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Jack Young

Jack Young

Job title: Software Engineer
Organisation: Jaguar Land Rover
Course: Digital Technology Solutions

Reflecting back on your first year of your Degree Apprenticeship with Jaguar Land Rover and WMG – what is the most useful thing you have learnt?

As cliché as it sounds, I have learnt to ask questions no matter how insignificant or silly you think it may sound. There’s always something new to learn so don’t be afraid to ask. Don’t take more work than you can do, if you don’t have time or don’t know how to do something make sure you ask for help as early as possible.


Was the course and Degree Apprenticeship what you expected? If not how/why?

The course was exactly what I expected, but it did present some nice surprises. On the one side, it completely fulfilled my expectations about how intense the course would be and how big the change into the working world would be. On the other, my team and colleagues have been more accommodating than expected and I have been involved in a lot more advanced work than I ever thought I would be. The course really did debunk the myth of apprentices only making the coffee!


Covid-19 meant we had to switch to online learning pretty quickly – how was that experience? What was/is the best thing about online learning (if any)? Any tips?

The switch to online learning has been a quick and difficult one. Thankfully, in my case, a lot of the content of my course can be taught online as most of the software work can be done online. I feel it has given me some extra free time by not having to commute to university. The best part is that I can wake up two hours later than usual! However, I would say face-to-face teaching should always have a place in our education. If you keep your workspace clear, with no distractions, you’ll be fine!


Briefly describe your role and the types of projects/work you have been involved in

I am based in the In-House Software (IHSW) Team in Comfort, Occupant and Restraints Systems (CORS) in Electrical, Electronics & Software Engineering. I am working towards becoming an embedded software engineer mainly working on climate and seat solutions using MATLAB, Simulink and Python. However, over the last year, I have been working on developing a new showroom feature for our vehicles working alongside Marketing Reps, Systems Engineers, Senior Managers and even Chief Engineers to provide a robust solution. The rest of my time has been spent developing applications to support continuous integration (CI) and continuous development (CD) in my home team.


What have you enjoyed the most about your studies?

I have really enjoyed being able to apply what I have learnt at WMG to my work and vice-versa. It has been beneficial to be able to implement knowledge from both sides of the course and get a deeper understanding of what we are learning and why we are learning it.


What skills/knowledge from the course are you applying to your role?

On the DTS course I have learnt about programming in Python, Business Management, Computer Networking, Agile Project Management and Personal Skills for Professional Excellence. All these modules/skills have applied to nearly every project I have worked on. The course has provided me with the skills to plan and execute a project from the initial planning stage to the requirement creating to the code planning & development and then presenting to members of the management teams.


What are your ambitions for the future?

My goal for the near future is to become a highly skilled Software Engineer with knowledge of many languages and concepts to be able to work in any industry. With all the new technologies being adapted at Jaguar Land Rover, as long as the job stays as fun as it is now, I won’t be leaving any time soon. However, in the long term you never know what could happen, I have always wanted to start my own business.


Why did you decide to do a degree apprenticeship?

I chose to do a degree apprenticeship as it provides you with the skills, knowledge, and key behaviours to become an expert in your field while gaining a degree and apprenticeship in the subject. It also has given me the freedom to not have to worry at all about student debt which is a massive benefit.


What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone thinking about doing a degree apprenticeship?

Do your research. A degree apprenticeship is a large commitment, you are signing up to a degree, apprenticeship, and a full-time job so you need to be sure that going straight into the working world is what you want to do! Degree apprenticeships are extremely competitive so make sure you put all the effort you can into your application, online tests, and interviews. When completing your application, be sure to sell yourself. Show how your skills and knowledge, wherever they were gained apply to the course you are applying for.

Find out more about our Digital Technology Solutions Programme or Degree Apprenticeships we offer.