Committed to the Learning & Development of our people, we enable colleagues across our company to complete qualifications to enhance their skillset and to drive their own professional development. Through the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy, we financially support those who seek learning opportunities as part of our investment in the growth of our people.
Vanisha is one of our colleagues who has driven her professional development by completing a Level 7 Senior Leadership Apprenticeship and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) alongside her full-time role as our Head of Innovation Enablement.
Find out more about Vanisha’s experience in her own words below:
Over the last two years, I have undertaken a professional development programme seeking to develop my business and leadership skills. Initially, my goal was solely to study for an MBA, but to support this goal, QinetiQ provided the opportunity to complete a Level 7 Apprenticeship in parallel; funding both qualifications through the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy. A Senior Leadership Level 7 Apprenticeship is equivalent to an additional Masters-level qualification and, like many others, I had no idea that apprenticeships exist for people several years into their career.
One benefit of doing an apprenticeship is the legal requirement that QinetiQ will provide you with 20% of your work-time to commit to ‘off-the-job’ training. This meant that I could continue with my job, whilst dedicating one day a week to my MBA studies at Cranfield University (attending lectures, completing individual and team assignments etc.) and developing my Senior Leadership portfolio. The latter meant that beyond my day-job, I was given the time, space and support to engage with programmes across QinetiQ that I would not otherwise have been exposed to as part of my usual responsibilities. This gave me the opportunity to learn more about how different parts of the company operate and apply ideas from my MBA modules to ask questions, learn and challenge the status-quo.
The biggest benefit of doing the apprenticeship was having the opportunity to apply business theory covered in the MBA to my role, my team and the wider QinetiQ. This opportunity helped me to transfer my knowledge of new theories and ideas to my colleagues, at times delivering a multiplier effect from what I was learning outside of QinetiQ.
Completing these qualifications was challenging and it pushed my boundaries. The programmes were intense and demanded considerable time and commitment. However, they also provided huge personal and professional value. For example, I have learnt more about how I can operate and engage differently to be more impactful in high-pressure and complex business environments. Although useful, 20% off-the-job time to dedicate to my professional development was certainly not close to what it took to complete my MBA and apprenticeship! As a consequence, out of necessity, I have learned to manage my time better to get a good work-life balance and more effectively collaborate with individuals and teams alike.
I’d like to think that my experience over the last two years will open up exciting opportunities throughout my career; not because it’s added to my CV, but through the variety of challenges I have faced and overcome throughout that time. I have learned to adapt more and apply ideas in different ways to achieve organisational goals. This, for me, is the real value added from undertaking an apprenticeship.
My experience is an example of how QinetiQ are using the Apprenticeship Levy to upskill people. I hope that the key takeaway from my story is that apprenticeships are not just for people early in their careers, there are apprenticeships to suit any stage in an employee’s career across a range of specialisms. I would really encourage anyone who wants to develop their career through a structured qualification to explore apprenticeships and please do get in touch if you have any questions! I am grateful to QinetiQ for having invested in my development, to the apprenticeships team who have enabled my journey, and to those who have supported my career development along the way. ThankQ!
Thank you to Vanisha for sharing her experience and we wish her the best of luck as she continues to grow her career and develop professionally at QinetiQ. To find out more about our approach to Learning & Development, please visit our Life at QinetiQ webpage.