Lexi Thomas shares her experience of studying for a Tech Industry Gold Degree Apprenticeship
Name: Lexi Thomas
University/HEI: QA / University of Roehampton
Degree Title: Digital and Technical Solutions
Employer: Vodafone UK
Job Title: Technical Delivery Manager
How are you and how have you been managing during the Coronavirus pandemic?
I have been managing super well over the course of the past year, I have found that it’s given me more time in the absence of commuting, so that I can focus on things that I enjoy and didn’t have the time for before, such as cooking and exercising. This has helped to maintain my mental and physical health in order to be successful within my apprenticeship and job role, and be able to work more efficiently.
What was the best experience of your Tech Industry Gold degree apprenticeship?
The best experience that I have gained as a part of my Tech Industry Gold degree apprenticeship would have been learning skills from my team and the people I have met through my job role. To me, this is priceless knowledge that I would never have been able to attain through a standard university route.
What was the most challenging experience of your Tech Industry Gold degree apprenticeship?
The most challenging part of the apprenticeship is finding the right balance between work, study, and personal time. Sometimes the lines can very easily become blurred, but it is important to allocate the time so I can thrive in all three areas, as they all affect one another.
What would you say now, to yourself, before you enrolled on your degree apprenticeship?
I would say to take everything as it comes, put yourself out there and network as much as possible, and take any opportunity that arises.
What would you say to anyone considering a Tech Industry Gold degree apprenticeship?
The only advice I would give is to do it!! I would recommend doing your research into various different firms that offer degree apprenticeships, I received multiple offers from well-known employers for the same degree but chose Vodafone as I felt that they were a better fit for me, in terms of company culture and my personal experience and interests.
What is a typical day?
My current role is as a Technical Delivery Manager within the Technology portfolio in IT at Vodafone. My typical day consists of communicating with stakeholders, attending project meetings, completing the project delivery lifecycle, attending to any issues that arise, ensuring that projects are aligned with timelines and budgets, and overall, ensuring project success.
What are your career plans?
My career plans are to finish the degree apprenticeship with a strong grade, and off-board either into my current team or branch out to find new experiences and roles within Vodafone. Ultimately, I would like to remain within project management in Tech, wherever that may lead me.
Who inspires you?
As cliché as it may sound, my Dad inspires me the most in terms of careers. He didn’t gain any A-levels and self-funded himself on a highly commended accountancy course whilst working full time, and now is very successful because of what he built for himself, and just goes to show that qualifications don’t mean everything. Despite actually achieving excellent A-level results myself, I was never hell-bent on gaining a degree but, after realising that degree apprenticeships were available, I challenged myself.
Anything else to add?
Just that applying for a degree apprenticeship and choosing the path has never been something I have regretted, it has provided me with a mountain of knowledge (despite the fact that I’ve not even finished yet!) and I have met some wonderful people along the way. Some cliché advice to anyone applying, be yourself! I don’t think it can be expressed enough, I definitely wasn’t the most intelligent or academic person who applied for the same apprenticeship, but I was myself throughout the interview process, and now here I am! Believe in yourself and trust the process.