Doing a degree as well as an apprenticeship was the best decision I made; I am gaining experience in the industry as well as learning the theory behind it.
Name: Tiffany Pedley
Apprenticeship: Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?
I wasn't 100% sure about committing to university for 3 years, as I wasn't sure what I wanted to do once I finished my degree. Doing an apprenticeship is allowing me to get experience at the same time as studying a full-time degree, and is giving me the opportunity to decide what career path I want to go down in the future.
What do you enjoy most about your Oxford Brookes academic course (at Abingdon and Witney College)?
I enjoy being able to relate the theory we learn to the industry. This helps consolidate what I have learnt and makes it more fun and easy to remember what we are studying on the course. All of the lecturers are great as they try and relate aspects of the course to the industry that you are in. Many of the assignments can be related to the business that you work in which makes it easier to write. Most of the people that are doing this course are also Level 6 apprentices, which makes it even better to talk about what we are going through. We all get on as a group too which is even better!
What do you think are the challenges and benefits of combining work and study through an apprenticeship?
I think that working in a full-time role and doing an apprenticeship is never easy. Time management, at first, was my biggest challenge. Ensuring that I was spending enough time on work, studies and myself was hard, but this definitely got easier as I worked out how to manage my time. The benefits outweigh the challenges. I am able to use what I learn in the classroom to my day to day work, which is really useful, also allowing me to bring new ideas to the team. This apprenticeship has also allowed me to find out what I find most interesting, helping me choose what role I would like to go into in the future.
Can you give an example of where your learning through your apprenticeship has had a positive impact on your role at work?
There are many ways in which studying has helped me in my role at Nielsen, one aspect of the marketing module helped me identify why one of my client's products were in decline. This really helped my client as well as my manager to understand one of the possible reasons for the products decline.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?
I enjoy doing sports, such as Netball. I also go to the gym and classes at my local gym. I spend a lot of time with the other apprentices outside of work and Uni, going to the cinema, shopping and going out on the weekends. We are definitely not missing out on the normal uni life!
What are your career/development plans once you have completed your apprenticeship?
I hope to find a permanent role within Nielsen, and find a job that I am passionate about by the end of my apprenticeship.
Anything else you'd like to contribute that would give other potential students a feel for what it's like to study a Brookes degree as part of an apprenticeship?
Doing a degree as well as an apprenticeship was the best decision I made, I am gaining experience in the industry as well as learning the theory behind it. This is different to doing a 'normal' degree as I am able to find a job I enjoy and am passionate about at the end. Even though it is hard work, I really enjoy myself and I know others do too.