A driven Year 13 student is celebrating after landing a four-year degree apprenticeship at a national defence company.

Alice Greibig will start a four-year Level 6 Manufacturing Engineering degree apprenticeship this August, studying two days a week at Newbury College.

Alice, who is about to sit A Levels in Biology, Physics and Maths, is a dedicated and extremely self-motivated student, having built her own electric guitar for her EPQ project, and also self-studying AS Level Further Maths! It’s no wonder she has been snapped up so quickly!

Why did you choose to follow this apprenticeship route?

I wanted to do something in engineering because I like Maths and Physics and the application of it. Originally, I applied for the nuclear engineering role, but the company had too many applicants. As I’d already done the interview and the assessments, they instead offered the manufacturing engineering role instead, which I was very happy to take. You can go anywhere with it so after the apprenticeship I would have loads of options. I don’t yet know what career I want to go into at the end, but something in engineering.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship rather than following the uni route?

Largely because of how much uni costs but also because I felt an apprenticeship would be more dynamic – I’d have to think of my feet a little bit more. But then I do still like learning, so the academic side of degree apprenticeship is quite nice.

How many apprenticeships did you apply for?

About six, but this was the one I wanted to get. You need to apply to lots though as they’re very competitive.

Was it a tough interview? How did you prepare?

I found the interviews quite easy because I didn’t overthink them. I knew that I was well suited to the role, and I find it easy to talk to people. UTC Reading gives us lots of practice with interview skills, but due to illness I missed quite a bit of this. But I have a family friend – she’s a professor who has done loads of stuff with engineering companies. So her and my mum could say ‘This is probably like the kind of thing they’re looking for. You want to emphasise these parts and so on’. That helped give a structure to work off so I wouldn’t just be saying random stuff. As this is a defence company, the job roles that they advertise are purposely quite vague, so it helped to get my thoughts organised. I would advise anyone going for interviews to practise with someone who knows you well.

Why do you think the company selected you for the apprenticeship?

Probably my EPQ helped – the self-motivation and project side of it – because a large part of apprenticeship work is doing projects and keeping records.

What are you looking forward to when you start this new apprenticeship?

I’m excited about being able to work more independently and have the responsibility of that job role. Also me and my friends are planning to move out around December so I’m really looking forward to having more of my own autonomy and being able to help support my mum and sister.

Did you enjoy UTC Reading?

I like it, and it is improving every day. A lot of it is what new kids coming in don’t realise – it’s what you make it because it’s you’re more independent here than a traditional secondary. So you need to be putting in an effort and it’s good to build bonds with the teachers. I really like that I can talk to them and the way that they support me – you can just go and tell them, ‘OK, I need help’ and they really do want to help. The whole point of a UTC is that they’re preparing you for the workplace, where you need to be able to talk to your line manager get support from them.

Has going to UTC Reading helped prepare you for your working life?

I’d say largely that it made it easier for me to be able to say when I have an issue with something and get help, not just sit there struggling. We’re taught to discuss things with our teachers – it’s a two-way street.

Would you recommend UTC Reading?

Definitely, for some people. If you’re self-motivated and enjoy a bit more independence, then it’s perfect for you. On the other end, if you’re someone that if that you feel like you like support then it’s good too.



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