Having just completed the first year of the new Applied Business degree at Wrexham Glyndwr University, Lucy Belk can look back on a job well done.
The course blends paid work experience with taught lecturers and interactive sessions, so the student can earn for three days and learn for two each week.
Lucy, 19, had spent years in retail having left school without A levels, and was unsure whether her qualifications would be enough to secure a higher education.
But on meeting with North Wales Business School she was reassured and signed-up immediately for the degree, which is run in partnership with Delyn Safety UK.
She is now balancing her studies with a business administrator position at the Mold firm.
“I’m loving the job, particularly the marketing aspect and getting my teeth into different parts of day-to-day operations,” said Lucy, from Wrexham.
“I’ve had the opportunity to grow in the position and the team here have been very supportive in helping me to develop in line with my lectures.
“It’s a challenge, but one that I’m really enjoying – I would definitely recommend the degree to other people.”
Mike Joy, managing director of Delyn Safety UK, said the company’s collaboration with Wrexham Glyndwr University has had a positive effect, even leading to several awards.
“As a small firm, being involved with the Applied Business degree has been fantastic,” said Mike.
“The placement has just the right balance of support in both the workplace and university and is able to integrate projects related to elements of the course.
“This mix has enabled us to develop new business schemes and even led to us achieving public health awards.”
He added: “Lucy is now a key member of our team and I would advise anyone looking to take on a graduate to consider this degree first.”
The University is currently recruiting for the next cohort of Applied Business students.
They will gain employment at manufacturing giant Kronospan, a global company producing and distributing wood-based panels from its base in Chirk.
The undergraduate offering sees them become permanent members of staff receiving full employee benefits, as well as learning fresh skills and leaving after three years with the BA (Hons) qualification.
Programme leader Claire Blanchard said: “Kronospan saw the vision we had for this degree and want to support it, as well as giving students and their own staff opportunities to progress and develop in their roles.
This is an exciting and ground-breaking way to study which we believe will appeal to people from all backgrounds and sectors.
“It gives them an edge on other people looking to enter into the same industries as they are, given that they will already have vital work experience and be earning a wage as well.”