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18TH APR 2023

Meet Charlie Hart, Digital Infrastructure Student working at SLG Brands

Charlie Hart Digital T Level
Charlie Hart Digital T Level

Want to know more about what it’s really like to study a T Level at Gloucestershire College? We’ve been catching up with first-year Digital Infrastructure student Charlie Hart, who’s been completing his work placement at the amazing offices of SLG Brands in The Brewery Quarter, Cheltenham.  

What’s your course and what is it about?

My course is called Digital Infrastructure T Level. We do a lot of networking. We learn about how computers work and how data is transmitted from point to point. For example, in the business here, we look at how the computers are connected to the cloud, how the computers communicate with each other within the business and then outside the business if they wanted to. It does get very complicated when you go into it because there's always another deeper layer and it keeps going and going! 

There's lots of business context in the course as well, so we learn about how businesses work, what types of changes would affect a business, economic change, environmental change. We learn about project management as well. We've done practical elements where we've worked on a project, and we've planned it all out. We do a thing called ITIL management, which is like a service life cycle of the start, the beginning and the end. We go through each of those stages and properly plan out the cost of it, the timings and everything just to maximize the effect of the project and to make sure that it's successful. We learn about security too; cybersecurity is a massive thing now! 

Being in the classroom with teachers with industry experience has been good for me and my classmates; they have their experience and can tell us how things happen and why it works. They deliver their knowledge to us, and sometimes we give knowledge to them as computing is evolving all the time and new things are coming up now and again. It's really nice to have that bond between you and the teacher.

Why did you choose a T Level?

I chose a T Level because of the work experience that it offers. There's only so much you can learn in a classroom, and being on the job and seeing what you learn in the classroom and then putting that in a business context is more valuable than looking at a textbook and reading the words.

When you're in the business environment, it makes it so much easier to understand where your teachers are coming from because you get to learn all the ins and outs of how the business works, how all the networking works and the computers and everything like that. 

Tell me about your experience on your T Level placement?

I'm working at SLG Brands for my T Level. It's been amazing. I couldn't have asked for better work experience, the environment is amazing. I'm part of the IT team; there's just four of us, but it's a really nice team.  

I've been able to work on their network. I've been able to help other people round the business with their IT issues. I've been able to help with the data and all of that, the inside information of the business. It's really nice to be in a business and see how it really works. I've learned 10 times more in the business than I would've learned in say, A-Level classroom. It's hard to just look at a textbook and take it in.  

I'm looking forward to working on the security aspect of SLG here. Cybersecurity is a major issue for all businesses, and being able to defend against that and protect businesses is a really important skill to have. Data and customer data is so easy to obtain at the moment, that the safety of customers is really important. Being able to learn how to prevent attacks and also how the attacks work in a real live context is just really important and really a valuable skill. 

What would you say are the benefits of studying a T Level?

More companies are recognizing T Level. It's the equivalent of three A-Levels, so you come out with the same equivalent grade as you would get if you picked three. It is a lot more flexible than having A-Levels and I'm able to go on work experience.  

I can choose my work experience if I want to. The college will offer work experience and they will go out and help you find some, but if you have already found some work experience that is relevant to the course, then you are able to do that.  

The college itself is great, and T Levels are just so much more attuned to teenagers and learning and it's a lot more modern as well. We learn so much about the up-and-coming technologies such as cloud, AI, VR, XR, as well within our course. I think that's really valuable, especially with computing, because it's always changing, and the course is moving along with that.  

With T Levels, each new thing that comes along, we learn about it, and we understand it and we go through it. It's a lot more practical as well. We've got hacking suites, we've got VR headsets, we've got drones, we've got all of that stuff that we use not just for fun, obviously it's just for learning purposes and being able to have hands-on experience with all of this new tech that's coming up has been great. 

T Levels available at GC today: 

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