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What it’s like to be a degree apprentice here at Salford

When she finished her exams Melissa, like most young people, didn’t know whether to pick the university route or go straight into a full-time job…. 

However, after having successfully completed her A-levels she decided to startworking for HGM Paints Ltd. Shortly into her new job Melissa found out about the apprenticeship scheme from her director who asked her if she would be interested.  

“It was a no brainer really,” she said.  

By September Melissa was enrolled at Salford ready to start on the Business and Management course. 

When asked about her choice to study alongside a full-time job she said: “I couldn’t recommend it more, everything you learn you can bring into the work place.” 

The apprenticeships are for those who want to work full time whilst gaining a degree. Students are supported by not only their employer but also the University.  

“The staff at Salford are really nice and really supportive, they make you feel right at home,” Melissa said.  

“I can now apply my knowledge and see how it applies in a real setting.” 

Melissa is currently doing her Level 4 Associate Project Manager which Dr James Mulken, Associate Dean Accreditations and Partnerships described as: “An excellent introduction to business and project management knowledge and skills. Students learn about how project management is applicable to and integrates the functional and operational aspects of management.” 

Melissa took the apprenticeship role as a means of gaining academic qualifications whilst working in a full-time role, although balancing work life alongside a degree can be challenging at times.  

“it’s improved my time management definitely. Even though you have a day off to go to university you still have all your coursework and exam work to do when you get home or over weekends,” she said. 

Although the balance has been a demanding adjustment Melissa has reaped the benefits: “It’s helped me to become more confident in work I’ve really benefited a lot,” she said. 

 “It gives you a great boost and is great because employers end up with more knowledgeable employees.” 

James Mulkne added: “Melissa demonstrates all of the positive aspects of the apprenticeship standard in that she has gained in confidence both at University and work where she has been promoted since starting the apprenticeship programme.”  

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