Class of 2021: a key moment of my degree apprenticeship was training another Junior Engineer

Name: Sally Parker
Degree apprenticeship title: Junior Engineer at Capula Limited undertaken a Digital and Technology Solutions Degree.
Employer: Capula Limited

How did you find out about Tech Industry Gold accredited degree apprenticeships?

When I was at school it was common for university students to visit and talk about opportunities. Like many A-Level students, I applied for my university course and was offered a place at Derby University to study Diagnostics Radiology. However, after finishing my A-Levels I felt I was ready to learn outside of a “classroom”. Having researched into apprenticeships I began exploring opportunities via this route rather than a full-time university course. 

What was the best moment of your degree apprenticeship experience?

Although finishing my degree was a highlight of my apprenticeship, I think the best moments were where I was in a place of high demand as I found this extra stress helped to boost and motivate me to strive to do better, reach further and work harder. Another key moment of my degree apprenticeship was training another Junior Engineer. I believe if you can set a good example and teach someone else how to do something which they are then able to do themselves, this is how you can fully understand something yourself. Having the opportunity to train someone showed me I had developed a wider range of skills and established technical knowledge. Overall, I think my best moments have always been when I have been most challenged!

What was the most challenging experience?

Coming straight from school to the “real-life” of work was a challenge because I had to learn everything on live and active systems. However, companies offering apprenticeships understand this and want to offer opportunities such as working on real systems to help apprentices achieve great things.

What would you say now to yourself before you enrolled on your degree apprenticeship?

In the first days of apprenticeships they were mostly offered in the construction trades, and apprentices would often be carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and so on. Seeing how far apprenticeships have come and how grateful I am to have been given the opportunity to undertake one, I would say well done; you have made a great decision and it has set me up for a long and successful career.  I have definitely found the right position, the right employer, and above all the right career path for my future. That is what individuals need to focus on when looking for an apprenticeship, not the salary. 

What would you say to anyone considering a Tech Industry Gold degree apprenticeship?

Many employers want to develop their own skills and grow their own talent. Apprenticeships are designed to improve the skills and future career progression of participating individuals. When I first joined Capula, I was surrounded by all experienced and knowable engineers within IT. I felt like I had to be a “Jack of All Trades” and know everything about IT. After a year of my apprenticeship, it became clear that everyone is always learning, and no one ever knows everything. 

Who inspires you?

Everyone inspires me – my family, friends, and peers within work.

Find out more about Tech Industry Gold Degree Apprenticeships at Staffordshire University

Read more inspirational stories from the Class of 2021 Hall of Fame