Inspired to study a degree apprenticeship

Degree apprentice Sophie Harwood talks about how taking part in Uni Connect events while at school and sixth form boosted her confidence and encouraged her to pursue a career in engineering.
Inspired to study a degree apprenticeship

My name is Sophie Harwood, I attended the Deanery Church of England High School and Sixth Form College (from age 11-18). At sixth form I studied A-level Maths, Geography, Design Engineering and in addition to this, a Level 3 BTEC in Engineering.

Throughout my time at the Deanery, I took part in numerous Greater Manchester Higher events, including: STEM events, a trip to Pembroke College at the University of Oxford, a residential trip to the University of Manchester and The Brilliant Club project. The vast majority of these events took place during year 10 and year 11.

The Greater Manchester Higher events were highly enjoyable and educational, which helped inform the higher education path which I am on today.

Not only were the events informative and enjoyable but they offered so much more; they allowed me to gain confidence, build new friendships, become independent, make informed decisions and work as part of a team.

The Brilliant Club project, in particular, allowed me to produce work at university-level standard, which taught me a broad range of skills, such as independent research and learning, assignment writing and Harvard referencing. These are all vital skills which I am putting into practice regularly, particularly as I am now studying at university.

I am grateful for the broad range of events that I was able to take part in, through the Uni Connect Programme, the way in which it helped me make decisions about higher education and the degree I am currently studying.

It was through a Greater Manchester Higher event that I delivered public speaking to over 200 people, which I had never done before. This gave me huge self-confidence and a great feeling of pride. It also acted as a catalyst for many opportunities which have opened for me since then.

As a result of taking part in such events, it heightened my enthusiasm towards a career in STEM and encouraged me to study a degree at university.

My keen interest in a career in civil engineering led me to apply for degree apprenticeships. I attained excellent A-level results and was offered a sought-after civil engineering degree apprenticeship with Arup.

I regularly utilise the skills and knowledge which the Uni Connect events provided me with throughout my Degree Apprenticeship.