A-Z Of Employers: T-Mobile

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The Independent Online

What does it do?

The company is the offspring of the Anglo-German merger in 1999 of the mobile phone businesses One 2 One and Deutsche Telekom. Like all its rivals, it has to innovate to maintain business growth now that mobile phone ownership on its own has reached saturation levels. Among its latest wheezes is a tariff called Web'n'Walk, which lets phone users surf websites on the move. The company is also pumping money into widening its network of "hotspots", where laptop users use the network to access the internet. You get a feel for T-Mobile's target audience when you see where its marketing department spends its budget; it part-sponsored this year's football World Cup in Germany and the European summer leg of Robbie Williams's world tour.

Vital statistics

Of its 80 million customers worldwide, one-fifth live in the UK. T-Mobile employs about 5,900 staff in Britain, more than 60 per cent of whom deal directly with customers.

The office

The UK HQ is in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. This is the hub for a dozen other centres and 260 high street shops around the country.

Is this you?

Up to 40 graduates are due to be recruited next year, in technology, finance, marketing, retail and HR roles. A 2.1 is a must, as is a relevant degree for the technology positions. All will need to show a passion for cutting-edge technology.

The recruitment process

Graduates apply online, via www.t-mobile.co.uk/careers, where updated details for the October 2007 intake will be posted soon. After initial screening, some applicants are selected for a phone interview, during which they are asked for three words they associate with T-Mobile. Next come online psychometric tests, for verbal and numerical reasoning. Finally, there's a one-day assessment centre jam-packed with interviews and tasks, including delivering a pre-prepared presentation on a business topic. Here, it's not so much your presentation skills being judged as the content and planning of what you say. Throughout the day, each candidate is personally observed by an assessor. Job offers are made within a fortnight. Recruits follow a two-year development programme giving full exposure to the entire T-Mobile business, including retail store, contact centre and technical locations.

Top dollar?

This year's starting salary was £24,000. Other benefits include cheaper mobile phone usage, and "mind and body treatments" with onsite therapists at Hatfield.

Beam me up Scotty?

After two years, graduates should be working their way up the ladder. Technology recruits, for example, should have hands-on responsibility for major business projects.

Who's the boss?

Arizona State University graduate Jim Hyde is managing director of the UK operation, having arrived from T-Mobile's US arm earlier this year.

Little known fact

Mobile phones certainly facilitate communication, but the language used to market them is another thing altogether. "The MDA Vario II is the first device to support HSPDA alongside W-LAN, GPRS, EDGE, and UMTS mobile broadband technologies," announces a baffling recent T-Mobile press release.