We caught up with student Beth Bull to find out how she has been finding her time on our Business Management Degree Apprenticeship sponsored by the BBC.
Why did you apply for the BBC Higher Apprenticeship?
I didn’t want to take the traditional route into work. The thought of paying for another three years solely in education didn’t appeal to me. I’ve always had a part time job on the side of school so it was a no brainer to take an apprenticeship, despite the stigma that is attached to some. Having the BBC brand and the Pearson College London name supporting this apprenticeship gives it a higher status that will look attractive to any employer.
I also knew that I would receive more specialised training in a particular industry through an apprenticeship, and the world of business is so broad that you can take a degree in business and run with it. There are some things that a classroom cannot teach you, and I believe the most valuable way to learn is through participating, making mistakes and being truly submerged in the working world to get a 360 view.
How did it feel to be chosen?
When I applied, I thought ‘I’m probably not going to get it, but what’s the harm in applying’… and I proved myself completely wrong. I would say to anyone who is thinking of applying, absolutely go for it, and you might surprise yourself! The BBC are looking for authentic, enthusiastic and hard-working people, not someone with four A* A-levels and a million certificates that prove they can pass an exam. They want to hear about real experiences that you have gone through and how you learnt from them and how they have shaped you into the person you are today. I thought I wouldn’t have enough experience and skills to be chosen, but the BBC are really just looking for someone who is adaptable to different environments and how much you can change your behaviour to suit certain situations. The process of applying is long, but if you really put 100% into the application form, interview and assessment day, and keep telling yourself that you are good enough, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t get the job.
Tell us about your experience at the BBC – what placements have you completed? What’s been your favourite project?
My three placements have been across BBC Worldwide; BBC Academy; COO (Chief Operating Officer) Group and in Online Digital News. I think I learnt the most from my first placement at Worldwide; the tasks were mainly financial based so it was a challenge to get to grips with, but people are always there to support and guide you until you feel comfortable enough doing it yourself. My second placement at the Academy was a lot more informal in a good way. They are a large department which was great for me as I was able to gain a wide variety of experience. Despite being a business management apprentice, I was given a lot of creative freedom.
The BBC is such a diverse corporation and presents many opportunities, for example I got to work on Children in Need as a production runner which was so much fun. The scheme is more than happy to accommodate you, whether you dislike a certain area of work or are looking for extra tasks during slow times, they can move you around and find the best place to suit your needs.
How do you manage working and studying?
I’ll be honest; it’s not for the faint-hearted. It can get really busy at times, especially if you get given a lot of immediate deadlines at work, whilst trying to write an 8,000 word essay. Having said that, a lot of the work is intertwined. For example, at Pearson College London we are given SML’s (self-managed learning modules) and we have the capability to choose a topic too. The majority of apprentices chose a topic related to their current work placement, for example I wrote my last report on why the BBC struggle to recruit female applicants into the engineering apprenticeship. This is great because you have an abundance of first-hand information that you can use in your essay to make it more authentic and spin a new light on topics that are saturated with research.
What is your favourite part of studying at Pearson College London?
The diverse range of work. I am on the BA Honours Business Management course which covers management, marketing, finance and law. This is a good range of topics, which all interlink together into the wider work of work. The style of teaching is also very unique. All of the lecturers have industry knowledge in their field of expertise. For example last year we had our very own marketing guru Ritchie teaching us all about the world of Direct Line and Unilever, which is information you cannot find in a text book!
Looking for an opportunity to get into the world of work, earn money and gain a Business degree at the same time? Applications are now open till January 15th 2017. Apply today!
Find out via the Telegraph about the 7 common misconceptions about apprenticeships.
Interested in studying Business from within a FTSE 100 Company? Check out the Pearson Business School section of our website