Day in the Life – Alan Parker
As part of our new ‘Day in the life’ series, we’re interviewing employees of all levels, across all areas of the business to learn a bit more about them and how we all work together here at Three.
Today we’re getting to know Alan Parker.
- Name: Alan Parker
- Job Title: Discovery Partner
- Function: Commercial
- Tenure: 14 years
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I am from a small town called Caterham (where they used to produce the iconic Caterham car or supply it in kit form like a giant Meccano set!) I could be called a creature of habit as I have lived here all but 6 months of my life. The first 6 months in Hoylake, Merseyside which gives me all the justification I need to be a lifelong Liverpool fan! At home with me is my wife Martine who has put up with me for 24 years, my two boys, Henry 15 and Evan 12 and our very naughty working Cocker Spaniel, Jasper. I’m a professional photographer by trade and prior to joining Three I worked in the industry for 15 years.
In a nutshell, describe your role and how you support our business objectives
The role of a Discovery Partner is to empower people to build digital capability through workshops that we design in line with the Digital Skills framework and deliver to thousands of people within our communities. Our support ranges from Ed-Tech workshops in schools and colleges, Charity partnerships in vulnerability, accessibility and mental health, community leadership and volunteering. Often, we find ourselves working with some of the most marginalised people in our society but always through a digital lens, providing key digital skills and a pathway to continuous development. Discovery, delivered through our stores enables us as a business to grow our reach in all our communities and supports our objective of being a trusted brand and will help us to continue to grow. Keep your eyes peeled for a very exciting Discovery In Store update coming very soon!
What does a typical day look like in your role?
It’s difficult to typify a day for me and the other Discovery Partners and that’s purely on the basis that we have such a variety of groups that we work with, and the agenda of those workshops can differ so much, they could be based on a term topic, a social issue, or another specific requirement. But that’s what makes the role so interesting and so varied. To give you a flavour, I could be in a strategic meeting to develop a plan to support people in recovery learn key digital skills that will support a pathway into employment. I could be delivering training to youth group leaders that empowers them to deliver our workshops under our brand umbrella promoting the benefits of digital in a practical application. I could be standing in front of 90 secondary school students in an e-safety workshop challenging them on the dangers of grooming, radicalisation, and misinformation to name but a few. Or I could be in Discovery with a group of people all keen to learn how to get the most out of their device and the apps associated with it. There’s also a fair share of admin which I’m less keen to talk about.
What is on the cards for the second quarter of 2022 in your world?
The Discovery roadmap for 2022 is one that encompasses much of what I have mentioned already. In this next quarter we continue to have a big focus on digital curriculum especially in primary schools. The digital divide in children is one that is widely reported to have grown in the last 2 years (in a negative way) and this is very noticeable to the Discovery team. Schools lack device funding, teachers and teaching assistants have received no formal training and often revert to paper exercises in the face of adversity. We know that without these skills, future jobs may not be accessible to these children when the time comes, we are also prioritising virtual workshops for teacher training made even more possible with our partnership with the charity, Computing at Schools.
Continuing with the Ed-Tech sector, we will be finalising E-Safety workshops in secondary education (which is an overspill of internet safety week from February). We then focus on STEM subjects brought to life through digital with some schools focus of trying to get girls more interested in these subjects.
From a vulnerability point of view, we are working with the charity St Mungos Digital Recovery College with a program of digital workshops that support people to rebuild their lives after homelessness,
We have Autism and Accessibility awareness days that the team will be delivering a bespoke set of workshops that will empower people to utilise digital as part of their everyday lives, supported by many of the amazing apps that can be downloaded for free.
We will be formerly introducing our Community Leadership program that develops digital capability for group leaders that can then be delivered among their groups utilising specific Discovery Toolkits.
We have a few other things in the pipeline that are yet to be formalised, but equally exciting and rest assured we will be shouting rather loudly about them as soon as it’s possible. So far this year we have delivered Discovery Workshops to over 3700 people and Q2 is only going to get bigger, so you can see the impact that we have as a team of just 4 people!
Give us a fun fact…
In my early days with Three I was the store manager of Guildford which had a large contingent of international students’ resident at the University of Surrey. One day while at work I found myself surrounded by Chinese students all desperate to have their photograph taken with me. Showing my total confusion but graciously obliging to the unlikely paparazzi in front of me, it was soon apparent that they thought I was Hugh Grant! I Never did quite figure that one out……