so in a typical day I would have numerous conversations with people about how we might use digital to advance KCOM’s goals. I act as a bridge between a very technical community, who cut code and develop technical solutions, and marketing and sales led communities who are trying to connect with our customers. There is a strong operational side to my role. I organise people aligning them to requirements as needed; taking responsibly for their performance, personal development and workload.

What do you enjoy about your role and working at KCOM?

The variety; I can go from a conversation addressing a developers skills inline with upcoming work, to engaging senior people in the business about what they can achieve through digital, to facilitating a training event. It’s a mixed bag, and can be a challenge jumping from one subject to another, but that variety is what I enjoy the most! I’m involved with a learning and development activity, facilitating large training events across the business. I’m also a member of a self-managing group of people that are helping to establish cultural changes within KCOM. The idea that there are few restrictions on how you progress, that you can influence business change, and gain broad experience, is a real bonus of working here at KCOM.

What do you do outside of work?

I’m quite into photography, if I’m not in work, the chances are I’ll be out taking photos somewhere. I like getting creative and sharing my photos on social media. I’ve received requests for prints, so my weekends are spent doing just that! With Hull being City of Culture this year, there’s plenty to see and do, and I’ve been capturing as many moments as possible. Taking pictures of art installations, Hull’s cultural evolution, and the people who share this experience with me.

Simon Barraclough
Organisation & People Development Consultant

How long have you been working at KCOM?

I started in December 2015. Prior to joining KCOM I was Group Learning & Talent Development Partner for the UK, France, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg for a company called McBride who are a private label household liquid and powder manufacturers. Before that I’ve held similar roles for Hallmark Cards, Gaz de France and Barclays Bank so I’ve had experience across a variety of sectors such as manufacturing, FMCG, utilities and financial services.

What do you do day to day?

There’s not a typical day in my role, it’s so varied! I’m not often at my desk and get the opportunity to meet lots of different people. The main parts of my role are leading on the delivery of internal development courses for our People Managers, responsibility for team development (Insights), running our KCOM experience sessions, leading on vendor management with our learning partners, developing the L&D intranet site and leading on projects such as our career development and in-house coaching programmes.

What do you enjoy about your role and working at KCOM?

I really enjoy the variety it offers and working with a diverse group of people. KCOM is good sized business to have the ability to influence people and really get involved in the business. You get to meet people at all levels and work with the Enterprise Leadership Team. People are easily accessible, there are not a lot of reporting lines and you can really get things done.

What do you do outside of work?

I like travelling (favourite place has been China) and caravanning in the UK, best place so far has been the Isle of Skye. I enjoy spending time with family and walking my two dogs.