Adrienne Waldie, 50, is an Administration Manager at the University of Cumbria and is currently on the Higher Level Apprenticeship (Level 5) in Leadership and Management.
Adrienne has worked for the University of Cumbria for the past 12 years and has had various roles within Facilitates Management. Currently, she manages a team of 20 staff across three campuses and her responsibilities include the running of various facilities across all of the university’s campuses.
What made you want to study a higher or degree apprenticeship?
I had never studied a higher level qualification before in leadership and management, and I felt this was a great opportunity to develop new skills and expertise required in my current role whilst developing transferable skills to help with my progression, at the same time cementing my existing knowledge.
How are you finding the apprenticeship experience?
It’s a very positive experience learning with likeminded colleagues. The learning material available is vast through the library and ILM. The support from the tutor is amazing, she is supportive, understanding and passionate about her role. The student support services have helped to provide support with academic writing and research for reading material.
How does the learning on your course link to or compliment your job role?
As a manager with responsibilities across the university, the course is aligned to all elements of my role as a manager/leader and helps develop and improve my skills and understanding. We have an opportunity to learn new skills such as strategic planning; this isn’t something we are required to do in great detail as middle managers, but by learning, it gives me confidence that I have more to offer my employer.
What is your favourite part of the apprenticeship experience?
Learning and developing new areas of business practises and understanding theories, and how they have developed over the years. Working with a wide range of middle managers across our organisation, the debates in class are inspiring and thought provoking.
What effect has taking part in this higher apprenticeship scheme had on you and your career?
It is challenging what I already know and how I think, and it’s already giving me confidence in my abilities as a manager. It’s a great opportunity when completing modules, to think where your future may lie such as, for me, Project Management.
What would you say to other people thinking about enrolling onto a higher or degree apprenticeship?
You need to understand and consider the commitment required to complete the course alongside your job. It is worth the effort, you learn new skills, develop the skills you already have and learn from your peers.
It is a wonderful opportunity to learn and you’re never too old, after all I’m 50! Just do it, you could be the next CEO of your company.