IT apprentice whizz, Kasim Mahmood, turns passion into a career
IT Infrastructure Technician Apprentice, Kasim Mahmood, said being a ‘whizz’ at ICT inspired him to explore a career in IT.
Straight out of high school, Kasim studied ICT, business studies and applied sciences at sixth form before taking on an apprenticeship.
Now working in cybersecurity, Kasim worked for Leeds West Academy for over a year, across multiple sites, ensuring that the technology at all White Rose Academies Trust (WRAT) schools were up and running.
“My job role was quite varied and included troubleshooting networks, computer hardware, pushing out firmware updates, managing phone systems and CCTV.
“As an IT technician, I have discovered that we need to know how to troubleshoot and fix almost anything, so when a student or staff member came to us with an issue, we knew how to resolve it.”
On his former team
Kasim joined the WRAT when he was 18, with only a minimal understanding of IT. He quickly learnt to adapt and said he is grateful to his team for helping him get to grips with the job.
“The ITSS team welcomed me with open arms and they really helped me settle in and get in depth knowledge and understanding of all the technical aspects of the job.
“They also empowered me and placed their trust in my ability to carry out tasks, especially during weeks where I had to be on my own, making sure the buildings’ IT systems didn’t go down.”
Kasim, who completed a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) course also had the opportunity to complete a course in coding and logic.
Looking to the future
Kasim said that there is a skills gap and lack of expertise in cybersecurity and feels he could make a difference and fill that gap now and in the future.
“Being able to help people who have little knowledge in the area, gives me a sense of pride in my work when I’m able to solve a problem.”
Speaking about apprenticeships, Kasim called them ‘the new uni’.
“From my point of view, employers are going to hire you from work experience, not just knowledge.
“The good thing about my apprenticeship is that it exposed me to so many different IT issues that I feel like I have obtained a high level of knowledge as well as work experience. It equipped me with the right skills that future employers are looking for.
“Apprenticeships are also a great way to earn while you learn, making the experience a lot more enjoyable and fulfilling.”