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Royal Alexandra & Albert

I’m really glad I chose to study BTECs at College as they prepared me really well for the world of work and university. As a subject, I enjoyed Business because it is the backbone of an economy, with many opportunities for you career-wise.

When I first left College, I knew I wanted a gap year and to take a break from exams and studying. I deferred my university place to study Business Management and made my part-time job a full-time one to earn some money. Over the course of that year, I felt I would benefit from taking more time to decide what I really wanted to do with my career rather than just take up my uni place.

I managed to secure a job in property investment and real estate construction that first got me interested in that sector, and I then started considering Degree Apprenticeships. When I was ready, I took a little bit of time off work to really put the time and effort needed to research and apply, as they are highly competitive. I was delighted to secure a Trainee Project Manager position at Turner and Townsend while studying for a Degree Apprenticeship in Project Management.

I’m dealing with massive infrastructure projects that are crucial for Britain’s economic growth and improved quality for customers. I’ve just finished the upgrade and replacement of a sewage treatment works at Thames Water, and I’m currently working on the Piccadilly Line Upgrade Programme with TfL.

I love the people side of what I do – helping to overcome problems together and putting the time in to get the best solution for successful project delivery. Women are a minority in the construction industry, but it is changing and evolving, and I have a great working relationship with my colleagues and project team. I’m constantly learning with industry professionals who are role models for my career journey, and I feel completely integrated within the team.

I’d highly recommend the construction sector as it’s exciting and every day is different, with the opportunity to work on famous, global projects. I also love the fact that project management is so diverse and there are lots of career paths to follow.

Having a bit of time out after College before returning to study helped me gain self-confidence and develop my professionalism. This meant when I came to apply for apprenticeships, I felt I had lots of valuable skills and experience to share and that I would also be able to cope with a full working day plus study! I’d encourage anyone thinking about doing an apprenticeship to fully explore what’s out there and discover what might be right for you.

Sophie Wylie

Reigate College: 2016-2018

Higher Education: Currently studying for a Degree Apprenticeship in Project Management, University of West London.

Currently: Trainee Project Manager (Infrastructure), Turner and Townsend.

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