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My journey onto a Degree Apprenticeship

Meet Jaymisha, a current first year Digital and Technology Solutions (DTS) apprentice who discusses her journey onto a Degree Apprenticeship...

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?

It gave me the ability to train in a real workplace environment and directly apply the knowledge I was learning through my studies at university, to daily work as a junior software engineer at Thales. After completing work experience with Thales during Sixth Form I knew I wanted to be able to begin learning within this industry as soon as possible and an apprenticeship would allow me to do just that.

Why was the WMG, University of Warwick the right choice for you? What attracted you to the programme?

Initially when I applied for the apprenticeship with Thales, it was not known what university or provider the course would run with. However, after receiving news that Thales will be working alongside WMG to co-design a digital and technology solutions professional degree apprenticeship, I was more than excited to begin this new journey. Warwick as one of the Russel Group Universities, would be offering strong academic challenge whilst Thales would provide stretching and exciting projects to gain industry competencies, therefore the new partnership was no doubt an excellent choice and made me excited to be apart of it.

How do you balance your time between work and university as a Degree Apprentice?

As part of our Thales contract we get one study day a week where we focus solely on our university work. Time management has been a key skill I have developed throughout my time as an apprentice because you must balance both work deadlines and university assignment deadlines. It requires planning of the tasks that need completing and working out how best to divide your time; I have also found that having a dedicated study space has allowed me to settle down easier for university work and be more productive. Occasionally it is the case that one study day is not enough time, for instance if there are upcoming university exams I need more revision time for, and this problem can easily be solved by communicating with my manager as there is always flexibility regarding study and work time.

How have you been able to apply your learning to in the workplace so far?

One of the first modules we studied at university was Smart Solutions, this consisted of learning both Python and C++. At Thales I work in Air Traffic Management where we design and implement Air Traffic Control software to many different countries around the world. We specifically use C++ for our programming and therefore my learning of the language at university directly impacted the work I was able to do at Thales, allowing me to begin my journey of solving software bugs and implementing code using C++ as a software engineer.

What advice would you give to somebody thinking about doing a Degree Apprenticeship?

The main piece of advice I would give to someone interested in a Degree Apprenticeship is do your research. Fully understanding the role you are applying for and the company with which will provide you this education is very important in helping you make a decision about whether this career path is the best option for you. It would also be extremely beneficial to get work experience with the company you are looking to complete your apprenticeship with; this will give you a good insight into the day to day tasks you may be carrying out and you will be able to talk to people doing the programmes to ask all the questions you have that may help with your decision making. Thales offer work experience and I have to say doing a week of work experience with them during Sixth Form really drove me to apply for the degree apprenticeship and helped me make the decision of choosing this academic path over full-time university.

What do you think makes a good apprentice?

Enthusiasm is key with this career path, if you are genuinely interested in the subject you will be studying, it will give you the motivation for success as an apprentice and will bring you the most rewarding experiences. Although many learning opportunities are presented to you as an apprentice, a standout apprentice is one who constantly seeks to learn new and exciting things in the workplace and engage with every opportunity that is presented to them.

Being an apprentice is a different experience to a full-time university student as we have the responsibility of being in the workplace, but you have the best opportunity to hit the ground running for your future career; the benefits are endless. If you are looking into a degree apprenticeship and have done your research well, I would say go for it!

Author: Jaymisha

Jaymisha is a Degree Apprentice with Thales and is studying at WMG, University of Warwick on the Digital and Technology Solutions (DTS) course. She will be starting her second year in September 2020.

Date
Saturday, 27 June 2020
Tags
Degree Apprenticeship Centre, Digital and Technology Solutions, Featured, Showcase

How to balance your time as a Degree Apprentice

Hannah DHS apprentice

At first, it can feel challenging to keep on top of university assignments whilst also completing work-based placements, but I quickly learned to manage my time to make this task easier! Here are some of the things I have picked up over the last 9 months of being a degree apprentice:

· Break-down long term goals, such as finishing an essay into lots of smaller goals. For example, begin by writing down “today I will make a plan” or “today I will write the introduction” etc. This helps to make things more manageable and less daunting

· Make a to-do list - At the beginning of each day I make a to-do list. Ticking things off motivates me to continue working through my tasks

· Use your commute – I use my train journey to my experiential placements to try to get ahead with some background reading or assignments.

· Plan your week – at the beginning of each week I write down what I want to achieve by the end of the week and then use a planner to schedule this time.

