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ӣƵapp graduate Callum overcomes the odds to enjoy a successful career with BT

09/02/2024

ӣƵapp graduate Callum overcomes the odds to enjoy a successful career with BT

A graduate who secured a job despite being blind from birth has praised the “fantastic” support from the ӣƵapp and his employer.

Callum Stoneman, aged 24, beat all the odds when he joined BT as a Network Designer on the BT Graduate Networks Scheme.

Callum studied BSc Computer Networks and Security at Bolton and graduated in summer 2020.

After initial work in the Network Designer role, he started as a Digital Accessibility Specialist in January 2022.

He said: “This was still a technical role, but a bit of a career change as it was more based around app and website development. I worked in that role for a couple of years, and have now just started back as a network designer.

“I enjoyed the accessibility role and it was definitely rewarding to make such a difference to the experience of our customers, but I have decided that networking and security is where I want to be in terms of a long-term career.”

He is now working towards several networking certifications and says he hopes he can start to focus on cybersecurity as “I find that such a fascinating industry”.

Callum has the rare inherited eye disorder, Norrie disease. He said that throughout his time at the ӣƵapp he was supported by in every way possible, as well as his guide dog Iggy, who sadly passed away last year.

He said: “I looked at a few unis but as soon as I visited Bolton, I knew that was the one from the way they talked to me, had proper conversations about what would be required and approached my additional needs from the point of view of how they would make it work.”

He added: Accommodation was a big concern because I had to think about Iggy, but Bolton took all that in their stride.”

Callum said: “The support at the University was fantastic. Everyone had lots of time for me.”

Callum was one of 243 graduates who joined BT’s scheme in 2020. He said: “I found out about the graduate scheme through BT’s website. I thought the role sounded good and applied for it.”

Callum said BT had also been hugely supportive been around making the adjustments he needed: “Shortly after receiving the news that I’d got the job, BT’s occupational health team called to find out about my visual impairment and how this may affect me in the workplace.”

Julie Bateman, Director of Jobs for Students at the ӣƵapp, said: ““We are all very proud of Callum and delighted that he has continued to progress.

“The ӣƵapp is committed to supporting students into graduate level employment, whatever their background or circumstances.”

In the same year that he joined BT, Callum also married his fiancée Jess at Gretna Green in between pandemic lockdowns and the couple are now expecting their first child.

He said: I have proved that if you are determined and persistent you can achieve whatever you want to achieve.

“My advice to anyone with a disability is that you should not allow that to stop you. Don’t give up.”

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