The Applegate Academy is a programme where we take students from Petroc for a day a week (for 16 weeks), giving them their first experience of working within a business environment and it is now successfully in its third year.

There are a couple of reasons we run the academy:

  • To give those on the programme a real experience of working within a business. They do real jobs for real people - not just making the tea and filing (although these are encouraged)!  We have many data cleansing tasks that need doing on top of various duties for each department.  Our aim is for them to leave the programme with a better idea of what area of business they would like to focus on.
  • To find suitable candidates for our Workplace Degree Programme. This has so far been successful - both Jon and Joanna (Our first year Workplace Degree Students) have come from the academy and are now excelling in their departments. 

We have the students for approximately 16 days, one day a week which is their day off from Petroc College.  They start with a few weeks in the Content Team to start and then rotate around the departments. The work students do varies and we mix it up with a seminar/training session each week to help them learn about the business environment.

Year three will be slightly different.  We will still give students a flavour of all the different departments, however their main focus will be data preparation for our AI project that will be starting in the summer of 2018.  Understanding what companies on our database do and categorising them correctly will be a very important part of the success of our AI project.

Beverley Sharp, one of our current Trainees enrolled in the Applegate Academy said the “Applegate Academy is a great way to find out about the business and how it operates. I’m unsure on what I want to do in the future, as University can put me in a lot of debt especially if I am uncertain on what career path I want to take, so this work experience will help me to see what is out there, what departments I enjoy the most and whether I want to apply for the Workplace Degree Programme.”

Abi Lamanna discussed her reason for joining; “I already knew there was an opportunity to do the Workplace Degree Programme and I thought this would help me to work in an office environment, adapting and developing my skill set. I am open to going to University, as it will help me to be independent, however I am not sure what area of Business I want to specialise in, so the Applegate Academy will help me decide.”

Generally, it’s been a very positive experience for us and we are keen to develop the Academy further in the future.


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