I started with Tritech Ulverston, (formally Systems Technologies) in June 2007, to complete a modern apprenticeship.
During this time I began studying for an HNC in Electrical Engineering at Furness College, Barrow in Furness, Cumbria. As part of the course I had to complete a work-based project. I decided to design and produce an Acoustic Altimeter, capable of transmitting up to 5m. To support this, I wrote a software application capable of effecting the calculation to achieve the depth rating. I received distinction for the project which I was very pleased with.
Having completed both the modern apprenticeship and HNC with Tritech, I felt that I wanted to continue my studies, to position myself better for potential career opportunities within the company.
After weighing up all my options and thinking about my interests, I decided that my next qualification should be based around leading people and the elements of managing a business. I researched the local institutes and found an ideal course at my local college.
The course itself is a three year programme, leading towards an fdA Business Management Degree. One of the main attractions of this course is with an extra year’s study, a ‘top-up year’; the qualification is raised to BA (Hons) level. Overall, there are over twenty modules to complete, including Financial Management, Marketing, and Supply-Chain Management.
During the course, there are a number of small practical and work-based modules. These modules include working and leading small teams; to complete projects, analysing businesses performance against KPIs and reviewing financial statements. This helps me to understand the different levels of a business and also provides benefits back to the company as I am able to apply my knowledge where I feel an improvement could be made.
I am currently coming to the end of my 1st Year. Over the summer I have a work-based portfolio to complete. This looks at situations that can happen everyday and analyses areas for improvement in both my skills and the company’s practices. For example, this could be based on communication, low moral or lack of training. The report compiles all my work-based learning modules into one 5000 word personal development portfolio.
Studying alongside work can be difficult, especially juggling the work load expected by the college. However, studying alongside work does help to keep the learning relative and keeps me on track with work-based assignments. I have also found it helpful to seek advice from fellow colleagues with help on particular modules. For example, I am currently working through the Managing Finance module and as we have two qualified accountants in the Finance Team, they have been fantastic with support and guidance.
For anyone looking to take on a similar path to study be prepared to put in a lot of effort but receive 10 times of that back!
Tom Reap, Electronic Test Technician, Tritech International, Ulverston
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