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GC Stories: Cherryanne Dawson

28 Feb 2019
Apprenticeships have come a long way over the years, however it’s still a common misconception that they’re just for young people who didn’t get the grades to go to university.

The truth is apprenticeships are for everyone, including people who are already in work and in senior roles. In fact, degree apprenticeships are one of the fastest-growing types of apprenticeship, with more and more employers choosing them as a way of upskilling existing members of staff.

Degree apprenticeships are perfect for people who want to get a degree that’s relevant to their career goals, without the financial stress that university brings.

Cherryanne Dawson works for MIDAS as an Executive Assistant and Project Manager. She missed out on university when she finished her A-Levels due to unavoidable family circumstances at the time. However, she didn’t want to give up on her dreams of getting a degree. Cherryanne was already in a job she loved, so she decided to do the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship which would allow her to gain the skills she needed to progress in her career.

Speaking about what she got out of the apprenticeship, Cherryanne said: “The CMDA programme has been a fantastic opportunity for me to learn new managerial skills, as well as refine existing practices and processes. During my second module, I learnt valuable techniques on performance management which I was able to put into practice straight away in my day-to-day job.”

Before starting her studies, Cherryanne was under the impression that apprenticeships were just for school-leavers. But, she’s since realised the benefits that come with doing an apprenticeship later in life. Cherryanne said: “I had a great support network around me, and I was able to learn on the job. I’ve also avoided the debt that comes with going down the traditional university route, and I’ve been able to work my studies around my family life.”

She added: “I didn’t think it would be possible to fit in a degree, full-time work and look after a young family but completing my learning on-the-job and only having to be in the classroom one evening per week worked great for me. At first, I thought it would be a challenge to try and fit everything in - but after some careful planning, I actually realised that I had a lot more time than I thought.”

So, would Cherryanne recommend degree apprenticeships to people who want to get a higher-level qualification without having to go to university? Absolutely! She said: “I would definitely recommend an apprenticeship to anybody looking to upskill themselves. I think learning on-the-job is a great way to put your new skills into practice quickly – and this also gives you assurance that what you’re learning is useful.

Have you been inspired by Cherryanne’s experience? If you’d like advice on how a degree apprenticeship can work for you, get in touch with our team to discuss the latest opportunities.

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