Name: Dana McGuigan
University: Manchester Metropolitan University
Degree Apprenticeship Title: Digital and Technology Solutions (IT Consultant)
Job Title: Techincal Infrastructure Specialist / Project Management Office
What was the best experience of your Tech Industry Gold accredited degree apprenticeship?
For me, the best part of the whole experience has been the people I have met. From fellow students, inspiring lecturers, knowledgeable support staff and supportive managers.
I have enjoyed making some amazing friends and many new connections that I would not have without this degree.
What was the most challenging experience of your Tech Industry Gold accredited degree apprenticeship?
I started my first role in IT when I started this apprenticeship, which was with a different company. Halfway through the 4 years, the company I was working for outsourced much of its IT Infrastructure Services to IBM and as part of the deal, I was moved to IBM.
At the time I was incredibly apprehensive about the move, as I had been with the old company for 11 years and it was all I knew, but I also knew that I wasn’t enjoying my experience or my role there. I found the transition to IBM incredibly difficult despite being able to see that it was a good move for me. Due to the loss of confidence and control I had in my previous company and the difficulty of the change I ended up suffering from some mental health issues.
However, the support I received from my IBM manager, fellow apprentices and the university helped me to work through the issues I was facing and come out the other side smiling and better than before! I am confident that I will be able to cope with any major changes better in the future and use my experience to possibly help others.
What would you say now, to yourself, before you enrolled on your degree apprenticeship?
“It always seems impossible until it is done.” It is a quote from Nelson Mandela that I had forgotten about until recently.
From the first application to the programme to the last assignment I completed, I doubted my ability to succeed. When you are in the midst of a mountain of assignments it can feel overwhelming and your brain may even tell you that it is impossible and you can’t do what you need to do. But you can! I wish I had had this quote as my screensaver during the last assignment season to bolster me!
(It now helps when I have a mountain of housework to complete instead… )
What would you say to anyone considering a Tech Industry Gold accredited degree apprenticeship?
I would wholeheartedly encourage anyone, of any age, experience or aspirations to look into a Tech Industry Gold accredited degree apprenticeship if they want to work in IT.
The Tech Industry Gold accredited degree apprenticeship gives such a well-rounded base of theoretical and practical knowledge that would put you in good stead for any career in IT. If you are not sure what that specific career is that you would like to do, then the apprenticeship allows you to learn about, and explore, many areas of IT to help you decide where your path will lead.
What are you planning to do this summer?
I plan on making the most of not having any assignments to hand in!
I will be spending more time relaxing with my family and friends first and foremost! Apart from that, I have a pile of books that I want to read on my bedside table; I have decided to learn dressmaking and I am continuing my learning with IBM courses to gain more specific knowledge and skills. I am also planning on going on a trip somewhere later in the year but haven’t made any decisions on where yet.
What are your career plans?
I would like to move into a data analytics role so I am currently learning more about data analytics, data science as well as AI and coding and trying to understand the career paths open to me in that general field.
I am taking the opportunity to delve into the vast array of IBM learning courses that are available to me in these areas as well, as until now I haven’t taken full advantage.
Who inspires you?
My mum is my biggest inspiration! She is the most caring, hardworking, strongest and just all-round incredible person I know.
Meet the Class of 2019 and find out more about Tech Industry Gold degree apprenticeships.
Find out more about Tech Industry Gold accredited degree apprenticeships at Manchester Metropolitan University – Course information for students / Course information for employers
View the professional photographs and video taken at the MMU graduation ceremony.