Jasmine Okoye

Tell us a little bit about you?

My name is Jasmine Okoye, I studied Economics, Accounting and Psychology for A-levels. I am from South East London with Nigerian decent. I am into athletics and cooking. I am currently starting my own catering business with my aunt called ‘Chi Chi’s Kitchens’ named after my African name. Athletics has always been a sport I loved since I was little, training now 3 times a week. 

What are you studying?

BA (Hons) Business Management

Where are you working?

Pearson College London as Talent Development Assistant.

Why did you choose a Degree Apprenticeship?

I never planned to do a degree apprenticeship from the get go. I just did my A-Level exams and enjoyed my summer. People would ask me what I am doing next and I would say my life is on halt now as I do not know, but I left my options open by still applying for University.

Results day came and before I got ready I already knew I got into my insurance university. However, when collecting my results, they weren’t as good as I thought. Feeling disheartened, I was doubting going to university, having a student loan, living away, the whole experience.

My friend then told me about Pearson and how they offer degree apprenticeships with the course I wanted to study, so I applied. I continued to leave my options open by applying for accommodation while going through the interview process. I then got the call one day when I was shopping with my mum that I got the apprenticeship. I then said this is the route I will be taking for the next 3 years.

What have you learnt so far during your work placement?

I have learnt to stand on my own two feet and use my initiative. I am able to work on the pace at which I work and get a lot of things done throughout the day, planning the day ahead with my to-do’s notebook.

How has your placement helped you with your studies?

My work has helped me with my studies as it’s as though I see what I learn. I always compare it to driving, as when you learn the theory and when you do the practical, you see exactly what you learn which is vital in the world of education. My work gives me ideas for my coursework and helps me give examples that I can input into my coursework.  

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

Have your options open, you don’t want to be disheartened if you don’t get a degree apprenticeship and you don’t have a back-up. Be prepared to juggle work and study as it’s not as easy as people may say but it is very manageable if you plan your time.

When in an interview, express why you think they should invest in you, as they are paying for your degree and paying you an annual salary.

Be confident and patient. Things always work out in the end.