Tyler Harvey-Cowlishaw, Apprentice Laboratory Technician

Tyler Harvey-Cowlishaw, Apprentice Laboratory Technician

Why did you decide to apply for an apprenticeship?

As a young mother, I was struggling to decide between continuing with my education or getting a job to provide for my family. With an apprenticeship, I was able to do both. I knew an apprenticeship was a great route into a career that I could progress in. I always wanted to have a career with a science focus so when I saw the job advertisement for an apprentice laboratory technician at the University of Nottingham I jumped at the chance.

How did your apprenticeship impact your career path?

My apprenticeship has allowed me to advance very quickly in my career. Allowing me to study while also gaining the vocational experience simultaneously. In just 3 years I have gone from learning the basics of health and safety, shadowing others & helping out in teaching labs. To conducting research projects, being a member of university committees and speaking at conferences.

What skills or experiences did you value most from working as an apprentice?

Every day I value the opportunity to be working in research labs. Knowing I have the opportunity to undertake valuable and exciting research as a job is so fulfilling. My workplace has been incredibly supportive of my apprenticeship. Allowing me to move through different labs to get a taster of what type of technician I want to be. I am now settled in two great labs that I enjoy working in. I am actively encouraged to advance myself professionally. I’m always supported when I want to undertake extra training, go to conferences or start a new project. What I value the most is the huge network of colleagues from all levels in the university who are willing to help and share their knowledge and skills to advance my own.

What would you say to young scientists who are currently in, or thinking about starting an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are a great idea due to the fact you can study and train on the job simultaneously all while getting paid. But I would say the most important and beneficial part of an apprenticeship is the workplace connections. These connections are invaluable, and making a positive impression on your employer and colleagues could greatly increase your career opportunities going forward after your apprenticeship.

Inspired by Tyler? Find out more about the Technician Commitment and apprenticeships here.