NAW2023 – Adam Usher
Adam is an Infrastructure Engineer who joined Waterstons as a Technology Consultant in 2019.
He completed his FdSc Computing with Networking with distinction in September 2021, but while trying to complete it, his role in the Network Operations Centre was limiting his ability to provide some of the evidence required. After reaching out to colleague Lora, Adam spent a portion of his time working with a higher education client, ultimately becoming their dedicated on-site expert.
At 21 years old, Adam is managing Waterstons’ largest managed network contract.
- What made you want to study an apprenticeship over another type of course?
‘Earn while you learn’ really appealed to me; I could earn my own living while working towards my degree and industry qualifications, as well as making a meaningful difference to a range of clients and improving their businesses. The idea of university and sitting in lectures to learn isn’t my style as I’m a hands-on learner, so being able to get my hands on enterprise kit and gain real world practical experience was a real plus!
- What attracted you to the course you studied?
I was initially attracted to the apprenticeship advert as I’ve had a passion for IT, particularly networks, since being very young so knew that’s where I wanted my career to go. But the ad included more information about Waterstons and after reading through and really resonating with the company values, I knew I had to apply.
- How did Waterstons support your apprenticeship studies?
Waterstons provides an unlimited number of R&D days upon request which was really helpful for any additional study time I needed, or to take exams. The people within Waterstons were always helpful when I was studying too; we have a lot of clever people who I was able to ask questions to and get advice from for problems relating to my studies.
- What is the most important thing you’ve learned from your apprenticeship?
If you’re not sure about something, always ask questions!
- What has your apprenticeship enabled you to do that you otherwise might not have been able to?
Gaining industry experience from the very beginning which has let me advance my career from quite a young age. It also enabled me to feel trusted by my employer to get things done, which was a massive boost to me.
- How has working at the same time as studying supported you in your job?
This enabled me to gain several industry standard qualifications while having physical access to equipment to study with and gain experience towards those qualifications by working on actual production environments.
- What are your future career plans?
I would like to advance within Waterstons and pass down my experience to new, or more junior, members of the team.
- How does Waterstons support employee learning in general?
We are encouraged to study the latest technologies and to take exams to keep us current with supplier competency requirements.
- What would you say to anyone looking at studying an apprenticeship?
Do it! My own opinion is that being an apprentice will always be more fun and interesting than university, plus you can make your own living while you work towards your degree or other qualifications.
“Within Waterstons, even as an apprentice, if you want to trial another department’s work for a day or two to gain experience in that area, you are encouraged to. If you like that department’s work more than what you are currently doing, you would be encouraged to move to further your career. Nobody will force you to stay in one place and stagnate your development. You will always be encouraged to try new things and be offered new opportunities.”
Find out more about Adam here, or check out our careers page for the opportunities we have available.