Apprenticeship DegreesPatrycja Wegrzyn

Growth in capability and confidence

Patrycja Wegrzyn joined J.P. Morgan straight from fifth year of high school without a computer science background. However, this has not held her back and in February 2021 she was recognised by her employer as a Apprentice of the Year.

Patrycja is currently a third year Graduate Apprentice employed by J.P. Morgan and studying towards her BSc(Hons) IT Software Development at Strathclyde. This is a four-year funded Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) degree programme which combines work based, online and face-to-face tuition, whereby employees learn the latest software development practices, skills, theories and techniques, with a focus on integrating their knowledge directly back into the workplace.

Patrycja had no coding experience when she applied for one of the technology apprenticeship roles with J.P. Morgan in 2018. However, fast-forward three years and now Patrycja has developed her skills so much that her progress has been described as ‘incredible’.

Patrycja is very modest about her development, describing herself as an ‘average student’, however she is clearly very far from average. Her competency, consistency and desire to always push herself to the go the extra mile has enabled her to take massive strides in developing her skill set.

I am exceptionally grateful for the experience and opportunity I have had to improve my skills. I have embraced the opportunity to learn.

Earning while learning

One of the key benefits of any apprenticeship is the opportunity to learn on the job. For Patrycja, the main attraction of the GA programme was the unique opportunity to gain four years of experience as well as a degree – all while earning a salary.

The combination of working towards a degree while getting hands-on experience and earning a salary made this an easy choice for me. I’m pleased that I will graduate with practical work experience.

Commitment to on-the-job training

Patrycja was fortunate to secure a role with J.P. Morgan, which started its apprenticeship programme in 2015 in Scotland with seven apprentices and has grown to employ more than 60 graduate apprentices at its world-class centre in Glasgow’s financial services district. The organisation was awarded Large Apprentice Employer of the Year at the 2019 Scottish Apprenticeship Awards and continues its commitment to apprenticeships with an annual recruitment cycle.

Patrycja credits the additional support that she has received from her manager and the team at J.P. Morgan for her professional and personal growth in the last three years. Although only 17 years old when she joined Scotland’s largest technology employer, she is grateful she was never treated ‘like a child’, but instead, given responsibility and opportunity.

This has enabled her to develop both professionally and personally and she feels more confident in her knowledge, skills and ability.

Practical application in the workplace

At Strathclyde, work-based learning is integrated into each Graduate Apprenticeship programme and directly contributes credits towards the award. We employ dedicated Work Based Learning Advisors who are a key part of our faculty teaching teams. These individuals bring a wealth of industry experience as well as a background in work-based assessment.

Patrycja and all Strathclyde graduate apprentices are supported throughout their studies by a Work Based Learning Advisor with whom they meet on a regular basis to monitor progress on the programme and support the development of an e-portfolio of evidence for use should they wish to apply for professional accreditation upon completion of their degree studies.

Patrycja’s dedicated approach in her role has been recognised by both her Learning Advisor and her employer and she thrives on the opportunity to bring her academic learning into the workplace.

I have been lucky that my manager has supported the integration of my university study into the work of my team, so I do not need to work on separate projects just to complete my university work.

This has helped enrich both my studies and job, as I can apply what I have learned directly into my day-to-day office work.

Find out more on how your organisation and employees could enjoy the Benefits of a Graduate Apprenticeship.

Graduate Apprenticeships are funded by Skills Deveklopment Scotland

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