Women in IT Apprenticeships

Why did I choose to do an apprenticeship and not go to university?

When I was doing my A Levels, university was all anybody talked about. Have you done your personal statement yet? Which universities have you applied for? What course are you doing?

I felt applying to university was very overwhelming but applied as I felt pressured to do so. Apprenticeships were not often talked about during Sixth Form so university seemed, at the time, to be the only option.

I began looking at what apprenticeships were available because I knew deep down I didn’t want to move away to university. When I found the apprenticeship offered by AstraZeneca it got me very excited about the opportunity. It would offer me 4 years work experience as well as a degree. I applied, which led to being invited to an assessment day. A few days later I received a call offering me a place on the degree apprenticeship program.

Tips for interviewing for an apprenticeship

I am sure the thought of a job interview is daunting, but I would give the following advice:

  • Prepare your interview outfit. You don’t want to come to the morning of your interview and have nothing to wear!
  • Be yourself and be honest
  • It’s ok to be nervous, it shows you care about the job you are interviewing for, just try to relax

How do I manage working and studying at the same time?

I quickly found the balance between work and university study. After the first term of university, I found what style I like to learn in. As I am working 4 days a week and study the other 1 day, it motivates me to be organised with my studying. Lists have become my best friend and starting my assignments as soon as I can is a must as I like to gather peer review feedback on my assignments too.

What is it like working at AstraZeneca?

Doing my Degree Apprenticeship at AstraZeneca has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Looking back, I don’t feel like I have missed out on the “university life”. I have an amazing mentor and a fantastic buddy, who are always willing to help and support me. The opportunities I have been given are indescribable and I feel my colleagues at AstraZeneca really believe in me and my ability to do my job whilst studying!

What skills have I learnt during my past 2 years at AstraZeneca?

I am definitely an overthinker and can sometime doubt myself. My line manager from my third rotation in End User Services really taught me to believe in myself and to be more confident in my ability. I once mentioned to him I wanted to work on my presenting skills during my rotation with him, as it’s something that makes me nervous. He gave me the opportunity to present on our team’s all hands call every month to around 600 people! If you’d have told me before I started my apprenticeship that I would be presenting to that many people every month, I wouldn’t have believed you.

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