Being an apprentice is not how I imagined. It’s nothing like being a full-time student, or like studying part-time and working full-time either. As an apprentice, there is no waiting for study-leave to go to lectures. Nor is there any writing up reports in the middle of the night after a full day at work. Working and studying are the same thing. Every day at work provides more evidence and experience for your qualification. Every day studying gives you more knowledge to take straight back to work.
When I started my role, I was immediately sent on a virtual 6-week launchpad course with Ada College. The 6-week course accounted for 3 modules, or half of the first year of my degree. That course took me from almost zero knowledge of the industry to having the outlining knowledge and awareness of concepts and software within the field of data science. During those 6 weeks, I got involved in projects, group work and assignments. This all guided me towards the end goal of gaining the tools to start work in my new role. It also gave me the opportunity to experiment and learn so that I could make any newbie mistakes in relative safety away from work.
Over the next 3 years I will be working most of the time, with block release weeks every couple of months to study for another module.
I’m looking forward to meeting those I’m yet to meet in person at work and I’m also looking forward to meeting everyone at Ada. Starting an apprenticeship during the pandemic has meant that all of this has been conducted from my home office. It’s been surreal and challenging at times, but it’s also been a lot of fun. Having the opportunity to earn and learn at the same time is amazing.
By Hannah Johnstone