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8th July 2019

Digital and Technology Solutions apprentice, Elliott Simmonds was recently named Cybersecurity Student of the Year, at the SC 2019 Awards (Europe), held at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square. Elliott is currently working with Telesoft Technologies Ltd as an apprentice engineer - here he tells us more about his win.

Congratulations Elliott! Tell us how you came to be a finalist in the awards

I was told about the SC awards by a colleague at Telesoft. Telesoft has been shortlisted in the past and enters when they can. I was eager to take up the opportunity - what could I lose? The entry process was a short write up (about 600 words) detailing why I am interested in the cyber security industry, what goals I have, and how my current studies or professional work experience can contribute to attaining these goals.

How did it feel to win this award?

Honestly, I'm still in shock. It's very humbling to be recognised by such a renowned organisation, and to be put alongside such influential people of the industry.

How is your apprenticeship going?

I've loved my experience at Telesoft so far. The people here incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. After my A levels, I had very minimal knowledge of telecommunications, and knew nothing about the FPGA technology I've been working with at Telesoft. My apprenticeship has allowed me to learn about these things and create new interests while developing existing skills.

Apprenticeships really help build confidence in the work environment early on. They are especially helpful if you don't have clear plans for the future. You are able to benefit from hands-on training and immediately put your skills into practice. There's also the benefit of having the economic freedom to be able to afford opportunities I otherwise wouldn't be able to.

How are your studies at Solent supporting your apprenticeship?

My studies at Solent have been very helpful in supporting me and accelerating my learning at Telesoft. I am able to learn about relevant topics that can be applied at work, and pass what I learn to other team members. Particularly, it has helped me improve my programming ability and branch out to different programming languages.

What are your future plans?

In the future I plan to complete my apprenticeship and degree, continue working at Telesoft and become more involved with the industry. I am open to returning to higher education later on if I feel it would help me.