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Meet Liz - Technical Project Manager

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Tell me a little about your position and what you do on a day-to-day basis: I’m on the Career Returner programme which O2 is running for 11 weeks for people like myself who are returning to work after a career break. During the programme we have received training, a mentor and been placed on projects. Hopefully before the end of the returnship we will have managed to secure a permanent role.

As I love technology, I was placed in The Lab as a technical project manager. It’s been fantastic to have had the opportunity to work on a bot feasibility project, and the delivery of a Smart Home VR experience.

However, the majority of my more recent work has been related to the Capitalisation Improvement project for the OCIO team in IT – which is looking at how employees and contractors are setup in our systems, how timesheets are completed and approved, and invoices for contractors are paid – within IT. I’ve been organising and hosting workshops, mapping out our current processes identifying ways they can be improved, and producing a comms plan.

It’s given me a good variety of work, and an opportunity to work with a range of people.

Why O2? What made you apply? Having made the decision that I wanted to return back to work, I came across Women Returners, a company that run returnships with companies for people like myself. My preference has always been to work in technology, so when I saw that O2 were running a returnship, it was too good an opportunity to miss.

What makes O2 a great place to work? The people and the culture. O2 seems to be filled with a lot of people who enjoy their work. It’s great to work with people who are happy and positive.

What keeps you motivated to go to work each day? The work and the people. I love solving problems and adding value.

Reflect back from Day one to now. How have you evolved in your current job? How have you evolved as a person? What’ been really interesting for me, is that I have learnt a lot about myself, thanks to the feedback from the people I’ve worked with, but also from the variety of projects I’ve been involved in.

What advice would you give someone who is seeking the same line of work? My advice to anyone who has had a career break, is that no matter how long it has been, you don’t lose the core aptitude and abilities that led to your career before the break. Returning back to work after a break has been an exciting adventure, and thanks to the O2 Returnship, I’ve been looking at alternative career paths that I might not have considered before, had I not had the break.

Any funny Stories? I’m not sure if this is funny exactly, but I discovered a bird in The Lab area. Having had birds fall down the chimney at home, I was concerned both about the bird and the trail of destruction they can cause. I expected someone would come with a net to retrieve the bird, but the man who rescued it just caught it in his hands. He talked softly to the bird stroking its head before releasing it out the window. I’m not scared of birds, but I wasn’t brave enough to have tried it.

What is your proudest accomplishment on the job? Receiving an email complimenting me on the way I’ve run a meeting, hearing that people have appreciated the work I’ve done and knowing that despite the short time I’ve been here, that I’ve managed to add real value, is a great feeling.

What are your hobbies outside of work? I love to read. So when I’m able to sneak some me time, that’s what I’m most likely to be doing. I run a book group, and sometimes I drag them along to local author events.

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Lutz Schüler

Lutz Schüler


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