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Simon Jones - Level 7 Senior Leader Degree Apprenticeship

Simon Jones, 47, chose to study the Senior Leader apprenticeship at NTU because he expresses “NTU offers the best blend” of face-to-face learning and independent remote learning. He also mentions how he was able to understand the ‘why’ behind strategic decisions made in the wider business, while simultaneously improving his decision making as a senior leader. Read more to find out about Simon’s experiences and the impact the Senior Leader apprenticeship has had on his professional development.

Why did you choose to do the Senior Leader apprenticeship?

"Working as a senior leader, I felt that I needed to understand the wider context as to how decisions can be made and to strengthen areas where I felt that I had less experience. This led to me exploring different ways to gain this experience and the degree apprenticeship was the correct route for me."

Why did you choose to study at NBS and NTU?

"With the wider business we explored a number of ways to do the course and believed that NTU had the correct balance of face to face learning and independent remote learning. This was compared to providers that were fully online and had longer, less frequent face to face learning. NTU offers the best blend of the two."

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

"From early on, I was able to understand why I made certain decisions and how this has enabled improved decision making. I was also able to articulate to the wider business why we should make certain strategic decisions which would have been more challenging previously. I have changed roles during the course and this has been supported by my ability to think about different areas of the business as well as my background in operations."

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

"Generally the teaching has been good and concise with additional time being made available to discuss questions and issues. My academic mentor has added a great deal of value with context and application of the learning and this has been a key part of my development."

I was also able to articulate to the wider business why we should make certain strategic decisions which would have been more challenging previously.

How have you balanced studying alongside your professional role? How have you found the support from your employer?

"Balancing a full-time senior leadership role with the apprenticeship has been challenging. My employer has given the time for the course and the development with my employee mentor; however the job does not stop. We were told at the beginning of the course that it would take up a lot of personal time and I would definitely share this with potential future candidates."

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

"There were certain topics that I thought would be boring and roles within the business that I didn’t understand the value of until I saw how this was properly applied. I have been able to support these other departments differently as well as my own. I thought that the course would be for my development, but, I like to think the wider business is also gaining from my experiences."

What advice would you give to someone applying or looking to study the Senior Leader apprenticeship?

"It’s tough, but rewarding. Don’t underestimate the time and effort that it takes to complete and go in forewarned. If you fully understand and are willing to embrace this effort you will gain a lot."

To learn more about our apprenticeship courses, please contact apprenticeships@ntu.ac.uk.

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