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Tanya jumped at the opportunity to study while working full-time

Thursday 04 March 2021

Tanya Geraghty Web
Tanya Geraghty didn’t feel ready for university when she left school in 2014 so decided to go straight into the workplace. Now, the 24-year-old has been inspired by her family and friends who have gained degrees or received further work opportunities and recently started a Graduate Apprenticeship in Business Management.

Tanya joined TAQA as an associate procurement specialist in 2014 and has since worked in other procurement-based roles and is currently a contracts co-ordinator.

She said: “Prior to beginning the GA course, I had been working at TAQA since April 2014 doing numerous roles within the procurement and contracts department supporting multiple departments, allowing for a unique insight and exposure to TAQA. However, I was eager to expand my understanding of finance, legal and IT, as well as learn about human resources and project management within an organisation.

“After having my 2020 start of year appraisal discussion with my line manager, it was decided that an objective for the year was to undertake training relevant to my current role in order to better my knowledge and understanding. My line manager and I had originally contacted the learning and development (L&D) department at TAQA to receive approval and next steps for an online CIPS course. In response I was provided with details and information on the Graduate Apprenticeship’s offered by RGU, and asked if the business management course, which had relevance to my current role, was of any interest. 

“Although I was extremely grateful to be able to go straight into work after secondary school, university was something I had always felt that I had missed out on, so after reading the course overview and having a meeting with a member of the L&D department, I quickly advised of my interest in the course.”

Speaking of how the current Covid-19 pandemic has affected her Graduate Apprenticeship experience, she said: “I do think that the course has been affected by Covid-19, but I understand RGU have taken every measure to reduce the impact. I think the work-based learning activities would have been easier to complete in an office environment rather than through Microsoft Teams meetings, as completing practical activities can be extremely hard when working from home.

“It has also impacted the ability to meet the rest of the class and study group in person. Covid-19 has also had an impact on work volume so managing time spent on both daily role requirements and RGU activities was more challenging that initially expected.”

Despite the difficult year, Tanya said she has really enjoyed the course so far.

“I have learnt so much about TAQA and been able to recognise the purpose and requirement of processes in place”, she said. “I have also found the lectures and virtual classrooms very interesting and have enjoyed getting to know my study group to share experience and tips with, as well as providing motivation for each other when struggling with activities.

“The study group also gives insight into how other organisations operate and how the organisation you work for compares to others, which is fascinating. The end of module assessment not only helps collate all the learnings from the module, but also provides the chance to review good practice in your organisations and provide recommendations based on knowledge gained from the course for potential areas of development.

“It is definitely an amazing opportunity to study business management while continuing a full time role, but I would re-iterate the time commitment required and the importance of having a supporting line manager and mentor that is easily approachable and able to quickly provide assistance when required, as modules progress quickly.”

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