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Inês Castro - L6 Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship - Case Study

Inês Castro, 21, studies at NTU as part of our Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship. In this article, she talks of her experiences whilst studying her apprenticeship and how her developing skills will make her stand out in the job market.

Ines sat at a computer desk

Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?

"There were three main reasons why I decided to choose an apprenticeship at NTU.

  • I wanted to do something which consisted of varied learning (on the job and in the class room).
  • To earn whilst I learn. My degree was funded by my organisation which means I have no debt!
  • I could do a degree and I could actually use and apply learnings within my current role adding practical value.”

What stands out about Nottingham Business School and Nottingham Trent University?

I was drawn to NBS and NTU because of how well recognised they are amongst highly acknowledged and widely cited authorities on quality and performance of institutions globally. For example, NBS has been ranked in the top 100 globally in the Financial Times 2019 Masters in Management rankings.

"I have been able to be involved in numerous high-profile projects within my organisation which has allowed me to meet and work with various stakeholders (both internally and externally to my organisation), expanding my network."

How do you believe this apprenticeship will affect both your current job role and future career?

“This apprenticeship has allowed me to gain exposure to different areas within my job role which I would have not been able to if I just conducted the normal day-to-day job. Because of this, I have been able to be involved in numerous high-profile projects within my organisation which has allowed me to meet and work with various stakeholders (both internally and externally to my organisation), expanding my network.

In terms of the effects of this apprenticeship regarding my future career, I have been able to learn key skills and gain qualifications that future employers want which will make me stand out amongst other candidates.”

"I have been able to be involved in numerous high-profile projects within my organisation which has allowed me to meet and work with various stakeholders (both internally and externally to my organisation), expanding my network."

How would you rate the teaching and support staff on your apprenticeship?

“Given the unforeseen circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my year 2 and year 3 studies were all conducted online. Despite this, the lecturers, mentors, supervisors and course leaders have been able to maintain the same standards and quality of teaching as face-to-face. The support from the staff on this apprenticeship has been great. I can say that when I was ever unsure or in need of extra support there was always someone to guide me through my studies, making sure I was on track of achieving my targets both academically and within the workplace.”

What skills and experience have you gained as part of this apprenticeship? Has there been anything that you were not expecting?

“This apprenticeship has also allowed me to obtain a deep level of understanding and the ability to demonstrate skills such as: operational planning; project management; management and awareness of myself and others; responsibility; and agility, which has improved my own performance in my current job role. This will serve with substantial benefits in my future career given then ability to trail and test theories within the working environment.

One thing I was not expecting was the ability to apply all of the above in my work-based project (dissertation) and actually having this as a live project within my organisation.”

This apprenticeship has also allowed me to obtain a deep level of understanding - with substantial benefits in my future career given then ability to trail and test theories within the working environment.

What advice would you give to students considering a higher/ degree apprenticeship?

Plan - plan your assignments, plan your working day and week. By doing this you are able to be aware of where your development needs are, when you have time to carry out but also some time for yourself.

Take time for yourself – block out at least 30 minutes each day to do something for you (walk, meditate, watch TV/Netflix, gym, see friends and family).

Talk – talk to your employer and university staff. They will understand what you are going though, will be able to support your needs, and provide guidance.

Reflect – this may feel unnatural to begin with, but without this key task/ skill I would have not been able to change the way in which I think, act and approach certain situations differently. This allows me to achieve all KSB’s (Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours) required to complete my apprenticeship.”

We wish Ines all the best as she continues her studies.

If you would like to learn more about apprenticeships at NTU, please contact apprenticeships@ntu.ac.uk.

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