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Summer’s Inspirational Tale of an Apprenticeship Journey Like No Other

Level 3 Laboratory Technician Apprenticeship Alumni, Summer Hydes, overcame numerous barriers whilst completing her apprenticeship, including experiencing a house fire caused by a lighting strike, days before her End-point Assessment.

Summer, who completed her Level 3 Laboratory Technician Apprenticeship in July 2023, showcased her strength, determination and resilience to successfully complete and pass her apprenticeship.

Summer is now working as a Laboratory Technician whilst studying a Level 6 Laboratory Scientist Degree Apprenticeship at the University of Sheffield. Her next career goal is to become a Laboratory Scientist.

We spoke to Summer and asked her why she chose to study with us, as well as discussing the challenges she faced.

Why did you choose this College to study your apprenticeship?

I chose the College to study my apprenticeship because the Level 3 Laboratory Technician Apprenticeship course is not widely offered, so when the opportunity became available, I applied and was fortunate to be accepted. The College also had a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Centre, which is filled with laboratory facilities to complete practical activities, gain theoretical knowledge and complete assignments.

Were there any areas of your apprenticeship you found challenging?

Navigating Gender Imbalance

Working in a male-dominated workplace was a new challenge for me as I had previously worked in an environment with equal representation of genders. Unfortunately, the engineering industry is often viewed as male-oriented, which shouldn’t be the case. I secured an apprentice position at Lincoln Electric UK and I approached my new workplace with an open mind and a willingness to adapt to the new environment. I strongly believe that more women should be encouraged to pursue a career in this field; an individual’s career choice should not be influenced by their gender, and they should be allowed to excel in a field of their interest without negative opinions and statistics holding them back.

Managing Work and College

Another challenge I faced was learning how to balance and prioritise practical work and college work, as well as dealing with my personal life circumstances. Throughout the course, I developed a learning plan which consisted of all the knowledge, skills and behaviours I needed to cover for my assessments and my job aspects in the workplace. The development plan was set out with the expected outcomes and a realistic timeframe. It also showed the new skills I had learned in the period throughout my apprenticeship as well as helped me meet targets and deadlines.

Conquering the End-Point Assessment

A third challenge I faced was with my End-point Assessment. I found it challenging because, despite knowing my job and understanding the assessments, my confidence level dropped with the thought of an “exam”. I had to overcome the thought by having a positive mindset showing my knowledge of my job role whilst complying with Health and Safety Legislation. I explained and showed the examiner the aspects of my job, detailing what I do and why I do it.

Lightening Strike

I also faced a tragic event – my house was struck by lightning which caused a house fire. I was home during the event, which happened weeks before my Endpoint Assessment, resulting in me having to reschedule it because I was struggling with my mental health due to the trauma. My College tutors were very helpful and understanding during this time, which supported me. Despite the circumstances and challenges I faced, I put in a lot of hard work and motivated myself to complete my apprenticeship as I didn’t want the challenges to get the better of me.

I have learned that every pathway someone takes, has struggles and challenges along the way, but in the end, the resilience to overcome the challenges faced and having the positivity to see out the outcome of the achievements is something to be proud of’.

Has Summer’s story inspired you to start an apprenticeship? Why not check out our Apprenticeship page and start your journey to your dream career?

Last updated: 4th April 2024

Originally posted on: 4th April 2024

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