My First Year As A Degree Apprentice At Vodafone!

Publish Date: 2023-08-31

Hey, my name is Ahmed I’m currently a first year (going into second year) data analyst degree apprentice at Vodafone. I study with the Blackpool & Fylde college and I’m on route to completing my apprenticeship and gaining a degree from the University of Lancaster. My hobbies outside of work include going to the gym, socialising with family & friends and playing the occasional football here and there.


I’m writing this short blog article to share my experience as a first-year apprentice and to hopefully provide you with some insight, that would have been useful to know before I started my apprenticeship.


How did you find out about Vodafone?


I originally found out about the Vodafone apprenticeship by typing in on google, big company names with the tag “[Company] degree apprenticeships”. However, it was through the Young Professionals’ work experience webinars I attended, where I was able to list many company names alongside the tag mentioned above, including Vodafone which is who I am with currently.


In year 13, was an apprenticeship always what you wanted to do? Or were you thinking about university?


Originally, an apprenticeship was not my first option, as I planned on going to university. However, I did ensure that I still applied to apprenticeships, whilst going through the UCAS process for university, just in case that I didn’t make my university choices and had an apprenticeship as a second option.


How did you find the application process? Were there any assessment centres you had to go to?


The application process was slightly lengthy as it spanned over a few months, however it was in a well organised manner where I was able to prepare for assessment exercises, as well as know what upcoming assessments consisted of.


There was one assessment centre I went through with Vodafone, which was at the end stage of the application process had you of been successful in the initial application stages. This ultimately decided if Vodafone was the right fit for you.


Did you start your apprenticeship immediately after year 13? Or did you take a gap year etc.


I was fortunate enough to have been accepted for the apprenticeship nearing the end of year 13 and I was able to start the September of that same year.


How have you found the programme so far? Have you enjoyed it?


I’ve found the programme to be an enjoyable learning experience both from the university perspective and the corporate perspective. Every day there’s something new you’ll learn, and no day is the same as the other :)


What has been the best parts about the apprenticeship?


There are many things that spring to mind with this question, however, to keep it short I’ll list the three best bits.


1. The people you meet I can for sure say is one that tops the list. I’m fortunate to have met a lot of people on this apprenticeship so far be it apprentices, managers, colleagues within your team, university program lecturers and more. It’s a great place to be able to build a good network and meet new people.

2. You have the opportunity to choose your future and be able to work on projects that interest you and build your skillset. You’ll also are supported by your team which is great as well.

3. Youth events at Vodafone have been great and is for sure another highlight. Whether that has been playing football after work (even though I did go once, and do plan on going more in future!!), attending youth office events or even attending the online workshops that the youth committee run, it’s always great to get involved.

There are many, many more highlights, however these are a few that spring to mind.


Do you feel like you are "missing out on the university experience"?


I would answer this question as a no for me personally. In my experience you do get the same university experience as a traditional university however it is just online, which works great as I work more productively at home than if I was to be onsite.


There are people who are doing the same course as you, so you’re not alone and can reach out to them if you might be facing an issue.


You might not get as lengthy term breaks as a traditional university would, however you have the power to choose your own holiday which always works out to be more better & flexible.


Have you made any new friends at Vodafone?


I have indeed, I always link up with them when I am in the London office and go for a social after work which is great. I also see other friends at my base office, which is great as well. More often the case you’ll more bump into someone you at least know in office which is nice :)


What does a day in the life of a Vodafone apprentice look like?


A typical day at Vodafone for an apprentice like me starts with reading my email and messages in the morning, to see if there is anything new / missed.


I attend the morning team meeting, to discuss what I’ll be working on for the day and what I plan to achieve.


After the morning meeting, depending on the Project I either work with others on the same project task, or as a solo.


Depending on the day it is within my team, there’s an online social meeting which is either in the morning or afternoon, where you can have a social chat, play team games and unwind from your project task for a while, which is always nice to attend.


Then you’ll have lunch of course :), which is even better if you’re in office as you can be with your team or from other people in your network.


After lunch I get back on the project task I was working on and do so until I can finalise it and attend any other meetings that are in my calender (if there are any). I reach out to people within my team anytime I need assistance with anything which is very useful when working individually.


If I can’t finish the project task for that day, I usually write some summary notes and next steps for me to pick back up on for the following day and report back to the team, the next morning.


Then before you know it's home time, and its time to log off.


This is what a typical day looks like for me when I’m in a project duration, however days do look different when there isn’t a project in duration. Like mentioned earlier no day is the same day, as every day is different.


Is the apprenticeship what you thought it would be?


I can answer this question with both yes, and no.


Yes, being that I am working in the field that I am passionate about and the apprenticeship is tailoring to my job role.


No, being that the apprenticeship doesn’t teach you certain elements of your job role in a structured curriculum like sixth form does, as you’re both learning on the job and in uni. But rather you experience new skills on the job and learn through different projects, which is within itself, a unique learning experience that I prefer much more better now, having been accustomed to it.


Would you recommend this programme to current students?


Definitely 100% it’s a great experience that I’d recommend students to take on. One that I’ve taken with no regrets.


What are the three most important skills needed to be an apprentice?


1. Time management. You need to have an ability to be able to manage your time effectively, both from a corporate standpoint and a university standpoint. Having the ability to ensure that academic deadlines are being met, as well as meeting your work, project, deliverables and deadline.

2. Being organised and working in an organised manner, can definitely help you to be both productive at work and in university. Leading to achieve better in both environments.

3. An important one is having a skill to communicate. Communication is key, especially when working as part of a team & letting others know of your situation. Clear communication can help you to get the assistance needed and also point you to the correct next steps. This is a skill that I have overlooked, but I am actively working on and would encourage others to look into, as I didn’t know it was a skill until recently.


Thank you for reading and I hope that my article has given you an insight into what a degree apprenticeship at Vodafone looks like. For more similar articles just like this, check out the insights page on for more great tips and advice!


Ahmed Saleeban