I have had a lot of support from all the different teams that I have worked with as they all think that this degree is a great opportunity.
Amy Hawkyard, first-class honours Tech Industry Gold degree apprentice graduate at MMU and AstraZeneca
First-class honours Tech Industry Gold degree apprentice reflects on her time at AstraZeneca and Manchester Metropolitan University
Name: Amy Hawkyard University: Manchester Metropolitan University Employer: AstraZeneca Classification: First-class honours Degree title: BSc (Hons) Digital & Technology Solutions
Looking back on the four years of your Tech Industry Gold accredited degree apprenticeship, how have you found the whole experience?
It has been a brilliant experience. It has also been a challenge, to say the least, but I was well supported by both Manchester Met and my employer. It is a great achievement that I’m happy to be at the end of, but I will look back at it with fond memories.
What did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed putting a lot of the theory that we learnt at university straight back into the workplace. I think sometimes you can learn something and if you don’t use it, you put it to the back of your mind but with the degree apprenticeship we could immediately put it into practice. We could go straight back into the workplace and make suggestions based on what we had learnt, or a new theory or tool would be implemented at work and we would already understand it because we would have just been taught it at uni – so connecting the two has really been great.
How has your role at AstraZeneca changed over the four years?
I have done a few different roles over the past four years but they have all been ones of progression. Each of the roles has given me a lot of experience, and each one has linked back to the degree. I have had a lot of encouragement and support from all the different teams that I have worked with as all thought and continue to think that this degree is a great opportunity.
What was the best thing you have learnt that has made the biggest difference when implemented at AstraZeneca?
I think all of it has made a massive difference to me. So much of the theory I learnt at university I have been able to implement at work. Practically it’s taught me a lot about myself: how to learn from and listen to other people, and how to put what I’ve been taught into practice – I don’t think I was very good at that before. I think that interacting with people from different companies and learning from their experiences has been really useful. I have been able to use what I’ve learnt from them and make improvements in my own work.
Would you recommend degree apprenticeships?
Absolutely. If you are not sure about doing a degree, or if you are not particularly confident in yourself, don’t let that put you off. I didn’t have confidence in myself to be able to complete a degree but now I’m four years down the line and graduating with a First-Class degree. I think anyone can do it and it is such a great achievement, so I absolutely recommend doing it.
Back to work! I have a new job in a new department so I hope to progress up the job ladder over the next few years but for now, I am going to enjoy celebrating graduating.