George Summerville – Starting a brand new IT apprentice role, completely from home!

Hi I’m George Summerville, a first year IT apprentice at AstraZeneca. My apprenticeship is four years in total, consisting of several eight month ‘rotations’. Each rotation gives us a completely unique opportunity to step into a brand new role where you will learn new skills and gain invaluable work experience.

Alongside my day job at AstraZeneca, I also study a BSc in Digital Technology & Solutions at Manchester Metropolitan University. This degree is fully funded by AstraZeneca, and gives each IT apprentice a highly respected level six qualification by the end of it.

Starting my first ever full time job from home

The COVID-19 pandemic forced us all into a very uncertain and for some worrying and stressful time. Thankfully, the support and care from my colleagues and mentors at AstraZeneca was a silver lining through it all. Starting my first ever full time role completely remotely was incredibly exciting, however there was always a thought of ‘what could have been’ if we were starting in the office as past apprentices had. It was a pleasure that this thought was soon forgotten thanks to the engagement and support from the managers of my apprentice programme. We were instead challenged to set tough goals and focus our energy on these whilst working from home. This adaptable approach is a credit to the excellent support network surrounding each and every apprentice at AstraZeneca.

Reflecting on my first year as an IT Apprentice at AstraZeneca

My first year at AstraZeneca has gone by in a flash. I have worked for two different teams on a variety of challenging projects. During my first few months in role, I mainly worked as a project support, learning from experienced colleagues and gaining experience in skills such as stakeholder management, project management, collaborative working between time zones and many more. Since then, in the latter months of my first year, I have been given the opportunity to lead my own project and put these skills into practise. With thanks to this brilliant apprenticeship opportunity, my first year has seen me move from an aspiring college student to an independent IT professional.

Advise for you when you apply to your role in IT

CV – I can’t stress enough how much a well written, personable CV will increase your chances of getting a role in IT. Your CV is the first step of your application process and will set you apart from the hundreds of others applying. Make sure you spend lots of time on it and get parents, teachers and if possible an industry professional to help you improve it.

Best of luck!



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