Class of 2021: I am now a Data Scientist at Airbus

Name: Lucy Craddock
Degree apprenticeship title: Data Science Degree Apprentice
Employer: Airbus
Higher Education Institution: University of Exeter

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

The degree apprenticeship was recommended by the University of Exeter.

What was the best moment of your degree apprenticeship experience?

Meeting my international colleagues in Munich, Germany was a yearly occurrence to discuss team goals and build upon work relationships. It was a great experience meeting with my team members in person.

What was the most challenging experience?

Finding a final project for my degree. Being a data scientist, there were so many projects I could have chosen for my finals and I found it really challenging to manage my priorities, network, and decide on the project. I was able to understand a lot more about the company by networking and where my skills align with the business needs so it was a very valuable experience.

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

I was the only one applying for apprenticeships at my school and it was very challenging and scary as there was no guidance and I felt very alone. I think I would have told myself that finding a degree apprenticeship isn’t about how great a candidate I was, but whether I suited that workplace.

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

Applying for apprenticeships is no “Plan B”.  It is very hard work and time-consuming. Degree apprenticeship applications can take up to 6 months with 1000+ candidates for less than 10 positions. Not only are you working for 4 years (maybe 6 if contracted) for the company, they are also supporting your degree while you are working full-time. You have to show maturity, passion, and commitment.

What are you planning to do this summer?

I have accepted a position with Airbus and I will be continuing to work as an AI researcher. I’m looking forward to putting 100% of my efforts into work without the stress of university.

What are your career plans?

I am now a Data Scientist for Airbus at 22 years old, with 4 years of experience in my team. During that time I have been investing and saving up my salary and I am comfortably independent. I aim to build upon the experience I have gained during my apprenticeship and become a Senior Data Scientist within the next couple of years.

Who inspires you? 

I would say Cody Ko. The tech industry has this stereotype of “computer nerds” or “silicon valley types” whose entire personality and hobbies are in tech. This can be very intimidating for newcomers and can cause imposter syndrome. Cody Ko is a very successful iOS developer who is also a comedian, rapper, podcaster, and YouTuber. He shows you can be successful in tech with other hobbies and skills.

Find out more about Tech Industry Gold degree apprenticeships at the University of Exeter

For more inspiring stories, check out the Class of 2021