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William Burchell - Level 7 Senior Leader Degree Apprenticeship

William Burchell works in the third sector for Nottinghamshire Deaf Society. Burchell was considering the Senior Leader apprenticeship (SLA) route for a while and wanted to enhance his professional development with an Executive MBA. Through the SLA William has been able to apply his learnings to his day to day work, he expresses “I am a better leader and manager as a result of the structured reflection that comes with the study”.

Why did you choose to do the Senior Leader apprenticeship?

"As I have worked in the third sector for the entirety of my career, I was keen to develop my knowledge and skills in areas that I would not have had opportunity to cover through on-the-job experience. I wanted to take the best of what I was able to learn about the private sector and bring it back to the benefit of the charity I work for."

What stands out about NBS and NTU?

"The NTU Online Workspace (NOW) is very impressive and works smoothly, as does the universities online library resource. The Newton Building is a lovely place to study and attend lectures and in general the quality of the teaching has been very good."

I’ve learned how to contextualise a lot of the things that I relied on gut instinct for before. I have been able to utilise theoretical frameworks to guide my decision making and that has been helpful and, at times, challenging.

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

"I’m not sure I would be in my current job if it wasn’t for this apprenticeship! I moved employers during the qualification, and I believe that the learnings and experiences I was able to take from the apprenticeship made me a stronger candidate. I’m keen to utilise the application of learning in the Business Research project to the benefit of the charity and its beneficiaries and have already found myself using theories and practices that we have been taught in the apprenticeship in my day-to-day practice. I also feel that I am a better leader and manager as a result of the structured reflection that comes with the study."

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

"I think I’ve learned how to contextualise a lot of the things that I relied on gut instinct for before. I have been able to utilise theoretical frameworks to guide my decision making and that has been helpful and, at times, challenging. I think my critical thinking skills are significantly improved, as is my awareness of my own ways of working and my ability to be considerate and supportive to others who have different styles.

I went into the apprenticeship without firm expectations as to what areas of skills and experience I would develop so can’t say that there was anything that I wasn’t expecting, but I definitely feel that my knowledge is more well-rounded and my leadership skills are more developed."

If applicable, tell us about your experience progressing onto the Executive MBA Top-Up.

"I had been considering completing an MBA for some time, and the potential for apprenticeship funding was not something I was aware of. I was discussing this with a colleague, and they let me know that with the support of my employer I might be able to explore this route. I’m really pleased I was able to take this forward."

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

"I would say you should go into it with your eyes open, it will demand a lot of your time and effort and that shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, if you are willing to invest both I would strongly encourage anyone able to consider it to do so. I’ve certainly recommended it to friends and colleagues and have seen the benefit in those who have done so."

If you could describe your apprenticeship in 5 words, what would they be?

"Stretching, stimulating, gratifying, illuminating, enjoyable."

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

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