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Working Mum to Degree Apprentice!

Studying for your Degree whilst working full time can be a daunting thought for most, doing that as well as juggling family life seemed an impossible thought for Mary Fox, 33, from The Open university, however her only regret about her Apprenticeship now is that she wished she’d done It sooner!

‘It’s not as bad as you might think, its all in how you manage your time and what you want to achieve from it. I have never been academic and in school I managed to get though as the class clown as they call it these days. I left school and started an apprenticeship in Hairdressing which I must add I was so excited to start as I’m a people person and love talking’

After completing her Apprenticeship in hairdressing, Mary went on to working in salons and later on for herself, until 2011 when she fancied trying something new.

‘I regretted not trying harder in school, so I applied for an office role. I really enjoyed it and it suited my people skills. The only difference was talking to people down the phone instead of face to face.’

Mary’s talents did not go unnoticed, working her way up to a self made manager, however her desire to improve her education still hadn’t been fulfilled and she wished for the qualification to match.

In December 2016, Mary went on to work for the Open University, where her manager mentioned an Apprenticeship to her, reluctant at first feeling she wasn’t academic and considering how she would juggle this with her other commitments of her children and managing her husbands businesses social media and marketing strategies,  however her manager, seeing her potential, went on to put her on The Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship in May 2017.

Fast forward to February 2018 and Mary is about to start her second module in her first year of the course. ‘I’m loving every minute of it, I’m so glad my manager saw the potential in me and pushed me. My confidence has grown and I’m managing the time, the 20% off the job training is a great help. I do a few hours most evenings, the support you get from your peers is amazing and it’s flexible’

It’s not all work and no play though, Mary still gets to enjoy time with her family and maintain a social life whilst finally getting the qualification to go with the experience she has gained over the last five years.

‘All I can say is please don’t put yourself down, take that leap of faith, I promise you won’t regret it! This stigma with apprenticeships that they are only for 16-18 year old’s is not the case, I’m 33 and trust me you are never too old to gain the qualification and to enhance your personal skills, The only regret I have is that I didn’t do it sooner and had the confidence I do now as I may have already had the qualification, as well as this I would also like to think I will be ‘setting an example’ to my children about the importance of education and that in life it’s never too late to try something different.’

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