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"I thought I would get bored at university if it was just lectures"

Judith Mair


Judith works at Rolls-Royce doing Non-Destructive Testing while studying Materials Engineering at Hallam. She was also named Best of British Engineering and Apprentice of the Year at the Semta Skills Awards 2018.

"The variety means there's always something new to do."

"I’ve always enjoyed practical things, and even though I did well at school, I thought I would get bored at university if it was just lectures, and I didn’t just want to go for the lifestyle.

I learn so much whilst working without even realising it! When I started my apprenticeship I was overwhelmed by how much apprentices a year ahead knew, but one year later I knew just as much myself. Simply being in the working environment makes you realise the importance of what you learn at university, and gives context even to subjects that don’t apply directly to your work. I also love the mixture of theoretical and practical learning – the variety means there’s always something new to do!

It is a struggle to fit everything in sometimes, especially since I have a flat to maintain as well, but it is possible. You have to be strict, and set aside time each weekday and at the weekend, especially when multiple assignments are due or exams looming.

I love the wide range of challenges and environments you are exposed to though. I would definitely recommend applying for an apprenticeship – they have so much to offer and you come out with far more experience and qualifications than a standard degree."

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