Adam Murgatroyd - FdSc and BSc (Hons) Applied Computing
Adam Murgatroyd completed his Apprenticeship and Foundation degree at Leeds City College which has led to him winning Student of the Year 2015-16 for his hard work and consistent efforts in his studies. Here is his story:
Having finished A-Levels at my local sixth form college, I was ready for my next step in education. I had applied to universities, but was unsure whether this was the right move for me. A major IT company were offering a three year apprenticeship programme, and I became aware of these through a stand at an apprenticeship fair, and a presentation at my sixth form. Consequently, I applied to my employer and became an apprentice in September 2012, having no previous IT background, other than GCSE IT qualifications.
Throughout the three year program I have gained formal and professional qualifications, ranging from a Foundation Degree in Applied Computing at Leeds City College to becoming a qualified ITSQB software tester. Having the opportunity to study a degree whilst gaining professional qualifications enables you to build a rounded CV and gain further experience. I have taken every opportunity that has been put my way, and this has seen me present in schools in and around Leeds. I have been extremely fortunate and had experiences to work in London, Estonia and Qatar, and have become Leeds City Colleges’ Student of the Year for 2015-16, due to my work as an apprentice ambassador and commitment to my studies. Hard work combined with a little bit of luck, fortune and good-timing, but importantly trust amongst management, tutors and a good support mechanism has resulted in the opportunities I have had.
Alongside the qualifications and academic qualifications, there are fantastic opportunities to work with experienced professionals that are passionate about spreading their knowledge and experience to the next generation. The breadth of knowledge and the benefit this has given me has drastically enhanced my studies and enabled me to go on and gain higher qualifications. These will only benefit me as I progress higher and continue to build my career. As you are working for a company whilst studying, you gain professional skills and competencies that are difficult to work in isolation at university. These can include presentation, communication and time management skills, as well as self-confidence, team work and organisation, to name a few.
All of this does however come at a cost; it takes a lot of time, energy and commitment from the apprentice and the employer.
A well delivered, managed and committed scheme will definitely benefit both the apprentice and employer in the short and long term on all fronts. Other than the initial investment to build momentum, there are very few reasons why employers wouldn’t consider an apprenticeship scheme for their future growth and community investment, in my opinion.
The apprentice will be expected to invest in the scheme, in order to succeed – you only get out what you put in. It is definitely worth the hard work in the end, but the advice I would give to any apprentice is to keep your head above water and ensure that you clearly map out your future, with an end goal to achieve. Make sure you manage your time effectively and realistically, and keep referring back to your plan to ensure you are on track and that your goals are still within reach. Apprenticeships are about the apprentice and the apprentice should reflect this by working hard and by being committed to the company and scheme for the duration. Finally, make sure you celebrate achieving these goals and hold on to how good that feels when reaching the next goals.
Don’t be that person to regret not apply for the scheme that could literally change your life.