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"I knew a degree apprenticeship would impact my working life and career more"

Chloe Hartley

Chloe studies for a BSc Quantity Surveyor degree while working as a Chartered Surveyor Apprentice at Mott MacDonald in Sheffield. Initially Chloe didn’t think an apprenticeship was possible for her, but she took the chance to find out more and decided to go for it.

"I wanted to gain experience from other professionals in the construction industry."

"I wanted to be an apprentice and gain a degree because I knew it would impact my working life and career more. I wanted to gain experience from other professionals in the construction industry because I know that they look for experience, usually, when you go to job interviews, and as a student I know how hard it is to get a job when you haven't got the experience in the first place.

I first heard about higher and degree apprenticeships in a sixth form assembly. I was in year 12 at the time sat in the audience, thinking I'm not going to get an apprenticeship so it's not worth signing up – but actually by the end of my assembly I decided what can I lose from doing it. So I signed up to know more and then the emails started coming and vacancies started appearing come year 13. And a Mott MacDonald vacancy came up in January of year 13, and I got picked to go to interview, passed my interview and started my apprenticeship in September."

"Being an apprentice, I thought I'd be making the teas and doing admin, but it was totally the opposite of that. Mostly I'm assisting Quantity Surveyors, but I've got my own workload as well. A lot of the time it's monthly site visits – which could be in Wales or Scotland, it could be anywhere. It helps with my training seeing it on site, knowing the knowledge from Sheffield Hallam, seeing it at work – all things start linking together. Then when I'm in the office I look at plans and cost schemes, ranging from half a million to £24 million – it's different every time. Mott MacDonald work on a lot of government schemes, which means new schools, new prisons, courts. One of the first projects I did go into was a prison, and seeing the inside of a prison from that perspective was interesting, seeing how it all functions.

I like being an apprentice because I'm around professionals and it's that next level up from sixth form and school. You feel like you're part of a team, but you've always got help if you need it. You can just ask a question and it's quite comfortable, because you're learning and everyone knows that – it's a good way to learn."

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