“There are so many opportunities to learn at McDonald’s and it all feeds into my business degree.”
Tia joined McDonald’s via our school leaver degree apprenticeship in 2021 after finishing college.
This 5-year fast track to management programme allows school leavers to gain a level 3 and level 6 apprenticeship with the goal of becoming a manager along the way. Tia has just completed her level 3 apprenticeship and started the first year of her level 6 Degree. She tells us how the school leaver programme has been going so far and how she sees her future at McDonald’s.
What made you decide to do an apprenticeship at McDonald’s?
My tutor at college said that if you’re interested in a business degree, the apprenticeship route is the best way to do it. I also knew a couple of people with good careers at McDonald’s who had done the scheme and recommended it. I like the fact that you come out of it with a respected degree but also with experience. I think that puts you ahead of the pack.
What was your background before?
I was accepted onto theschool leaver degree apprenticeship straight from sixth-form college.
I started as a crew member and completed my level 3 apprenticeship in the first year of the scheme, progressing to become a crew trainer, then shift leader in that time. I’ve just started the first year of my 4-year degree apprenticeship and have been promoted to 2nd assistant manager already.
How do you find working and studying at the same time?
It’s intense, I can’t lie! You’re working full time as well as studying, so it’s demanding. You do need to put in the hours.
What do you most enjoy about working at McDonald’s?
I’m only 20 and I’ve already had three promotions. I love that you’re given opportunities based on your work and attitude, not on your age. I’ve learnt so much already about the business, about managing people, about financial targets, and it all supports what I’m studying on my course.
What are your career ambitions with McDonald’s?
After my degree I’d like to move into Head Office and then work my way up to become an operations consultant, which means you get to look after five to ten restaurants.
What support have you received while doing your apprenticeship?
So much support and encouragement! From my mentor, my line manager and operations consultant for my restaurant. The university has also been incredible – I can get help 24/7 if I need it and advice on anything to do with business.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about doing an apprenticeship with McDonald’s?
You need to be dedicated, because it takes commitment to juggle work and studying, but you’re brilliantly supported and the rewards at the end make it very worthwhile. It’s a great degree, and the apprenticeship element gives you so much more in terms experience and opportunities to develop your skills.