Ursula is currently a Websphere Administrator at the Royal Bank of Scotland four days a week – and attends New College Lanarkshire one day to gain further IT qualifications.
The 23-year-old, originally from Zimbabwe, moved to Edinburgh to start a software engineering and artificial intelligence degree at Edinburgh University but personal commitments meant she had to give it up early.
As time passed Ursula realised that she definitely wanted to pursue her initial dream of software engineering, but didn’t want to go back to university and stop earning. So she researched Modern Apprenticeships – and found a role with the Royal Bank of Scotland that would allow her to gain the qualifications while working.
“I hadn’t considered an apprenticeship before but once I started researching it I realised how amazing it could be. It allows me to study while in employment – building up my skills and qualifications to help develop my career. I learn so much on the job and feel like an important and valued member of the team – while also having the benefits of being a student one day a week.
“I love going to New College Lanarkshire as the staff are amazing and really supportive. The MA programme is flexible on what subjects you want to specialise in and we are given the opportunity to pick up professional exams and extra modules. The work that I’m doing at college complements my role at work perfectly – both in the knowledge I am learning but also the skills and confidence I am developing.
“A Modern Apprenticeship is an ideal solution for anyone looking for training while in employment as it delivers vital skills for any job. Particularly for those coming straight from school, it’s a great way to build up work experience while learning those important transferable skills through studying. Attending college also gives you the support network of having lecturers and tutors to give advice and assistance with anything.
“Once I complete the programme I am hoping to use my new skills and knowledge to get a job within RBS that is software-focused.
“I would highly recommend taking on an MA programme with NCL for its great facilities, support network, teaching and curriculum. Being an apprentice has really worked for me.”
“I hadn’t considered an apprenticeship before but once I started researching it I realised how amazing it could be."