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Tuesday 5 November 2019

Digital and Technology Solutions Professional Degree Apprentice, Abi Cleverly, discusses how her apprenticeship at HB Tech and studies at Solent are going so far.

“My company HB Tech has invested in me as an apprentice, and I’m part way through my BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions degree at Solent University. I spend one day a week studying at Solent, and the other four days at work. It’s quite different to a normal degree, as we don’t do as many units each term – but continue studying units over the summer period.

Picture of apprentice Abi in her workplace

At the moment, we are doing two units, Routing and Switching and Systems Analysis and Design (SAD). Routing and Switching is about connecting computers and networks together, creating VLANs, access control lists and configuring security on network devices. We work in the networking labs that are equipped with Cisco routers and switches. Solent also have servers which we can run virtual machines on so that we aren’t working on the University network. We also have the option to work in Packet Tracer which allows us to simulate and configure the networks without being able to break anything! I enjoy this unit as it is very interesting and relevant to my work.

SAD is about taking key business support systems and analysing them to see what could be improved or what would be required from a new system. We use tools such as the Joiner Triangle, eTOM, data flow diagrams. As part of this unit we will have a work-based project in which we will analyse a system using the methods we have learnt, and then create a report with suggested improvements. I will be looking at implementing data loss prevention software, understanding their requirements and how they work as a business, and then creating policies needed to prevent data being leaked without affecting their work.

The other units I have completed are Cyber Security Essentials, Problem Solving Through Programming, Introduction to Networks and Introduction to Databases.

I’m enjoying learning whilst working as its allowing me to put the theory I have learnt at uni in to practice on live systems. It also improves my wider knowledge, helping me to troubleshoot problems quickly and helping our clients.”