Scottish Apprenticeship Week: Matthew’s story

Bethany Reid
Thursday 25 February 2021

To celebrate Scottish Apprenticeship Week, we wanted to take the opportunity to share some of the stories, thoughts, and experiences of our current and former IT Apprentices (as we’re incredibly proud of them!). 

  • Apprentice: Matthew Todd
  • Contract Start: June 2019
  • Contract End: June 2021
  • Apprentice Role: IT Service Desk Analyst


I work within the IT Service Desk team and we are the first line of support for students and staff. When people visit the front desk or send an email, we can assist them with their problem or provide the next step to someone who can. 

My experience as an IT Service Desk Apprentice has been very different in my second year than I had originally expected. Following the pandemic, as most work transitioned online, and homeworking became the new norm, the needs of staff and students also changed. It is rewarding to know I was a part of providing support within the team as we have adapted to the challenges over the past year. 

When I started at the University of St Andrews, I was surprised at the wide variety of people and technology, both in-person and online. Growing up in St Andrews, I always knew there were a lot of students, but I never knew the true scale until I started working here. Some of my fondest memories of my apprenticeship are from the start of term, seeing the long lines of students waiting for IT support in the Halls of Residences. 

The help and support that I receive daily and throughout my apprenticeship is second to none. The team is always there to answer any questions I have and provide great feedback, which allows me to reflect on my decisions to further develop my skills and knowledge. 

During my year at college, one of my lecturers told the class about an opportunity at the University of St Andrews for an IT Service Desk Apprentice. I thought this sounded like an interesting alternative to continuing studies at college for another year. Having the ability to complete IT qualifications (provided by QA) at the same time as gaining valuable support and experience from such a highly respected University appealed to me more. As well as earning a wage in the world of work. I believe I made the best choice for my growth personally and professionally in IT. 

One of the most memorable parts of my role was recovering an important document. A student was speaking to one of my colleagues at the IT Service Desk in the Main Library. This student was not able to open an assignment that they had spent a lot of time working on, which they had thought they had lost. Using newly acquired skills I was able to recover the file, saving the student hours of work. In addition, I provided guidance on how they can save files in the future. Afterwards, I was able to show my colleague what I did to retrieve the file. It was an extremely rewarding experience and made me feel more confident in my knowledge and the service that I provide. 

During my time as an Apprentice my communication skills and most notably interpersonal skills have massively increased. At the beginning, I remember feeling very apprehensive about talking to people over the phone. My role in the IT Service Desk has pulled me out of my comfort zone by talking to people more in-person and over the phone. As a result, I believe it has moulded me into a more confident and approachable person. My adaptability to many situations and issues has further developed from dealing with a wide range of staff, students, and technology. Additional training opportunities, such as ITIL Foundation, have been a massive boost to my overall knowledge and experience, allowing me to gain a broader understanding of how IT operates within the University. 

Obtaining IT qualifications in a working environment has been a great opportunity. From developing myself as an individual and contributing as part of a team, the last two years have been an excellent platform for my future career in IT. I would highly recommend the apprenticeship scheme to any young people that aren’t certain on a future career path after school or college. It’s a fantastic way to gain valuable experience and knowledge of the industry, while having the support available to guide you throughout. 

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