Hear Rory’s story: Apprentice life at 3173

By Rory Nethercott

“It made sense for me to be in a job that was relevant to my degree…”

Meet Rory 

Rory is an 18–year–old apprentice at 3173, working as a Data Analyst whilst studying Financial Technology at Ulster University. When his mum told him about the apprenticeship opportunities available through Workplus, he discovered a whole world of potential and quickly decided that this was the path that he wanted to take after leaving school. 

How did you find out about the apprenticeship? 

It was actually my mum who found out about Workplus and thought that it might be a good opportunity for me. She sent me the website and pointed out a few roles that I might have been interested in. Applying wasn’t too difficult, and it was definitely easier than UCAS! Once I found the 3173 apprenticeship, I sent off an application. 

Why did you choose this particular apprenticeship? 

3173 looked like a great place to work and I loved the university degree that went along with it. The course at Ulster University looked really interesting to me, and this role seemed to be the most relevant to that degree.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship, rather than full–time higher education? 

I’ve always enjoyed working. I felt that I would probably have to work part–time anyway whilst at university, and it made sense to me that I would be in a job that was relevant to my degree, rather than something that wouldn’t relate at all. By the end of the four years, I’ll have built up years of experience working in the field and hopefully have a job offer, all being well. For me, it was a no–brainer.

What skills have you developed in 3173? 

My people skills and my ability to liaise with business people have definitely improved. You gain a lot of confidence naturally by doing things over and over. I was very nervous coming into work on the first day, meeting people and being unfamiliar with an office environment. However, through being here and working alongside colleagues, it has all clicked very naturally. 

There are things that I’m doing at university that I’m able to bring into work. Some of the new skills that I’ve learned are already adding value, and likewise, there are things that I learn at work that come up in my uni work, and I already have experience of how to do it. It’s quite a virtuous cycle of things that work well together and everyone I have worked with has been really helpful during my time here. 

How do you balance your work and university life?

The balance between work and university has been good so far. I haven’t been overwhelmed with anything, and 3173 are very good at allowing me time to study should I need it. Outside of work, I’m still able to see my friends and do things as I normally would. The only difference might be that I have more disposable income than they would. 

What would you say to anyone considering an apprenticeship? 

I would tell people to take their time and assess all of their options. Schools are very quick to point you towards the UCAS route and send you off to the full–time university route. I’m happy with the choice I’ve made. It suits me because I like the structure, I like working and I like the focus. Take a look at all of the options available, and decide what’s best for you. 

Would you recommend a 3173 apprenticeship? 

Yes, I would highly recommend a 3173 apprenticeship. I’ve found everyone really supportive. The work is very engaging and you get a full–time salary while also continuing education. I would absolutely recommend working here, I’ve had a great time so far.



You can find all 3173 opportunities here.

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