Tell us a little bit about you?
My name is Miles. I am a driven young professional who prides himself on his ability to communicate and create strong, long lasting relationships. Like many, I have played football from a young age and am now a qualified football coach, coaching an U16 Girls team. My younger brother, George, has downs syndrome which has exposed me to the wacky and wonderful world of children with disabilities. My relationship with George has forced me to develop my communication skills and whenever I am explaining a complex topic I think: “Would George be able to interpret this?”.
What are you studying?
Where are you working?
I work for IBM. I am currently working as an Infrastructure Specialist, however have hopes of moving into a consultancy position so that I can use my interpersonal skills to better effect.
Why did you choose a Degree Apprenticeship?
I chose to do a degree apprenticeship because it gave me the opportunity to get a degree whilst working. At the end of last year, I decided I wanted to get a degree but, having already completed another apprenticeship and working for two years, I did not want to stop developing my professional career. A degree apprenticeship offered me the chance to do both and so I jumped at the opportunity.
What have you enjoyed most about your course?
From a university point of view, I enjoy the discussions, and occasional debates, over different topics and theories that we are studying. This suits me particularly well as it brings up different pros and cons to theories that I may not have thought of. By analysing them as a group I find that I can better create my own opinions on these different theories and thus use them in both my university assignments and my lectures. These open debates in a trusting environment perfectly facilitate these discussions and I feel they really benefit my learning.
What have you learnt so far, during your work placement?
Throughout my work placement, the most important skill I have learned is the importance of time management, especially when you are studying in tandem. I struggled with this at first but have found a combination of different ways of effectively managing my time to ensure I can be as efficient as possible in both aspects of my apprenticeship. One of the best techniques I have made is writing down a weekly task list at the start of the week and then planning my days around this. By doing this I have given myself clarity on my tasks which ensures that I finish them.
How has your placement helped you with your studies?
My placement has allowed me to physically see and utilise the different things that we are taught in our studies. One such example is Tuckman’s ‘Stages of Group Development’, which is a theory on how teams interact when they are created and how these stages impact efficiency, I have been in groups at work where I see these different stages happening. By having this ‘real’ experience I am cementing these theories into my brain and can see how I can put them into effect in the future.
Do you have any advice for anyone applying for a degree apprenticeship?
Be confident in class and don’t be worried about asking questions. Class discussion will allow you to communicate and bounce ideas off of each other, which allows you to build your own conclusions that will stay in your head.