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Staff Spotlight - Robyn Le-Tair Cole
BY SproutIT


An interview with our Second Line Service Desk Analyst who started out Sprout as an apprentice. 


Robyn, how did you first learn about Sprout IT?


I was doing a networking program with Just IT and they suggested to do an apprenticeship program. They arranged an interview for me and I got the job. 


How long have you been with us at Sprout?


Just over two years beginning of August.


And in that time have you changed roles or had any promotions?


I was promoted to a full First Liner in February, I finished the apprenticeship in April and then I was promoted to second liner two weeks ago. 


Congrats! Why IT? What’s about the industry that got you interested?


It was a customer at John Lewis who suggested that I try IT and after looking into it I thought about my training and qualifications and I realised that the aspect of forensic science I always enjoyed was the IT part of it so I thought - why not pursue that?


Why do you think she suggested IT to you?


She was talking about women’s representation in IT and she thought I would be a good fit. Which was a bit strange as I didn’t do or say much…


She obviously saw something in you, right? What was your role at John Lewis?


I was working at the furniture department - basically managing the office furniture area so I had nothing to do with technology at the time…But the lady was talking about her work and she worked in IT for this big company, I think they were doing the IT installation for a new building in central London and after chatting to me, she decided that I should work in IT. 


How random!


Completely out of the blue. 


So cool! How have you been supported in your journey at Sprout?


Honestly it was a little bit rocky to start with as there was a misconception of how the apprenticeship worked and what I needed in terms of support but we got there in the end. From HR and my team leader at the time, Taimur there was a lot of support with family issues and I’m very grateful for that. I was given time off that I needed, a few times I had to walk out of the office and be on the phone for a few hours and that was fine. 


What do you enjoy most about working at Sprout?


Probably interacting with our clients - it’s usually quite fun and I do and say random things and people seem to enjoy that so that’s a fun experience. 


Do you like solving problems? 


Problem solving generally I quite enjoy. I wouldn’t say that’s my favourite bit but that’s a good part. Fixing something you didn’t know how to fix. 


Where do you get the most satisfaction in your role?


I think the most satisfying isn’t the problem solving but the learning that comes from the problem-solving. Fixing the issues is great but the most satisfying bit is the knowledge that you gain from it. The satisfaction that comes from “I know this”. And remembering how to do it the next time. That might be the most satisfying 


What’s the culture like at Sprout?


A very laid-back kind of intense. What I mean by that is that because of the nature of the job and the sector that we work in most things are really intense things to deal with but it’s pretty laid back in the way we approach things generally. It’s very welcoming and it’s not quite what you’d expect from an IT company. It’s very fun. When you hear of IT you think of coffee addicted people hunch over a screen with headsets on and no one’s talking and everyone’s got glasses because you stare at the screen and no one really speaks to anyone and maybe everyone’s a little bit awkward and all of those things are true but it’s not bad. 


At Sprout everyone is coffee-driven and there’s a lot of hunching over screens but it’s also kind of very interactive with your colleagues, very collaborative. There’s always someone who’s willing to help you with something if need to be. You’re not really left to your own devices unless you want to be. 


How would you describe an average day at Sprout


In which season? It changes throughout the seasons. Times like this, the summer, when it’s a little bit quieter, because people go on holidays there aren’t as many phone calls and there’s a lot more time focused on making sure that documentation is correct, working on the backend of the service whereas during busier times like back to school times, mid-September, just before and after Christmas it’s pretty much like phone calls. It has its peaks. 


How would you describe the relationship with the senior management and CEO/COO here? 


I think they’re very accessible. If there’s something you need you can get it, I’ve never felt I couldn’t speak to anybody if I needed to. 


Who’s your favourite person at Sprout?


My favourite person is Osman. He’s very quiet - or he pretends to be very quiet - he’s the sort of person who’s quiet around those he’s not 100% comfortable with but if he’s comfortable he’s very sassy. He’s saying and doing things all day long but usually just loud enough for me to hear it. 


What has been the best social event in your opinion?


I think it’s probably the Christmas party in 2017. It was nice to have a sit down dinner - it gave us the ability to talk to each other and we as a team went out afterwards. 


Now that you are moving from 1st Line to 2nd line, what’s the biggest challenge in your new role?


The biggest challenge in any role is the initial learning steps you have to do. Especially that I didn’t have any IT experience before I started so I wasn’t building on knowledge I already knew. Sometimes you just have to learn from scratch. Also it’s the wider scale. When you work in 1st line it’s very individual. Usually it’s that person’s problem. When you’re working on second line it’s more wide-spread - it’s more likely an issue that affects multiple people. You rarely deal with more than one person as a first liner. As a second liner you can end up dealing with multiple people so that’s definitely the main difference in working in 1st line and 2nd line. 


Does your recent promotion from 1st line to 2nd line excite you or do you find the transition a bit daunting? 


I like learning so I’m looking forward to it. What is living if you’re not learning? 


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