Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship? 

Before starting my apprenticeship, I studied 4 A-levels and I particularly enjoyed economics and finance which is why I applied for PPE at university alongside apprenticeships in those fields. My parents (thank you!) initially brought up the idea to apply for a few apprenticeships and why I initially started looking into them.  

The reason I chose to do an apprenticeship is because I really liked the idea of learning more about my area of interest whilst putting it into practice. Prior to this, I had very little work experience and I thought this apprenticeship would give me a taste of the working world where I can apply my knowledge and learn lots of new skills.  

Also getting my degree paid for and earning some money alongside my apprenticeship is quite nice! 

How did you find your apprenticeship and what was the application process like? 

I found out about this apprenticeship by doing a quick google search. I found this one on the government website for apprenticeships. Additionally, my career advisor at college helped me look for apprenticeships and practice for interviews. She was incredibly helpful and was the reason why the application process ran so smoothly for me, particularly with the presentation and interview portion of the application.  

While application processes tend to differ by apprenticeship, the GES had 3 parts: the initial application with some online judgement tests, a writing portion and finally a combined presentation and interview.  

What has your experience been like so far? 

Really positive! The university modules and workload tend to go hand in hand, as they aim to make the modules you do similar to the type of work you. This is why some of my university modules have really helped with the tasks I do at work and the work made some of the economic modules easier.  

The best part of doing my apprenticeship is picking up lots of new skills and I personally get to work on many different projects that require different skillsets meaning there are plenty of opportunities to develop.  

Another great thing about the apprenticeship is the level of support you get. Everyone is easy to approach, eager to help and answer any questions I have. The university also has many places you can go for help on modules as well as an apprentice advisor which is sort of a middleman and helps with your progression throughout the apprenticeship.  

I think one of the harder parts of the apprenticeship is learning to manage your time between working, uni work and a social life. Although you get a day to do university work, at the start of the apprenticeship, especially during exam times, it can be more difficult to manage and 1 day may not feel like enough. Luckily, we do get an extra 6 days we can take for academic reasons and as you progress throughout the apprenticeship you do get a better handle on your time management. I find timetabling works well for me and dedicating some time for myself each week for activities I want to do.  

Do you have any advice for students thinking of doing an apprenticeship? 

Some of my best advice for people thinking of doing an apprenticeship is firstly to just apply!  

Up until the start of summer I thought I’d be going to university and yet here I am with no regrets. Regardless of age or background it’s definitely worth applying as there are so many different people on my apprenticeship. 

Even if you don’t have a background in the apprenticeship you’re applying for, they tend to start with the basics to set up a foundation of knowledge so everyone has equal footing and there’s plenty of support whilst working. When thinking of applying I would recommend looking at what level apprenticeship you want to do, so you have an idea of what work you will be doing and the company you may work with. Research is so beneficial as there’s lot of advice online, I found it was very much like applying for a job. 

What are your ambitions for the future?  

I am a little unsure on my goals for the future but would like to get my masters after this (hopefully on another degree apprenticeship) and then work with organisations that help others such as non-profits or 3rd sector organisations, where I can also apply some of my economics knowledge. My goal is to get enough experience so one day I can open my own charity to reduce homelessness.