A Degree Apprentices' Story - Niamh MulhallPosted: 20th of June 2019 by Lewis Scott
At age 16, I was happy with my GCSE results and pleased that I had got into Sixth Form, but I was still unsure about the prospect of university. Throughout school, I knew that having a degree would increase employability so I chose to study Business, Spanish, Maths and Psychology at A-Level as I thought this broad range of subjects would increase my options. However, after a year whilst studying A-Levels, I decided it wasn’t the right path for me as I did not enjoy the teaching style or the exams and the idea of going to university became more blurred.
Soon after, I started an 18-month Level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship at the NHS as a Medical Junior Doctor Coordinator across two sites. I really enjoyed being in the workplace and learning on-the-job but I was unsure of my options once it was completed. I was aware of the Level 4 qualification in Business Administration but it wasn’t until my tutor at the NHS told me about Degree Apprenticeships that I did my own research. I started looking online and came across Pearson College London. I loved the idea of gaining a degree whilst working simultaneously and learning new skills, so I applied for the Pearson degree apprenticeship programme.
Applying for a Degree Apprenticeship
After passing the first stage of my application I was invited to a workshop at Pearson College London. I loved the atmosphere as being in central London really appealed to me. The sessions went well and I enjoyed working with like-minded individuals. Whilst I wasn’t sure exactly what the assessors were looking for, I knew that being vocal, challenging others' ideas and proposing solutions was important to stand-out.
It felt very surreal when I got a phone call to say they wanted to interview me as I really wasn’t expecting to get to that stage. Whilst I was nervous, I made sure I knew some background knowledge about Pearson and the College and was prepared for the interview. After half an hour of questions and a small Excel-based test, I left Holborn feeling unsure about the outcome. A few days later I got another unexpected phone call to say I was successful and my job role would be working as a Data and Insight Assistant.
How can a Degree Apprenticeship help you?
Since starting my apprenticeship ten months ago, my confidence has increased and although I had experience in a professional role previously, I have learnt a lot about the education sector and the wider world of work. In the beginning, working in a large team was a shock but now it is clear how each sub-team operates and how our work influences the wider business decisions. I have learnt to produce work of a high standard as I regularly share research with the executive team and proactively seek areas for development within the workplace.
The main skills I have developed within these past ten months are my communication skills: being clear and concise is always effective and the ability to accept and learn from feedback. In my opinion, my work ethic has always been strong and therefore I like being around people with similar mindsets. I am a well-organised person but my time-management abilities have adapted since starting this course; I now juggle work, a degree, personal responsibilities and commuting every day.
In the future, I would like to complete a Master’s degree in a Business or Data-related topic and perhaps gain work experience in a different sector. I know I definitely want to continue in a role involving data analytics as I find it interesting to look at how data can support different teams within a business and influence operations.
If you are interested in any apprenticeship or degree apprenticeship opportunities please visit Not Going To Uni.
If you don’t get scared around numbers, rather love playing with them; you should be considering “accounting” seriously. And if you still...
About Leiths Over the years, Leiths has trained over 4,000 creative, individual, passionate food professionals. We’ve seen them progress from their...
Do you love to play around numbers and want to step into the accounting and finance sector? Or, maybe you want to take your accounting career to the...