Ed is a data analyst degree apprentice at Nielsen, splitting his time between work and university as he studies for a degree in business. He loves the programme and feels valued and supported by his employer.
In this interview, he talks about what it is like to manage work and study at the same time.
Job title: Data analyst degree apprentice
Apprenticeship title: Level 6 chartered manager - degree apprenticeship in business and management
What does your role involve?
As a degree apprentice, I split my time between Oxford Brookes University, where I’m studying towards a business degree, and Nielsen, where I’m rotating around the business departments over three years.
Currently I’m in the analytics team. Data is at the heart of the company’s operations. Being in a client-facing team where I get to support and lead projects, helping multinational companies with their business decisions, is a great achievement. Studying at university and then applying those theories in a real-life work scenario has contributed to my growth significantly, and is one of the key benefits of a degree apprenticeship.
What subjects did you study?
Business, psychology, Spanish and Portuguese.
How do you use your knowledge of psychology at work?
Psychology has really helped me in my role. Having a basic understanding of why people do what they do helps with teamwork and controlling emotions. When I’m talking to clients or explaining why a certain service might be better than another, I’m able to take a step back and put myself in their shoes. This has helped me to make sales.
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?
Studying for a degree which is fully funded by a global company, where I earn a salary and learn from industry professionals, was a no-brainer. The company is invested in my future and has given me lots of support. I also develop my soft skills every day, from public speaking and teamworking skills, to analytical thinking.
What are the two most important transferable skills you use in your role?
The first is teamwork. I developed that in class as well as by playing football and tennis. The second is public speaking, which I’ve always enjoyed.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to do your role?
If you want to secure this role, work hard. I would definitely recommend doing your research and demonstrating your passion.
Do you see your career changing in the next five to 10 years?
Definitely! I will be graduating in the next 2 years which is very exciting. Qualifying with a BA honours and chartered status in a global company will help me progress. In the next five to 10 years I aim to be a senior manager within the business. I feel that in the future, having graduated with an apprenticeship at the company that invested in me will allow me to be more knowledgeable, enhance my success, and progress through the business quickly.
If you are interested in splitting your time between work and university while earning a wage, check out our guide to degree apprenticeships.