Jamie’s banking on a great career

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We talk to Jamie Edge about his degree apprenticeship.

Why did you decide to do a degree apprenticeship?

I decided to take a degree apprenticeship as I had started my career directly after leaving school through a higher-level apprenticeship, having originally decided against going to university. The programme is ideal for me, as I have always wanted to gain qualifications through further education, but have always had a more practical learning style, so the programme has allowed me to combine these two approaches together.

What did the application process involve?

To be selected for a place on the degree apprenticeship programme, I had to explain how the scheme would benefit me through a personal statement. As I was already working for Barclays at the time of applying, I had to consider how the programme and particular degree pathway would benefit my role.

I was also able to use references from stakeholders who I had previously delivered work for, to help secure my place on the programme.

How does the apprenticeship work?

The scheme which I am currently participating in provides me with one day per week away from work to study on campus, at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Business School. I attend lectures and experience university life as if I was in full time study. I am able to meet other apprentices from both Barclays and other organisations and find this a useful network for developing my knowledge. During the rest of the week, whilst I’m in the office, I then continue to develop my skills by carrying out my role and by learning from other colleagues.

Can you describe your role at Barclays?

I work as an iOS Developer at Barclays, which primarily involves building applications for the iPhone and iPad. The main app that I work on is Barclays Mobile Banking, which is used by many of our customers to check their bank accounts, make payments and access other services provided by the bank. Through my role, I am involved with the implementation of features from the early stages of an idea being formed, through the technical design process, build of the product and then deployment to our customers. I also look at the development processes that we use and constantly find ways to improve them – whether it be through the improvement of existing code or through the introduction of new tools which help us work more effectively.

What do you enjoy most about being a degree apprentice?

I really enjoy the vast amount of knowledge which I am able to gain through my degree apprenticeship.

Every day, whether it be at university or in the workplace, I am able to gain knowledge in both new and existing topics and can genuinely say I have not found two days during my apprenticeship to ever be the same.

The programme means that I am surrounded by an excellent network of people, meaning that I have a vast range of sources to discuss ideas and learn from.

What advice would you give others planning on applying for a degree apprenticeship?

The best piece of advice that I would give to someone planning on applying for a degree apprenticeship would be don’t be put off by the idea that you have to do a full-time job and studies at the same time. Whilst it certainly requires you to put in a good amount of effort to succeed, both employers and universities are aware of the responsibilities that you have.

From my experience, the programme has been very accommodating to ensure that I have been given the right amount of time and support needed to perform to my best, both academically and within my job.