A Journey Through My Apprenticeship: Reflections From A Level 6 Digital & Technology Solutions Apprentice
9 months ago

I'm navigating through a Level 6 Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship at Newcastle Building Society. I won't claim to be the fountain of all knowledge, but I have learned a thing or two.

This isn't my first apprenticeship rodeo; I kicked my career off as a fresh-faced 18-year-old diving into a Level 3 Software Development apprenticeship. Fast forward 2 years, and here I am, immersing in Cybersecurity and inching closer to a degree I once thought was impossible.

So, How Did I Manage to Get This Job?

If there is one truth I've cemented, it's this: an apprenticeship is like taking a masterclass in humility. Just when you think you've gotten into the groove of your new role, you're reminded of the vast universe of knowledge still waiting to be explored. In an ever-shifting tech world, I've adopted the mantra: "There's always something new to uncover." Embracing humility isn't just good for this journey; it's foundational for the long-haul accomplishments.

I've also learned that the freedom to ask, clarify, and understand something more profound has been my savior more than I can count. Whether it was as simple as decoding an acronym or addressing more alarming issues. I've learned that it's always better to ask than to remain in doubt, potentially leading to grave mistakes. Trust me, the awkwardness of asking reduces in comparison to the aftermath of an error.

Admitting mistakes felt like admitting to a crime in the early days of my apprenticeship. But as time passed, I fostered a healthier relationship with errors, understanding them as stepping stones to personal and professional growth. If you're like me, tormenting yourself over a blunder, take a moment to ask:

Did the company go bankrupt? Did anyone get hurt? Were any laws broken?

If the answer to these questions is a resounding no, then breathe. You're learning, and that's perfectly fine.

Learning & Growth

My Level 6 Digital & Technology Solutions Apprenticeship has taken me on an unforgettable journey of continuous education and personal development. There are two main things I would like to advise you in this section.

Academic Learning

Central to my apprenticeship experience was academic learning through engaging in rigorous coursework that provided a firm theoretical grounding for the practical aspects of my role. Subjects like software development, data analytics, and project management opened my eyes to various facets of digital and technology fields.

Practical Experience

Although theoretical knowledge is crucial, practical experience is what truly shapes an apprentice. I had the fortune of participating in several live projects, which provided unique challenges and learning experiences. Almost every single one of them helped me apply what had been learned in class to actual situations.

Mentorship was essential in my development. Being mentored by experienced professionals helped me navigate through the intricacies of digital and technology fields with confidence and ease, sharing valuable insight, experiences, and constructive criticism - they provided the necessary bridge between theory and practice!

My Level 6 Digital & Technology Solutions Apprenticeship presented its share of challenges, yet these same difficulties helped push me forward personally and professionally.

Personal Growth

While I navigated my apprenticeship, I faced challenges that challenged both my technical knowledge and character - forcing me out of my comfort zone and developing resilience I hadn't known existed previously.

Adversities Experienced

From tight project deadlines and unanticipated technical issues, I encountered various obstacles during my apprenticeship. However, each challenge presented an opportunity to learn and adapt. One particularly demanding project required long hours, relentless problem-solving efforts, and commitment - yet I managed to demonstrate my ability to manage high-pressure situations with grace.

Resilience & Adaptability

Through my challenges, I enhanced both resilience and adaptability. Through these experiences, I gained skills such as staying calm under pressure, pivoting when necessary, viewing setbacks as opportunities for growth, and understanding failure isn't an impassable obstacle but rather part of a journey toward success.

Attaining Success as an Aspiring Apprentice

Embarking on an apprenticeship journey - in Digital and Technology Solutions or otherwise - can be both exciting and difficult. Therefore, here is my personal advice to aspiring apprentices, so be sure to take note. From my own experiences, I believe these pieces of guidance may prove beneficial.

Define Your Goals

Do you want to set yourself up for success during an apprenticeship? You must set clear and measurable goals before commencing it. Establishing goals will guide all your actions and decisions during this period, whether it's gaining specific technical abilities, expanding professional networks, or discovering passion within a field. Setting goals will always keep you focused and on track with reaching them all.

Engage In Ongoing Learning

Your apprenticeship experience should be seen as a journey and take every advantage possible to grow as much knowledge as you possibly can during its duration. Attend workshops, seminars, and training sessions and remain abreast of industry developments - being an avid learner will serve you well in today's evolving tech sector!

Seek Feedback and Mentorship

Don't be shy to seek feedback and guidance. Your colleagues and mentors are there to assist with your growth; constructive criticism can be used as an invaluable means of improvement. Find a mentor who can share experiences while offering insightful career advice.

Network Actively

Establishing and expanding a professional network is fundamental in the digital and technology industries. Attend industry events, join relevant online communities, and network actively with professionals within your area of interest to establish the necessary connections that could open doors to opportunities as well as introduce you to fresh perspectives and innovative thinking.

Accept Challenges

Reluctant to confront challenges can often turn them into opportunities. Try approaching each setback with optimism; don't view failures as defeat, but see them instead as steps along your journey to success. Your adaptability and persistence will set you apart in life's journey.

Last Words

Choosing to become an apprentice is a brave choice. There is this notion that it's a refuge for the "less scholarly" or an "easy option," But let me tell you, it's gutsy. Balancing a 9-to-5 alongside studying? Not everyone's cup of tea. Through this journey, I've gleaned lessons no classroom could have imparted. So, here's to every brave soul embracing this path.


What is a Level 6 Digital & Technology Solutions Apprenticeship?

A Level 6 Digital & Technology Solutions Apprenticeship is a structured training program that combines academic learning with practical work experience in the field of digital and technology solutions. This program helps apprentices gain the knowledge and skills necessary for a successful career in the industry while earning a qualification.

What motivated you to pursue this apprenticeship?

I was motivated to pursue this apprenticeship because of my passion for technology. Also, I had a strong desire to gain practical experience while moving further in my education. The apprenticeship offered me the perfect blend of both live learning and academic knowledge. They aligned with my career goals perfectly!

What were the biggest challenges you faced during your apprenticeship, and how did you overcome them?

If I talk about the biggest challenges I faced during my apprenticeship, they were tight project deadlines and technical obstacles. To overcome them, I focused on time management and took guidance from mentors and colleagues. Also, I viewed challenges as opportunities for growth to stay motivated rather than getting frustrated. Perseverance and adaptability were key in navigating these challenges successfully.

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