DofE stories

ao.com

Matt works as an IT Site Support Engineer at ao.com

“I work as a Site Support Engineer my main responsibilities are to look after the Companies Laptop, Desktops, Mobile phones and everything in between! I am primarily based in the Head Office in Bolton however we have to look after all of our UK sites ranging from Manchester, Crewe and even to our out bases in Scotland and Wales. We also have an office in Germany and I have been fortunate enough to travel over there to help setup this new office and help our German Engineers.

After spending 18 months completing the DofE, heading up to Scotland to visit the palace and receive my Award really was an amazing opportunity. I really enjoyed getting suited and booted, who doesn’t enjoy a chance to dress up for an occasion? Getting the chance to meet HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and have a chat with him really was amazing. I’ve learnt so much from the DofE programme and really feel grateful to have the opportunity presented to me.”

Chloe is the Customer Review Manager at ao.com

 “I oversee the review platform and work on social and brand projects. I have been at ao.com for three and a half years, I started as a customer service advisor when I was asked if I wanted to do my DofE. I jumped at the chance as it sounded like such a good opportunity to push myself.

 For my DofE I did 76 hours of volunteering. As well as doing one off serving at charity events and taking phone calls for comic relief, I volunteered at a local school on a Saturday. It was called the Halle Shine project at Pikes Lane Primary School. Children from surrounding schools came here on a Saturday for extra learning, fun and games, to learn an instrument and get to know the people they may be going to high school with. Over my time here I saw the children become more confident and make friends. It was very rewarding and I really enjoyed my time there.

I also took time to learn new skills that could develop me in the work place. Over 46 hours of new skills were logged and it didn’t stop there. I went on to join the brand team at ao.com where I learnt even more. I have now helped to organise over 16 national TV adverts and continue to enjoy learning more on the brand team.

As part of my DofE I had to show I was physically prepared for the expedition. This was difficult for me as I have a slipped disc in my lower back, which caused me to limp if I had ever did too much on it. In preparation for the DofE expeditions, I went to a rehab personal trainer and worked with him over a 12 month period. This totally changed the way I walked and now I hardly suffer with the pain I had in my legs and back. It was very tough and there were lots of tears but it was worth it.

That’s why the Gold DofE Business Award has truly changed my life, not only on a professional level but also on a personal level too.

 I would recommend anyone who is unsure on if they should do the DofE to go for it, it will be tough and it will test you to your limits but you will come out the other side feeling so proud that you have achieved something.”

 Chris works as a Transport Operator at ao.com

 “I have been with AO.com for over five years now. My role involves maintaining our AO logistic Fleet which ranges from 3.5t sprinter vans to 7.5t home delivery vehicles in our adverts to our 44ton euro Daf’s pulling our mega trailers for the trunking operation. I am also responsible for checking our drivers and making sure they are on time, as well as dealing with any breakdowns they have on the road.”

“Completing the Gold DofE Business Award has given me the confidence to push on in my AO career and more importantly has helped me in my personal life gaining confidence and loosing so much needed weight. The memories and friends I have gained from the Award are really life changing and make you look at everything in different way. I would definitely recommend DofE to anyone.”  

Becca works as a route planner at ao.com

“I route the orders onto the vehicles for delivery. I have worked at AO for almost four years and I started as a quality officer when I was told about doing a DofE programme, knowing what kind of an opportunity this was I knew I had to do it.”

To achieve my Gold DofE Business Award I have to do 24 hours physical training which I did with a personal trainer, 46 hours of new skills which I did with administration within my company and 72 hours volunteering on a local allotment, helping an older couple maintain their plot. I also took part in 2 residential away days involving team building, training in level 1 sailing which leads to our practice expedition in Wales canoeing down the river Wye and finally our final expedition canoeing across the Great Glenn in Scotland.

As well as all of these challenges we had to face we had to present our experience to our friends, family and the directors of our company, which at first was terrifying but we soon found it to be very enjoyable. Being able to show people what we had actually achieved was an amazing feeling.

Achieving my DofE has given me more than I ever imagined it could. I now thrive for more confidence in my work life and social life and it has helped me develop within all aspects of my life. I now see scary challenges as a goal to achieve. Since completing my DofE programme I have taken part in a star program at AO which has developed me as a person even further, pushing me to be the best I can be and seeing something in myself I didn’t know I had.

I would highly recommend the DofE to all young people, it gives you self-belief and courage to go that extra mile and even get to know yourself better.”

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