Shaping Cloud Graduate Apprenticeship Programme – two years on

James Jarrard, our Apprentice Developer, is being kept occupied juggling Digital & Technology Solutions studies at Manchester Metropolitan University with the demands of office life. Siobhan, our HR & Office Manager, caught up with James for a quick chat to see how his second year with Shaping Cloud compares to the first.
James Jarrard, our Apprentice Developer, is being kept occupied juggling Digital & Technology Solutions studies at Manchester Metropolitan University with the demands of office life. We caught up with James for a quick chat to see how his second year with Shaping Cloud compares to the first.

Some solid advice for other apprentices follows, plus a useful tip for whoever gets James in the office Secret Santa this year.

How has this year been different to your first year?
There was more responsibility in the second year, I was capable to learn and do more at work. University work was harder but more interesting and rewarding. I’ve been more organised, and found my work/life balance has improved.

I’ve been to a tech talk by Thinking Digital MCR, had interviews with the BBC… and drank a fair bit of coffee.

What have been your main highlights?
I’ve met a lot of new people, moved flat, painted a homelessness and poverty prevention charity [see why we support Mustard Tree here] and developed my own apps outside of work. I’ve been to a tech talk by Thinking Digital MCR had interviews with the BBC… and drank a fair bit of coffee.

Is there anything you would have done differently?
I would have come up with a work plan with my manager earlier in the year; that organisation from my manager developed my time management skills and I’ve really felt the benefits.

What long-term advice would you give anyone about to start an apprenticeship?
Write everything down; time moves quickly and forgetting things is a massive headache.

What are you working on that you had no idea how to do last year?

…it’s opened up a whole new world of things I’m capable of taking on myself.

This year I worked a lot with APIs. I’m now doing C# MVCs and feel I understand most of it; there’s still some things missing from my knowledge, but it’s opened up a whole new world of things I’m capable of taking on myself.

What do you think about the culture at Shaping Cloud?
Things are always changing but the values stay the same. The team has been innovative, super friendly, and very helpful.

And finally, what do you wish you had known before starting?
To buy an umbrella.


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