Congratulations on achieving your Senior Leaders Degree Apprenticeship with a Distinction!

"Thank you, I was very surprised and pleased with that result!"

How long did it take you to complete your apprenticeship?

"I started in May 2019 and it was completely finished by March 2022. Nearly 3 years: the MBA was done exactly to the schedule (by September 2021). I then wrote the assignment for the apprenticeship, and the delay was around getting the portfolio finalised and that was part of the problem when I came to do End Point Assessment, as it should have been done in December 2021. I was convinced I had done badly, I was so pleased when I ended up with the result". 

Looking back what was the best part of your apprenticeship?

"There were some interesting modules which opened my mind to new working practices. The finance module was really interesting and helped me to understand how we budget and apply it to my work. The residential week was excellent; I met some great people and that was a highlight with facilitated learning. It was such a shame that this was not able to continue because of Covid".

"I found that I like to learn with lots of different mediums. I thought I was a book person, but I found as a result of the residential week, that I like a variety of learning styles and like to build a network for support. I kept in touch with a couple of people so that helped too".

"Some modules were easier to do, based on your work history, your previous qualifications (e.g. Maths). By meeting others, you have a ready-made support network, who are outside the organisation, as you find people that like to work in the same way as you do, which is very helpful – with so much independent learning you really do fall back on your preferred learning style".

"It forces you to apply your learning to your work, which is great".

What could've been better?

"Some of the modules I found hard to relate to. it wasn’t as relevant to my work place".

"My work-based project on Phlebotomy was important for work and had a deadline attached – unfortunately we were told to stay with the dates so I felt I was jumping backwards and forwards a lot. The University are very strict on ethics – but their ethics have a different focus from ours. There was a lack of understanding with regards to how the NHS uses their data, so feel this could be handled better for future courses".

What would you like to have known before you started?

"It was a lot more difficult, than I had imagined!"

"It is slightly different to Uni study – you don’t have terms (e.g. a summer break, break at Easter etc). Perhaps having breaks throughout the course would've made it more manageable and slightly less stressful to complete especially around my job."

Any Surprises?

"Definitely talk to people who have done it, to reflect on how you learn. My route was very independent (i.e. lots of online), but if you are VAK (a Visual, Audio, Kinaesthetic learner) you may find it more challenging than others."

"How much you can use your work and that makes the module feel relatively easy (e.g. the Operations Module) - I sailed through that because it was my day job. So I really enjoyed those modules and made the most of them, and didn't stress about the ones that are difficult. I loved doing change management, I felt that I learned so much. Not everything in the course is new, so really capitalise on what you can use from your current role."

"Initial feelings of being intimidated by others on the programme. I was doing the MBA and I was surrounded by Chief Executives, Chief Finance & People Officers – but we all brought something to the table and it was nice to understand eachothers roles."

What would say to someone who was considering doing an apprenticeship?

"It is an excellent opportunity to get a qualification. I would never have done a Masters if it was not for this. It’s a great way of getting funding, support and acquiring new skills and knowledge."

"You have to be committed, you have to be flexible and dedicated to the work. It is hard work to manage your workload and family life. You need to put in breaks so that you can manage work, home and study. You’ve got to keep on top of it! Plan as much as you can and take all the opportunities to do as much study as you can. Stay on track within the deadlines – because you can’t shift those final essay deadlines."

"I was very lucky with my tutor, he was very supportive. It is really important that that the relationship works: a coaching relationship, reality check, sense-checking. He was also there for pastoral care – he kept me sane! Developing that relationship is really helpful. The apprenticeship tutor is looking at you from a different perspective, as a learner – not as a work colleague."

"I am grateful to MCH for supporting me – it was a great opportunity to be allowed to take that course. I have a supportive family and work family that meant I had my ducks in a row – it felt like the right time for me to do this programme of study, because I had the right people around me, especially as it goes on for so long!

"Be in the right place and have your support network around you, as you are going need to them."


Thank you and congratulations again Emma!