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Case Study

Alex McBurtney - Apprenticeship

Alex Mc Burtney

After completing my A Levels, I was still unsure on the route I wanted to pursue so after receiving my uni offers I opted to defer until the year after. I then came across an Apprenticeship with Allen and Overy, which ticked all the boxes for me. I loved the idea of working within a Marketing department and to begin my journey with a ‘Magic Circle’ law firm was a great opportunity.

Within A&O’s marketing team there are 3 sub-teams, all with varying roles and responsibilities. I am involved with all aspects of the team which means my day-to-day role is always different. Assisting the Client Relationship team (CRM) could involve producing financial summaries of our clients or creating promotional documents, whereas the Digital Marketing team are responsible for the various IT marketing tools used within A&O. I have a variety of tasks and duties which has expanded my knowledge and capabilities.

All four apprentices (two from marketing and two from finance) meet bi-weekly with our tutor from Belfast Met. The classes are always engaging and enjoyable and do not tend to follow the usual classroom dynamic; instead, they are much more engaging and enjoyable.

Unlike many of my friends who are studying, I do not have to worry about tuition fees and I earn a wage which makes this a fantastic opportunity.

Being in a professional environment 5 days of the week was a big change for me, but it is something that has helped me develop quite a lot. I am constantly interacting with new people and working with colleagues from across the globe. I believe this has definitely made me a much more confident and social person. The real benefit of an apprenticeship is the experience you will gain.

The support I have received from A&O and Belfast Met has been amazing. Adjusting from being a student to a full-time employee at a law firm was is not easy but Allen & Overy have made the transition a lot more manageable. Apprenticeships, of any kind, offer a great opportunity and I would suggest giving them serious consideration.

If you are interested in undertaking one of our apprenticeship programmes or alternatively keen to find out if apprenticeship training could work for your business please contact the Centre for Skills and Apprenticeships at Belfast Met via telephone on 028 9026 5234 or email

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