Lee has had a long career in telecoms and over the last year has used his knowledge to deliver remarkable improvements for customers in heavily subscribed area of the network. Not only did Lee deliver an engineering solution that significantly increased reliability and performance, but he also used this as an opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge of his colleagues and peers. The judges were impressed by his dedication and achievements; and were unanimous in recognising this. We chat to Lee to find out more…
What is your current job title?
Principal Network Engineer with Virginmedia.
Can you tell us about your telecoms career history so far?
I started my career back in 1992 with United Artists as a Residential Installations Technician, and within a year was promoted to Service Technician where I remained for two years. I went for promotion as a Network Engineer and joined the team in 1994. In 2007, I became the Principal Engineer. The teams I have been responsible for have changed over the years, but I have been tech support the network team, business team and the core network team over the years.
What made you pursue a career in engineering?
Engineering is an ever changing and evolving industry where I have witnessed many technical changes. No day is ever the same and we always have interesting challenges and issues to overcome daily.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
A simple question to answer… winning the ITP Engineer of the Year 2019 has to date been the biggest achievement!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The variety of work, my team and satisfying all of my internal and external customers.
How important is mentoring to you?
I really enjoy being involved in the recruitment process and the follow-on day to day mentoring of new staff. I have had many new staff join my team over the years; both new engineers promoted from within the company and apprentices. I must admit I am only the engineer I am today off the back of great mentors; therefore mentoring is one of my true passions.
What did winning mean to you?
Winning the award came as a total shock to me as I believe I always do my job to the best of my ability, but never really expected this kind of recognition for my achievements.
What has happened since winning the award?
I have had so many people congratulate me on a daily basis through our national Virginmedia home page, via Linked-in and on Facebook. I don’t think a day has gone by since where I meet colleagues and friends and someone doesn’t congratulate me. Great news travels far and wide they say.
How have your employers reacted?
Virginmedia put a big article on the national home page and I had calls and congratulations from higher management expressing their gratitude.
What advice would you give others considering entering an industry award?
The process was very easy and even though engineers are not always very good at blowing our own trumpet for the good work we do daily. There are many engineers out there who go above and beyond daily and deserve this reward so go for it.
What advice would you give to anyone considering a career in telecoms?
The telecoms industry is always evolving and continues to bring new technology and in turn, new challenges. It is an exciting industry I am proud to be a part of.
Lee Bennett is Principal Network Engineer with Virginmedia.