Career in tech industry the aim for Dalkeith teen

An Edinburgh College IT and Software Development Foundation Apprentice hopes to have a career in the tech industry as he works towards completing his apprenticeship.

Seventeen-year-old Douglas Greig from Dalkeith in Midlothian is in the second and final year of his Foundation Apprenticeship done in partnership with Microsoft.

Dalkeith High School pupil Douglas spends one day per week learning with lecturers at the College’s Granton Campus and one day working with the Microsoft team at its Waverley Gate offices in the capital. We caught up with Douglas to find out more about his apprenticeship:

What made you choose a Foundation Apprenticeship?

The thing that made me choose the Foundation Apprenticeship was the fact that I can get both a qualification and work experience in the field I want to eventually work in full time – which will be useful for entering the world of work. This is something that school can’t provide.

What is/has been the best thing about the Foundation Apprenticeship? Any highlights?

The best thing about the Foundation Apprenticeship is the work experience that you gain over the time being there and the experience of being at College and meeting new people while getting more freedom and being treated more as an adult. One of the best highlights of the course so far is working at Microsoft and experiencing what it is like to work there along with meeting all the different people there and the same with meeting new friends through the course.

What is/has been the best thing about working while you study?

The best thing about working while I study is the fact that I get to learn new things about the work place and get used to a working environment while still working towards my education that I will need in the later years.

What is the best advice you can give to someone thinking of doing a Foundation Apprenticeship?

The best advice I could give to someone who is thinking about taking a Foundation Apprenticeship is to just go for it, Foundation Apprenticeships provide a lot of opportunities. It also looks great on your CV to have both employment and work experience at such a young age as well.

Did you face any challenges before starting that you were worried might prevent you from doing your Foundation Apprenticeship? How did you overcome them?

I faced a few challenges before starting, these were mostly in terms of course information and what the full two years would present and what was going to happen with College. These were quickly resolved by just simply googling Foundation Apprenticeships and asking teachers who were kind enough to reach out to the College and get the information that I needed for the apprenticeship.

How was it meeting John Swinney and showing him what you’ve been working on during your FA?

It felt amazing to meet John Swinney and to show what I have been working on. It was such a good opportunity to show what the apprenticeship programmes are producing and to spread the word of how good they are.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans are to continue with the Modern Apprenticeship that is offered at the end of my course. I then hope to continue with either full-time employment or to further studies into a graduate apprenticeship at the end of my Modern Apprenticeship.

What are you most proud of that you have achieved while doing your FA?

The thing that I am most proud of achieving during my apprenticeship is getting to show off our class work during one of the open days that the College held. We got to showcase the work we have done and the game that we had made during half of our first year.

Learn more about Apprenticeship opportunities at Edinburgh College.