Shannon advances her career with a degree apprenticeship

Shannon-Louise Huxley wanted to be the first person from her family to achieve a degree – but she also wanted to work. That’s why she chose to study our Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship.

Thinking differently

Shannon is studying our higher degree apprenticeship alongside her role as a Quality, Environmental, Health and Safety (QESH) Adviser at construction and infrastructure company NMCN PLC. She wanted a sharper and more in-depth knowledge of the business which would ultimately progress her quicker in her chosen career.

She explains: ‘Within my job role, I perform a number of audits on business processes. Having that in-depth knowledge of how a business moves and runs, I hope will make me a sharper auditor, therefore advancing me in my career.”

Shannon has been able to take her knowledge to the next level in the work place also by implementing newer and smarter ways of working. The business was so impressed she was awarded its ‘Thinking differently’ award.

She was using her skills to challenge the notion of “we have always done it this way” and it didn’t go unnoticed.

Shannon’s line manager, Jane Cooper, says: “Shannon consistently looks to expand her knowledge of the business and has one eye on the future to develop areas of improvement.

“Shannon is quick to volunteer to try out and develop new ideas. Shannon has been praised for her work developing the QESH portal and for playing a key part in driving communications forward for QESH, as seen in her contributions to iConnect, the company’s intranet.

“Shannon’s role in the development of ‘Aim for Improvement’ an internal reporting tool for accidents, non-conformances, positive interventions etc has been ongoing. Shannon has constantly been updating the QESH dashboard some of the reasons she has been recognised for thinking differently in the business.”

A red haired girl smiling receiving a trophy off a man

Feeling inspired

Shannon says our academics have been inspiring and approachable during her periods of study.

She says: “The lecturers at Derby are experienced individuals as well as academics. Teaching from their own experiences to make the harder subjects easier to digest makes it more relatable. The University promotes all kinds of diversity and that is very noticeable in the classroom and in everything they do. I feel Derby represents bright futures and development.”

Shannon has recently been promoted at work. She says one of the factors to her gaining the promotion was the skills and knowledge she has learned during the course. She says: “I’m still new to my career and this course has given me the confidence in my own abilities, completely pushing me out of comfort zone.”

The future

Shannon’s future goals are to graduate from her apprenticeship with a 2:1 and achieve the CMI (Chartered Management Institute) Qualification to become a Chartered Manager, to continued her studies and potentially study for a Masters of Business.

She says: “In the next year and a half, I am aiming to reach manager status within my organisation and to continue being a key asset to my team. I hope to be key in installing the next line of ISO [International Organization for Standardization] standards at the company, as it continues to grow within the business.”

Shannon’s advice on someone who is wishing to study an apprenticeship at the University of Derby is to “absolutely do it”.

She says: “I cannot praise their apprenticeship scheme courses enough. They will work around you, the learner, whether that’s progressing your learning skill or assisting your working life.

“You will feel constantly supported no matter the situation. Their online library and learning platforms give you all the tools and access to knowledge that you need to complete your assignments.”