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Investing in the future pays dividends for Graduate Apprentice Nicole

#ScotAppWeek24 Apprenticeships

Investing in the future is top priority for Graduate Apprentice Nicole Wallace, who has improved finance management firm abrdn’s Early Careers programme - paving the way for other graduates to succeed.

The 24-year-old, who is based in the firm’s Edinburgh office, had already completed a Modern Apprenticeship in Digital Application Support, and knew the Graduate Apprenticeship in Business Management would boost her career. 

Being able to put the learning from her course at Robert Gordon University into practice immediately helped accelerate her progression from Coordinator to Associate Human Resources Business Partner. 

Her biggest achievements include saving abrdn more than £100,000 by using finance experience gained on her Graduate Apprenticeship to review the firm’s intern accommodation and propose fully costed alternatives. 

Nicole wears a black and brown dress, standing in a bright office. In the background are relaxed seating areas with plants and trees, and we can see Edinburgh's skyline through windows behind.

Nicole, of Lochgelly, Fife, said: “Doing a Graduate Apprenticeship boosted my confidence and helped me to build up a network of contacts. 

“Having the opportunity through an apprenticeship to learn about the workplace and how a business is made up has been invaluable and opened my eyes to the different options.” 

Nicole used her change and project management experience to implement a new process to support graduate rotations and ensure graduates were set up to deliver on day one of their placements. 

She stepped in at short notice to deliver Assessment Centres for the Early Careers graduate recruitment programme. 

She also stepped up for six months to cover a Consultant role, supporting all aspects of the development of the Early Careers Development Programme. 

Graduate Apprenticeships are a way to get qualified up to Masters degree level while in paid employment. 

Designed by education and employers, Graduate Apprenticeships are offered in key sectors that need highly skilled employees. 

Nicole’s achievements have led to her being a finalist in the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards within the Graduate Apprentice of the Year category sponsored by Leidos. 

abrdn Talent & Development Consultant Sophie Ewen said: “The skills and knowledge Nicole gained during her Graduate Apprenticeship benefited our whole team. By applying her learning in the workplace she made a tangible impact on our bottom line. 

“She’s very resilient, acts on her own initiative and is always keen to come up with new ideas and try new ways to do things better. 

“Apprentices bring a unique perspective to our business. Their curiosity, thoughtful questions and lack of preconceptions is brilliant for generating new ideas.” 

Robert Gordon University Lecturer and Course Leader for the Graduate Apprenticeship in Business Management Vicky Stewart said: “Nicole put a lot of time and effort into her studies and the unique nature of this Graduate Apprenticeship means she was supported to develop personally and professionally and apply her learning within abrdn. The outcomes of her dedication and creative application of learning are apparent in this nomination.” 

Find out more

The winner of the Graduate Apprentice of the Year category sponsored by Leidos will be revealed during Scottish Apprenticeship Week, which takes place from 4 to 8 March.

Opens in a new window Go to the awards website