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Coding, computer languages and working life: QMUL students reflect on their Degree Apprenticeship Programme at Goldman Sachs

Students on the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) Degree Apprenticeship Programme in partnership with Goldman Sachs, talk about their experiences a year on.

Tuesday 22 August 2017


The Degree Apprenticeship Programme in collaboration with Goldman Sachs, which is one of many launched last year, combines higher education with vocational training to offer a fee-free alternative to the traditional university route.

In a video with the first cohort of students on the programme, Jo Hannaford, Head of Goldman Sachs’ Technology Division for EMEA talks to them about their highlights from the apprenticeship over the past year.

Thoughts on the year

Sean Archard, on the programme said: “I’ve really enjoyed the programme. It was everything I thought it would be and better. There’s so much to get involved in. You really get out what you put in.”

Many of the students have not come from a technical background, but found that the course offered training to build their knowledge and skills. Paul Opong-Frimpong on the programme said: “There was a great support element in university and working. We had buddies and mentors who went over and beyond, making sure we were comfortable, integrated into the firm and genuinely feel happy.”

“From a technical point of view the training was amazing,” added Sean.

Degree Apprenticeships are structured so that students are able to work alongside their studies during the semester, unlike typical work placements, which occur during one whole university year.

“No one can really explain what it’s like to work a full time job until you do it for yourself,” said Holly Brazier, also on the programme, “And we are the first cohort of apprentices, so there was no one to go to and ask how they dealt with it. Now we are able to explain to new students what the apprenticeship will be like.”

She added: “the other good thing about the apprenticeship is that you see the relevance of what you’re learning and how it is applicable to work.”

The placement within Goldman Sachs’ Technology division will allow apprentices to have practical experience with ongoing real-time software and engineering assignments.

Structure of the programme

Students will also learn about new technologies, programming techniques and innovative design to meet businesses technological needs. They will work at Goldman Sachs two days a week during term time, and five days a week during university holidays. After the four-year programme, participants will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Digital and Technology Solutions from QMUL, with the potential opportunity of a full time position with Goldman Sachs.

QMUL has a range of partner organisations who we deliver apprenticeship training to, namely the BBC, John Lewis, IBM, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Sapphire Systems (a global software and technology company) and Xantura (a data sharing software and analytics company). Applications will open shortly for the 2018 Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship Programme with a full list of participating employers on our website.

More information:

  • The video can be viewed here

For media information, contact:

Aseosa Uwagboe
Press Assistant
Queen Mary University of London
email: a.uwagboe@qmul.ac.uk

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