Emma Devlin

Tell us a little bit about you?

Hi, I’m Emma, I’m 18 years old and I have just started my first year as degree apprentice with Pearson College London. I’ve recently finished studying my A-Levels (in Business, History, Media and Product Design). I love travelling, volunteering and getting stuck in with every opportunity I’m given.

What are you studying?

BA (Hons) Business Management

Where are you working?

In the external Relations team for Pearson College London as a Conversion Assistant.

Why did you choose a Degree Apprenticeship?

Fundamentally I knew that going to University was not for me as I’ve always felt that hands on experience is much more valuable than sitting in a classroom. However, I did not want to be held back from progressing my career by not having a degree – therefore, the combination of a degree apprenticeship greatly appealed to me.

I was also keen on continuing learning about Business, because no matter what industry you work for – an understanding of Business operations will always be valuable.

What have you enjoyed most about your course?

One of the course modules, Introduction to Research, has allowed me to explore a topic of my choice that relates to what I’m doing in my job. I have gained a valuable insight into the details behind marketing decisions – something that I have really enjoyed as it links back to my work, making it an interesting topic to study.

What have you learnt so far during your work placement?

In the External Relations team, I have juggled so many different tasks, from learning how to create a new web page, ordering in merchandise, sending out email campaigns, creating direct mail, writing blogs, covering inquiries and helping to run open / taster days. Through this, I have certainly developed soft skills such as team work and time management, however I have also become more component in a range of different software and real business knowledge – which is backed up by what I’m learning in my degree.

How has your placement helped you with your studies?

Seeing how a business runs first hand has helped me to really understand the theory behind business practices and strategies. It is a great way to link my studies back to my work from things I have actually done, rather than simply reading about it.

Do you have any advice for anyone applying for a degree apprenticeship?

  • In your application, you need to show that you’re capable of maintaining a huge workload (studying and working at the same time is not easy!), or are at least passionate enough to try. 
  • You also need to try to stand out from other applicants – be it through your hobbies, an impressive speech you’ve delivered, volunteering, awards you’ve won, or even a part time job. Prepare. 
  • You may not think it, but it is obvious if you have not researched the company or job description before an interview. It is also valuable to prepare answers to potential questions and have a few questions of your own.
  • There are tonnes of things you can do in preparation for a degree apprenticeship application, however don’t get too bogged down on the details and just do what you do best in your own style.