Case study

Degree apprentice — Ellie Warburton

Ellie Warburton is doing a Digital & Technology Solutions degree apprenticeship at AstraZeneca in conjunction with Manchester Metropolitan University

Why did you decide to do a degree apprenticeship?

I wanted to increase my skill set in a way that would allow me to learn while working and earning a full-time wage. The degree apprenticeship with Manchester Met allows me to understand the context of what I'm learning and gives me the chance to apply it. And I won't have any debt.

How did you find and apply for your degree apprenticeship?

I had finished my Level 3 apprenticeship at AstraZeneca and landed a permanent role when I was offered the chance to apply for the degree apprenticeship. I had the A-levels required and completed my application by writing a personal statement.

How does the degree apprenticeship work?

I attend Manchester Met every Monday during term times, and work Tuesday to Friday. It works out that I attend university for 30 days a year. It works well because the course allows us to tailor our assignments around the projects we are doing at work. We have two assignments per module and there are three modules per year. At work, I have many responsibilities within my team and love that we are given the opportunity to contribute to really valuable pieces of work and projects.

What do you enjoy about your degree apprenticeship?

I enjoy being able to increase my knowledge and skills, for example gaining experience of the technical aspects and learning to code. It's great that I am able to put my learning in to practice almost immediately. At work I am a very valued member of the team and massively supported by my peers.

What is the most challenging part of your degree apprenticeship?

The biggest challenge is being able to manage my time sufficiently and making sure that I am organised and keep on top of all my work. However, being able to tailor assignments to be based on work really helps with this.

What are your plans for after your degree apprenticeship?

I plan to work my way up in the organisation and be successful. I want to gain as much experience as I can and try new roles to find out what I like and what I don't like.

What advice would you give to anyone planning on doing an apprenticeship?

I would definitely recommend it. I think choosing to go to university as a full-time student is a big decision to make, especially if you are not 100% sure on what it is you want to do and because it costs so much. Degree apprenticeships are a great way to develop yourself and build on your skills and confidence. I don't think you should be afraid to take risks and try new things, it is about building and managing your career and it's okay to say what you enjoy and what you don't.

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