National Apprenticeship Week 2024: Q&A with Tom Hayward

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, our Tom Hayward has kindly agreed to share his experiences of being part of the Multiverse apprenticeship program.  

You can find out more about Multiverse apprenticeships here.

Why did you choose to take the apprenticeship route? 

There was an assumption in my sixth form that everyone should go to university, and no one talked about apprenticeships. I knew university wasn’t for me and I was lucky that my parents didn’t see it as necessary either and supported my decision to try something else.  Armstrong wasn’t my first apprenticeship! I actually did eight months in civil engineering and while the studying was fine, I knew the job wasn’t right. I left and after a lot of research and finding out what I really wanted to do, I came across Multiverse and data analytics – it felt a good fit in terms of my A-Levels and what I enjoy doing. 

How did you come across Armstrong? 

Once you’ve signed up to Multiverse you can look at their job board and there was an opportunity posted for Armstrong. It was my first proper interview which was a bit intimidating, but the job sounded interesting. I liked the idea of combining my technical computing skills with the commercial consulting experience I wouldn’t get at university.  

What’s it like being an apprentice? 

It can be challenging to balance studying and full-time work but the support I receive from Armstrong is amazing. There have been real benefits as well. The course fits with what I’m doing at Armstrong so I’m able to practice everything straightaway and consolidate my knowledge of data analytics. Even the programming elements have helped me be more logical and computational in my approach to data issues.  

What’s next? 

I completed my level four apprenticeship (equivalent to the first year of university) and I’ve now moved on to a degree apprenticeship with Armstrong. In less than two years I’ll have the equivalent of a degree in data analytics and spent four years working as a Data Analyst.  

What advice would you give to someone thinking about doing an apprenticeship? 

Be open to opportunities: I knew nothing about Commercial Due Diligence before I joined Armstrong. Don’t be put off by what you don’t know, apprenticeships are all about giving you that exposure.  

Consider applying to specialist organisations: they’re more personal and will give you greater responsibility earlier as well as involve you in a wider range of work. 

Keep going: it can be hard finding the right apprenticeship for you. It’s also knowing when to change if it’s not right. And remember you’ll still have had the skills training, industry experience, and a salary. There’s not much opportunity cost…  

You can find out more about working at Armstrong here or speak to a member of the team.