I’ve worked for Lloyds Banking Group for over 15 years, having joined the Group as a Halifax Customer Advisor at the age of 17. I worked in branch for five years before moving into a position in head office where I helped deliver some interesting projects, including the introduction of Wi-Fi and tablets into retail branches. For some time I worked as a Product Owner on the Insider Risk Programme, and I'm now a Senior Implementation Manager leading the House of Research team within Colleague Channels.
I’d always wanted to study further and looked into undertaking a degree on numerous occasions. However, I felt it wouldn’t be possible due to the cost and my lack of A-levels.
When I saw the Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship advertised internally, I immediately registered. It sounded too good to be true, but I was also worried that I wouldn’t be accepted. I attended the introduction call and was over the moon when they said no qualifications were needed apart from grades A-C in English and Maths, and if you didn’t have them they’d provide support to get these qualifications in place.
For me it was a no-brainer – an opportunity like this wouldn’t come around every day. The journey has been life changing for me. I learnt multiple new skills (coding, report writing and more) that I wouldn’t have gained without this, and I completed my Software Engineer degree apprenticeship last year with an Outstanding Achievement Award and a Distinction.
The Group were fantastic in supporting my learning journey. They provided me with great flexibility, allowing me to take time out every week to attend the university and study. The opportunity has also given me some amazing experiences that I’m incredibly proud of, including winning the highly commended judges choice award at the Asian Apprenticeship Awards, and the highly commended award at regional level at the National Apprenticeship Awards.
For anyone considering whether to take on a degree apprenticeship, I would say go for it! It’s an amazing, life changing opportunity. Don’t let mindset or self-doubt make you think you can’t do it or won’t get accepted. Age, experience, past education doesn’t matter. If you are willing to put the time and effort in, it will be very fruitful.