Exploring the Benefits of a Degree Apprenticeship: A Path to Successful Career Development
3 years on from embarking on the degree apprenticeship journey with MGISS, I have now graduated with a First Class Hons and Merit in Digital Marketing from UCLAN. People often ask me what it was like doing a degree apprenticeship, balancing work alongside studying, and in honesty, it’s exactly how that sounds on paper, a challenge! The challenge was made even more difficult through the pandemic, meaning the majority of my course was online lectures and no face-to-face teaching or communications. These challenges have made the result even more rewarding for me and in this blog, I will be talking about the incredible opportunities this has given me.
I think what is underestimated with the Degree Apprenticeship scheme is that theory and skills are not the only aspects that get developed during the time on the course. Because the nature of the course means that you can implement ideas, and theories back into your business in real-time, this developed a lot of character-building skills for me personally, such as organisation, communication, and confidence.
The latter being the most important, having the confidence to take ideas from the course and implement them in day-to-day work is an excellent way to develop especially as a young marketeer. However, for this to truly work the organisation must be fully committed and understanding of the degree apprenticeship. MGISS has given me the platform to develop personally, welcoming ideas brought to the table and giving me the confidence to implement learnings throughout my 3 years as a student.
Having the opportunity to directly try and implement learnings from university lectures is a great and practical way of developing as a Digital Marketer, it allowed me to make instant judgments on which techniques/theories are relevant to the business and which perhaps are not translatable for this particular organisation. The other aspect of this is having a class work for completely different types of organisations and seeing what techniques they use and what they have found to be successful.
The structure of the course meant that I was working with MGISS Monday-Thursday, with Friday being the studying day where I would go to campus or complete lectures virtually, with assignments and tasks to be completed in my own time. Getting the balance right was difficult at times, managing time between being a full-time employee as well as a student and having student workloads.
However, MGISS has been extremely understanding of my situation, realising I have deadlines and commitments to the university. My advice for anyone else thinking about completing a degree apprenticeship is to be as open and honest as possible with your employer, about when you have deadlines approaching, and if you’re ever feeling stressed/overwhelmed with the workload – being open is the best approach.
The work that I put in for the last 3 years both at MGISS and UCLAN, has been worth it. I now have finished my studies and returned to the full 5 days of working with MGISS. I feel as though I am more confident not just in my marketing skills/abilities but also in myself as a young adult. Discussions and presentations in class have helped me become a more all-rounded marketer and feel as though because of the relationship and trust I have built with MGISS, I am able to communicate clearly and able to contribute in a much more all-rounded way in terms of strategy and planning.
I would absolutely recommend this route of education for both employers and employees. It’s a great way to continue learning while providing immediate contributions and results into the organisation, not to mention the obvious financial benefits (no student debt!) Even if you are already an employee somewhere, but want to enhance your skills further, I would absolutely recommend this route to both parties.
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