Josh Self

Josh Self completed Economics, Business and Geography A Levels at Wood Green School in Witney before starting a Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship with NielsenIQ in September 2019.

Why did you choose to do an Apprenticeship?

I always had an interest in the business world and somehow wanted to get into it. Until around Year 10 my choice would have been university until I started researching alternatives. As I wanted to do a degree like business, I knew that this was not going instantly to lead me to a career once I finished university, as I knew I needed experience to get into a good role straight away. This was why a Degree Apprenticeship was the perfect opportunity for me to gain experience and complete my degree. For me, the potential of gaining a degree, 3+ years’ experience in a large international company, gaining face to face experience with large clients and having no student debt – this was an unbelievable opportunity.

How did you find out about your Apprenticeship?

I heavily researched the company as I’d seen a post on the OxLEP website about NielsenIQ, this was followed by an OxLEP talk at my school where they then sent a NielsenIQ Apprentice to talk to me and this sold me the job.

What does your job involve?

Working with some of the biggest FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) brands across the world to help them understand who is buying their products and ultimately how brands can increase their exposure to customers.

What’s the coolest thing about your job?

The fact that you get to work with real life data and influence client decisions as an apprentice is slightly surreal especially within your first year of working with NielsenIQ. You are treated fantastically and given all the help and support you could wish for.

What have you gained from your Apprenticeship?

Throughout the Degree Apprenticeship I have gained skills ranging from communication, analytical, inferring and presentation etiquette training which is a very helpful life long skill. Aside to many other skills that I have picked up, my university course has allowed me to implements learning, research and best practises into my role from day 1, this then can allow for assignments and essays to become more relevant as you can see in action something that you have learnt at university happen in the workplace.

What do you plan to do next?

After I finish the Apprenticeship, I would love to stay on at NielsenIQ for a full-time position after the completion of my Apprenticeship.

How will your Apprenticeship help you achieve this?

As an Apprentice, you rotate every year of your Apprenticeship around the business so you can obtain a greater understanding of most aspects of the business allowing you to see where you can excel.

What advice would you give a young person who might be thinking about an Apprenticeship?

Research into every avenue possible as what you have done for GCSE, A Level or NVQ may not restrict or define the avenue that you can take. For example, the NielsenIQ Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship you do not have to have done business or economics to be able to apply, but would more than likely need an interest within the industry.

What’s your top tip?

When you look to apply for something, research heavily into a company if that is the route you are taking. Research their beliefs and value so that you can demonstrate within your personal statement or interview that you are able to integrate seamlessly into the organisation.

How do you feel about becoming an Apprenticeship Ambassador?

It’s a fantastic opportunity to be able to share my own story and potentially help others that may be in a situation like mine when I was in the period of deciding my future.