Meet Miles – a former St Austell student and apprentice who is now Senior IT Engineer at Penrice Academy.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I’m Miles, I live in Newquay right now and I’ve lived in Cornwall pretty much all my life.
I went to St Mewan Primary school and then Penrice Academy and Truro College – however I decided college just wasn’t wasn’t for me. I started working in McDonald’s but got sick of that pretty quickly so decided to go back to college to try something different.
How did you get into IT?
Well I thought the best thing would be an Apprenticeship as I knew A Levels weren’t for me. I spent 3 months writing letters to see if I could volunteer at businesses around Cornwall and eventually Paul Towe (Head Teacher at St Mewan and CEO of the Peninsula Learning Trust) offered me some experience at St Mewan – however it wasn’t in IT.
I started shadowing the Site Team, learning things like carpentry, but while I was there I found out the IT lead was retiring. They asked if I fancied giving that go as I was quite good at IT in general – next thing I knew I had signed up for an Apprenticeship and it just went from there!
What’s your role in the Trust?
I’m now Senior IT Engineer at Penrice Academy. I’m responsible for making sure the IT systems at Penrice stay up and running daily, that they are always improving and that students and staff have everything they need for their everyday working life.
What’s the biggest challenge of your role?
Managing all IT systems in a building the size of Penrice is a big job – all the different programs, keeping on top of everything while keeping everyone happy! But it’s also very rewarding and feels good that we’ve got a great system in place.
What’s the most rewarding part?
Definitely seeing the kids use the kit when we put in something new like iPads or editing software – seeing them use technology in lessons, adding to their learning experience. It’s just such a nice feeling seeing 30 kids experiencing the newest technology.
What exciting stuff have you got coming up?
We’re currently planning to replace The Core (the library at Penrice) computers with top spec kit – very exciting! We have 30 high-end computers with things like Wireless Bluetooth Headsets.
What are your most important goals for 2018 personally and professionally?
Professionally I would like to continue studying and get more qualifications – I plan to take my next set of Microsoft exams so I can just continue to gain experience and qualifications at work. Personally i’d like to do more travelling – I’d love to go to Thailand or Japan!
What do you like about living and working in Cornwall?
I just love the countryside and beaches. I don’t like big cities and being surrounded by tall buildings, I love surfing and being outdoors, and working in a county like this brings a certain flexibility and laid back, easier lifestyle.
What do you enjoy to do outside of work?
I enjoy travelling when I get the chance, surfing and skateboarding.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of pursuing a career in IT?
Do it! Get some experience, do a lot of reading, give it a go. There’s plenty of work going, the industry is always growing and you can always rely on technology to break and need to be fixed! It’s a very rewarding and exciting world to be a part of.
What makes the Peninsula Learning Trust the place where you want to work?
The staff really – everyone I work with is brilliant, I’ve never had any issues and everyone works well together. Everyone has one main goal; to provide the best learning environment for our students.
Movie – Gladiator
Food – Pizza
Band – Gorillaz
Animal – Lion
Place in Cornwall – Newquay!