Digital Apprentice Wins National Award

3 July 2024
Time to read
2 min read
Digital Apprentice Student holding her national award
Xenia Zimmermann

An apprentice studying with the University of Suffolk is celebrating after scooping a national award.

BT apprentice Xenia Zimmermann is studying software engineering and won the Professional Development Award at the recent IT and Digital Apprenticeships Awards held in Birmingham.

Reflecting on her award win, Xenia said: “I am so honoured to have won this award.

“I was up against some brilliant apprentices who should all be proud of what they have achieved.

“I've grown a lot throughout my apprenticeship at BT and the University of Suffolk and it is so nice to be recognised for my work and learning.”

Xenia was interviewed prior to the awards finals and was able to share more details about her work and projects.

This included repurposing two out-of-service but still operational subsea fibre cables for research, thus extending the cables’ lifetime and allowing research organisations access to these cables which are costly to install and maintain.

In addition, Xenia also highlighted her direct support for school-aged students and other apprentices by hosting work experience at BT for students in 2022.

She is currently hosting two year 12 students and has been an apprentice buddy for a student in the year below her, as well as providing support to other apprentices.

In awarding the Professional Development Award, judges looked for skills competence as well as contribution to business and they praised Xenia’s “deep understanding for professional development within her role”.

Dr Syed Aslam, course leader in Digital and Technology Solutions (Apprenticeships) at the University of Suffolk said recognising apprentices and their work is very important.

“All our apprentices work hard every day and awards such as these put them in the spotlight and encourage others to look at apprenticeships an an option.”

Commenting on Xenia’s success, Yvonne Malpass, Director of Apprenticeships at the University of Suffolk, said: “We are so proud of all our apprentices here and we congratulate Xenia on being recognised with a national award for all her hard work.

“To showcase apprentices on the national stage gives them the acknowledgement they deserve, and it shows apprenticeships in a great light.”

Fellow BT Apprentice and University of Suffolk student, Zac Ketteringham also reached the national finals in the Cyber Apprentice of the Year category.

For more details about Apprenticeships at the University of Suffolk go to Our Apprenticeships | University of Suffolk (

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