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My DST story: Phill Barlow

04 Apr

DST is filled with driven and skilled team members from all walks of life, who work in a range of functions from technology to customer service.

As a company, we’re taking the time to celebrate some of our unsung heroes, revealing more about the work they do and how they came to be part of the DST team. First up is Phill Barlow. Here’s part one of his story:

I came to DST looking for ‘just a job’ but found a career

When I joined DST in 2008, I was simply looking for a job to pass the time and pay the bills. My background was in security, working as a doorman and bouncer, and when I was made redundant I decided to look for something with more regular hours. DST offered me a role as a member of the security team, where I worked mainly in the warehouse putting my previous experience and skills to good use. However, eventually I decided that I needed a change and wanted more for myself. I didn’t want to do security for the rest of my life, so I started looking for something else.

Good things take time – and effort

From this initial ‘epiphany’ moment when I realised there was more for me than just security, it took a good year or so for me to put the steps in place to actually do something about it. This was a learning curve – I learned that I had to go out and make things happen for myself.

This drive and ambition were put to the test when I badly injured myself playing field hockey, leaving me off work and essentially stuck within my house. I quickly discovered I needed more stimulation than just daytime TV during my recovery, so I went online and found a range of free courses that could help me pass the time. The one that got me hooked was the first I did – an introduction to astronomy. This was a hugely detailed course that really took me out of my comfort zone, and did more than simply passed the time – it challenged me and gave me a sense of encouragement. This one course set the ball rolling for my personal development.

I did it for the enjoyment of learning

Once I’d recovered from my injuries and returned to work, I found myself itching to learn and resume my courses. I was used to keeping my brain active and went from around 50 hours’ of study a week to nothing, so I picked the next course I’d do in my spare time – one in computer programming. The first astronomy course I did recommended learning how to use Python in order to calculate equations. Before I knew it, I’d completed five or six different courses in a range of different computer programming languages – including Python and C# - teaching myself how to code.

In the back of my mind I knew I still wanted a career change but I wasn’t quite ready to make the move. Instead, these courses were all about the enjoyment of learning.

Phill’s story doesn’t stop there. After he taught himself how to code, he decided to incorporate these skills into a new career at DST. Stay tuned to read the second part of his story. For more on how you can progress your career with DST, check out our latest vacancies.
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