My name is Katherine, I’m 18 and I have joined Pearson on the Rotational Degree Apprenticeship after completing my A Levels. I am from a small town called Stratford-upon-Avon or, as better described to some as, ‘Shakespeare’s Town’.
I will be regularly writing a blog post about my role as an apprentice at Pearson, what I’m doing and what I’m learning from the experience.
What is the Rotational Degree Apprenticeship (RDA)?
The RDA Apprenticeship scheme allows me to work for three of the six participating companies over the duration of my course. The participating companies are: Pearson, Unilever, Direct Line, Tesco, WPP Ogilvy and IBM.
How does it work?
I will spend the first 12 months with my Home Company (Pearson), 8 months at a second company, 8 months at a third company and a final 8 months back with my Home Company. During term time I will work four days a week and spend the fifth at Pearson College London studying for my degree in Business Management, which is validated by the University of Kent. I also have my tuition fees paid for along with earning a salary – an appealing combination to say the least!
What was the process?
The application process took place over four stages:
- Complete the online application form
- Business workshop at Pearson Business School – this included psychometric testing, interviews and group assessments
- Company Assessment Days – which involved the participating companies giving presentations and then a longer group assessment.
- Final interview with Home Companies – which was here, at Pearson!
Find out more here.
What subjects did you study at A Level?
Psychology, Biology and Economics. I did General Studies and History at AS and completed an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
Why didn’t you go to university?
Up until July, that was the plan!
Saying that, I had been looking throughout my time at Sixth Form for degree apprenticeship schemes and they were few and far between – or in subjects which didn’t appeal to me. However, when I found this apprenticeship scheme I couldn’t believe what I was seeing – it was perfect!
In my opinion, with a course such as business, it is essential to have some work-place experience because learning the theory is not always enough, there are a lot of practical skills which are best learnt ‘on the job’. Therefore, to have the opportunity to work for three FTSE 100 companies whilst studying for a degree was ideal.
Completing this scheme will allow me to explore different industries and different companies, to find out what my strengths and weaknesses are, what I like and what I don’t like. It allows me to extend my learning outside of the classroom so that when I complete this scheme I will be better placed in knowing two things: 1) Which industry I would like to enter into, and 2) What role(s) I will enjoy, when I come to apply for jobs.
So what does an apprentice do?
I am currently working in the Higher Education Qualifications team and I have spent my first couple of weeks meeting everyone and seeing what I can do to assist people.
As my first year at Pearson College will provide me with an overview of businesses as a whole from Finance and Marketing, to Law and Digital, being able to help where I can will provide me with a better understanding of each of these modules and how they can be applied to the workplace. Also I will be given set responsibilities and projects to carry out throughout my time here at Pearson.
As part of my course I will also have to complete an independent research project therefore I am hoping to combine this with work.
I will keep you updated on what I am learning on my placement and how my job role is evolving.
Quick Fire Questions
Pets? – Yes, I have a cat called Barney
Favourite Film? – Intouchables (The French film)
Favourite Author? – Sarah Dessen
Favourite Artist? – The Zac Brown Band always puts me in a good mood!
Favourite TV Show? – Supernatural. Although I am a big fan of the Big Bang Theory, and Our Girl and historical dramas such as Victoria.
That’s it from me for now, please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions!