Dan Taylor is one of Coventry University’s first ever alumni apprenticeship graduates. In March 2018 he completed the chartered manager degree apprenticeship, with a BA in Leadership and Management with delivered teaching onsite at GE Aviation.
This year the theme for National Apprenticeship Week is “Blaze the Trail” and focuses on the brilliant opportunities now offered to businesses and individuals.
Dan Taylor was one of the first five graduates of Coventry University’s Degree Apprenticeship scheme while working for GE Aviation and he speak to us about his experiences.
What attracted you to Coventry University and the course you chose to study?
Coventry University’s work with GE Aviation to deliver a unique programme was a great opportunity for me to gain a degree during full-time work, so I could earn and learn!
What were the highlights of your apprenticeship?
Working with a range of experienced people, making friends, and challenging myself to grow both personally and professionally. Being debt-free following the completion of the degree wasn’t bad either!
How did studying at Coventry University equip you with the skills you need for your career?
The course delivered by Coventry University at GE Aviation focused on personal development and self-reflection, helping me to develop a wide range of transferable skills such as communication, team-working and the ability to explore my leadership style.
What have you gone on to do since completing the apprenticeship?
After completing the apprenticeship I secured a permanent position at the company, working with a great team, however I had ambitions to further my education.
In September 2018 I left GE to pursue further education and take up an MSc Environment, Development & Politics. The chance for a new challenge, and to pursue my interests in sustainable development, climate change, and governance was too good to miss, and I am now into the second term.
I am hoping to move into something related to the environment and sustainability, climate change and environmental degradation are huge issues facing our planet, and I hope I can play a part in tackling them.
The fact I had the Chartered Manager status, BA, and five years’ work experience meant I was well positioned to go onto further education in an area I am interested in. I have found that I am able to draw on past experiences and knowledge to help me with the Masters I am studying now.
What attracted you to working in the sector you now work in?
The degree I completed with Coventry University has equipped me with a range of transferable skills, and working has provided me with the experience to develop them. Therefore whichever path I may take following the completion of my postgraduate degree I am confident I have the attributes employers will look for.
What would you say to a student thinking of studying an apprenticeship here and why?
Studying an apprenticeship is a great way to really apply what you learn in the classroom to the workplace, and to bring experiences in the workplace back into your studies, helping to join theory and practice.
Whether your studies compliment your work, or teach you specific technical information, the experience you gain in the workplace is invaluable to employers and has the potential to make you more employable than university graduates.
The chance to earn whilst learning is not to be underestimated; after many years of saving, I had the deposit for my first house! It is becoming increasingly evident that apprenticeships offer a fantastic opportunity to students who want to gain professional experience and valuable qualifications, so I ask, why not join this growing movement?!
What role has an apprenticeship had on your life so far?
The apprenticeship provided me with so many opportunities to develop into the person I am today, and I had experiences I will carry with me for life. When I started I was like a deer in the headlights as I am naturally introverted, but the apprenticeship challenged me to move out of my comfort zone and I am a better person for it.
For more information on how the first class of Coventry apprenticeship graduates are getting on, please visit our National Apprenticeship Week webpage.