Holly is an alumnus of The JCB Academy and is now a Higher Apprentice at JCB Compact Products in Staffordshire. Holly began by explaining why she chose to study at The JCB Academy:

"Choosing to go The JCB Academy was a massive step in my education, it was a new school and I was to going into a subject in which I did not have a lot of experience – engineering. I was constantly told that it might be a bad idea and I would regret it, but looking back now it is one of the best decisions I ever made. I always knew that I wanted to go into engineering; I have a constant need to know how things work and how they are put together, in addition to this maths and physics were my top choices for A Level subjects. I went to all of the open days for The JCB Academy and saw all of the great opportunities working with the sponsoring companies, and in conjunction with that the fantastic learning that was being offered through the teaching and facilities they offered. The difference for me was that I was still able to get my A levels and also complete a Diploma in Engineering at the same time; this would give me the edge over other people who were only studying one of these qualifications but not both. I knew that it would be extremely hard work but in the long run it has been 100% worth it."

Holly went on to contrast the study at the UTC with what she had experienced in her previous school:

"The key difference for me was that the learning was not based in a textbook; everything that you learnt was for a purpose and you saw that from the real life examples that were shown through the sponsoring companies. This was extremely clear in the engineering Diploma with each module being based around a company. Some examples were – Learning Quality with JCB and understanding how they use quality control within the business to create world-class diggers. And with Bentley how they pushed for innovation in design to create intricate work that was put into the vehicles. The beauty of this way of learning was that you gained real life experience within global companies, making you ready to be integrated into them in the future. In addition, the A Levels were based around engineering issues, which naturally made them more interesting and easier to understand."

Holly recognised how being a student at The JCB Academy positioned her for her current career pathway:

"I felt that after studying at The JCB Academy it gave me the perfect base to naturally progress into engineering. I applied for University but thought that moving away from the global companies that I had been working with would be a massive shame. This is why I applied for a higher apprenticeship at JCB. I felt from the work I had already done with JCB, it had shown me it was the company that I wanted to work for. I had a choice of other apprenticeships, but I knew that JCB was the perfect company to help develop my dream of being an engineer. Being a higher apprentice, I am able to work and learn at the same time. This means I spend one day a week at Sheffield Hallam University studying for my Mechanical Engineering Degree with the rest of the week spent working as a design engineer at JCB Compact Products. The one thing I have learnt from my time at The JCB Academy and JCB is the great thing about working in the world of engineering is the constant diversity that each day brings."

Looking to the future, Holly had this to say:

"I know that whatever I wish to do within JCB, they will support my success and encourage me to do well. I hope to go forward within design and progress within the company in different roles. For the future, I hope to become recognised and well respected within JCB; I know that all the aspirations I now have would not have been possible without the learning, support and encouragement that I received from The JCB Academy."

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