A graduate apprenticeship means Supta Das can study, work, earn and look after her family while aiming for her career goal.
Originally from Shillong in India, Supta currently works as an IT Partner Management Analyst for Scottish Water. With a family to support, Supta could not afford to leave her job to go into full time education but wanted to get industry-recognised qualifications in the IT sector.
Her solution was to begin a graduate apprenticeship in IT Business Management at Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University last September. She is really pleased with her apprenticeship as she can see that she is also adding value to her employer.
Supta said: "I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity. Every time I’m doing coursework, I can directly relate and align it to my work. I can identify ways in which I can improve at Scottish Water by applying what I have learned through my apprenticeship."
Every time I'm doing coursework, I can directly relate and align it to my work
After learning more about customer engagement, Supta identified that Scottish Water‘s Digital Directorate required more engagement with its business customers for effective management of supplier relations with its strategic partners and suppliers.
Supta spoke with her line manager and suggested the organisation tried to engage customers more with its strategic plans. Scottish Water‘s new IT sourcing model has since incorporated this idea.
Supta's line manager Sally Lawson, Lead IT Partner Consultant, Business Supply said: "The graduate apprenticeship has given Supta a fantastic opportunity to develop her analysis skills. The graduate apprenticeship has also enabled her to bring new ideas and fresh thinking to how we as a business can increase value from our digital partners and suppliers.
"The flexibility of the apprenticeship has ensured that Supta has been able to continue performing her partner analyst role, whilst at the same time gaining an industry recognised qualification."
Supta said: “The digital world is changing every day and as an individual and an organisation, we must continue to learn and stay up to date with technology. Digitally we cannot be left behind and the apprenticeship keeps me up to date with the latest technology.”
Digitally, we cannot be left behind and the apprenticeships keeps me up-to-date with the latest technology
In her first semester, Supta was taught how to create an app. She used this as an opportunity to design one which is aligned with Scottish Waters’ Vison 'Serving'.
She has since started working on a business case so the app can meet the organisation’s IT requirements and support the company’s vision to improve customers’ experience.
"I’ve always had a clear career goal, but to get there I knew that I needed to develop both my personal and technical skills. My apprenticeship is doing exactly that."
Supta has found that her training has been an amazing way to align learning with her workplace and believes it has helped her become more professional in her approach.
Her five-year plan is to improve her leadership and people management skills to become a business manager with Scottish Water.
The images and the case study have been provided by Skills Development Scotland (SDS).