· Prioritize your work – I order my assignments by due date so that I always know what to work on first and avoid missing a deadline

· Plan ahead - At the beginning of the course we were provided with a year view calendar. I refer back to this regularly to allow me to be prepared for periods of time where I may be particularly busy with Uni work

· Try to find links between work and university – I often find that my workplace tasks are relevant to an assignment I am working on, which helps to speed up my research

· Communicate with your line manager – I always try to talk to my line manager about my current university workload and any changes to the university timetable

· Try to attend off the job learning opportunities such as work-based training courses and seminars, as these are often relevant to university work or competencies

· Keep a journal of your work-place experiences as you go along to make it easier to complete your portfolio at a later date

These tips have helped me to manage my time during my first apprenticeship year, but I’m sure I have lots more to learn about how to do this effectively!

Author: Hannah

Hannah is a Degree Apprentice at WMG, University of Warwick on the Digital and Technology Solutions (DHS) COURSE. She will be starting her second year in September 2020.

Date
Sunday, 07 June 2020
Tags
Degree Apprenticeships, Digital Healthcare Science, Featured, Showcase, University of Warwick

Spotlight on: Our Alumni

Imran Lulat completed his BEng Applied Engineering Degree Apprenticeship at WMG, University of Warwick in August 2019 with Jaguar Land Rover and he currently works as a Lead Engineer within Exteriors Systems at the company. With his career progressing from strength to strength, we wanted to catch up with him to see how he was doing since graduating with us.

You won the IMechE Apprentice of the Year Award 2018, tell us more about this achievement

The institution of mechanical engineer’s (IMechE) Apprentice of the Year award recognises the achievements of their Apprentice members, and the contribution they make to the engineering sector, industry and the wider economy. I was put forward for the award by my training manager, who based this on my performance both at work and at university.

It was humbling being the recipient of the award and I think the area that helped in achieving this was my role as a STEM ambassador. I have been a STEM ambassador for over 5 years. In this role I have been privileged to teach students about engineering, manufacturing and the various avenues into engineering (including apprenticeships).

In turn, the award has given me additional recognition in my role as STEM ambassador, as I believe in the importance of giving back and helping the upcoming generation of students to fulfill their career ambitions.

How has your career progressed since completing your apprenticeship?

I completed my apprenticeship in August 2019 and now work as a Lead Engineer within Exterior Systems at Jaguar Land Rover. I am responsible for the delivery of a system (within exterior systems) from concept through to production. My job role is massively varied as I am involved in every stage of the development process; from working with the designers in the design studio through to working with the operators on the assembly line - so no 2 days are the same! I enjoy what I do and the experience I gained during my apprenticeship has proved invaluable so far and will continue to assist me in my future career.

What was it like balancing work and study on your apprenticeship?

I found it challenging at first because the apprenticeship was my first ever job and I did not know what to expect from the world of work. However, it didn’t take long finding a routine and before I knew it, balancing both work and study became the norm - I feel I also speak for my ex-fellow apprentices.

The company recognises the challenge of working and studying and for this reason they allowed us to spend a few hours every week (during work time) to focus on our revision and complete courseworks - which was really supportive of them.

Balancing work and studying improved my organisational and time management skills, both of which are valuable in and out of the workplace. I feel I wouldn't have honed these skills without my apprenticeship.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about doing a degree apprenticeship?

Firstly, I believe you should follow your dreams and pursue something you have a passion for – it is that passion that will drive you in succeeding at whatever it is you want to do.

A degree apprenticeship is an excellent career choice for any young person, as long as they have a strong work ethic, commitment and are willing to apply themselves. It's an opportunity to gain a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree without incurring any debts - in fact you’re getting paid to study!

The combination of work and study does force you to take a lot of responsibilty and gain a level of maturity at such a young age – but don’t let that put you off! A degree apprenticeship allows you to fast track your career path in the area that you’re interested in. This puts you in a competitive position in the workplace, especially when compared to your peers. Looking back, it was a great decision choosing to do an apprenticeship, it was definitely worth it and I would highly recommend it.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about doing a degree apprenticeship?

Firstly, I believe you should follow your dreams and pursue something you have a passion for – it is that passion that will drive you in succeeding at whatever it is you want to do.

A degree apprenticeship is an excellent career choice for any young person, as long as they have a strong work ethic, commitment and are willing to apply themselves. It's an opportunity to gain a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree without incurring any debts - in fact you’re getting paid to study!

The combination of work and study does force you to take a lot of responsibilty and gain a level of maturity at such a young age – but don’t let that put you off! A degree apprenticeship allows you to fast track your career path in the area that you’re interested in. This puts you in a competitive position in the workplace, especially when compared to your peers. Looking back, it was a great decision choosing to do an apprenticeship, it was definitely worth it and I would highly recommend it.

Author: Imran Lulat

Imran Lulat completed his BEng Applied Engineering Degree Apprenticeship at WMG, University of Warwick in August 2019 with Jaguar Land Rover and he currently works as a Lead Engineer within Exteriors Systems at the company.

Date
Saturday, 06 June 2020
Tags
Applied Engineering Programme, Degree Apprenticeships, Featured, Showcase