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In the spotlight with Mariam and Grace - Celebrating apprentice success

Having recently completed their apprenticeships, we sat down with our LAAN apprentices, Grace and Mariam to gain an insight into their achievements and experiences over the past few years. With Grace successfully passing her EPA and awaiting her graduation and Mariam having achieved an overall Distinction, we couldn’t be prouder of them both and wish them the best of luck as they progress through the next stage of their careers!

Grace Payne, former Level 6 Digital Marketing Apprentice

How was your university experience as a degree apprentice?

For me, there’s nothing quite like being taught in a classroom where you’re surrounded by like-minded people who are willing to learn and support one another. I found it extremely difficult when this face-to-face teaching aspect was taken away from us due to Covid, however I feel as though we adapted quickly as a cohort and embraced independent learning.

How have you found the experience of balancing work, study and life?

Sometimes, I would look back and ask myself how did I manage to get myself through the long hours and intense workload, but somehow you just do! Having a study group with my classmates was invaluable, as we were all there to help one another through if someone didn’t understand the assignment or was struggling with a task.

As much as succeeding at work and school matters, so does your mental health and that starts with making time for yourself, friends and family and doing things in life that YOU enjoy! I really made an effort to set time aside for certain activities, e.g. working on my coursework or reading up on my dissertation topic. Making sure I kept my weekends for myself helped me to wind down and most importantly, enjoy this rollercoaster that we call life!

Do you have any advice for future degree apprentices?

Apply yourself. Say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. Learn from those around you. Take steps outside of your comfort zone. Go to that after work social. Present at that intimidating work event and most importantly, enjoy it! These are some of the most defining and important years of your life, so don’t waste them!

Mariam Shaikh, former Level 3 Business Administration Apprentice

What has been your favourite memory as an apprentice?

I would say that everything I’ve experienced within the time of completing my apprenticeship has been an amazing memory, but the memory that stands out the most to me is meeting new people, especially the like-minded apprentices that I have networked with. During my apprenticeship, I’ve had the opportunity to get involved in conferences, careers fairs and social events where I’ve created professional relationships as well as new friendships.

What’s the most valuable skill you’ve learnt?

I’ve learnt so many valuable skills within the last two years, but the skill I am most proud of is my interpersonal skills. Compared to two years ago, I’ve grown so much as a professional individual and I’m more confident in stepping out of my comfort zone and speaking to all sorts of people. Since starting my role here, I’ve realised that stepping out of my comfort zone is something that I’d like to do more often, as it builds me into such a confident person.

What are your next steps?

I’m looking forward to start my Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship in September, where I will begin my journey as a degree apprentice and work more closely with other team members at TB+A! I’m excited to see how much further I will grow, and how many more doors this new chapter will open for me.

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