Adjusting To New Ways Of Studying – Our Trainees’ Perspective









During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people working from home has increased significantly. The current situation has forced us to establish new ways of working which we have had to adapt to.

We currently have 18 trainees who are studying academic qualifications for their profession. They have all been presented with unprecedented circumstances which have proved to be challenging.

Aminul Islam

MSc Civil Engineering (Hons)
Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford

How has Concertus supported you during this time?
I receive communication from the HR team on a regular basis. They ask for updates on my course and help to reassure me during this difficult time. My assigned mentor and manager have both been incredibly supportive with my course and project work. They are always on hand to help me and make my life as a trainee more manageable by relieving the pressure.

What has been the biggest challenge whilst working from home?
I have missed face to face communication. However, it has been good to still be able to communicate with colleagues via Microsoft Teams, but it is not quite the same and I do miss seeing people in the office.

Have there been any positives about this new experience?
This situation has encouraged me to think more proactively and adopt different approaches to my work.

Have you taken any exams/assessments whilst working from home?
A controlled assessment was scheduled but we had to complete an online assessment instead due to the current circumstances. My final assignment of the year is due this week.


William Goodwin

MA Landscape Architecture
Writtle University College

How has Concertus supported you during this time?
When I informed Concertus my course end date had been extended as a result of COVID-19, they were very accommodating. Liz Adams (my mentor) has set up online meetings and offered me valuable advice which I really appreciate. Colleagues across all disciplines have been supportive with my project work and been understanding when I have needed to take time for my study.

Have there been any positives about this new experience?
A different set of skills has been developed, including learning how to use new software.

Have you taken any exams/assessments whilst working from home?
I have submitted four assignments, two of these have been essays and two were project presentations. Using videos for my presentations was a new challenge.

“Due to COVID-19 all university lectures and tutorials had to be changed into online learning. This unexpected situation challenged tutors and students on every level; at the university we had to modify all our assignments and teaching methods and adapt to an online platform, while students had to face isolation and depend on entirely online teaching and learning methods. Many students struggled with the new virtual learning platform due to the conditions at home. Most students had to go home but didn’t have the right software and technical support as they would have at the university. In addition to this, the separation from the university environment and the unknown situation for the future of the studies are still worrying many students.”  – Dr Saruhan Mosler, Senior Lecturer MA Landscape Architecture and MA Garden Design Course Manager, Writtle University College


Daniel Fisk

Kaplan Financial

Daniel is working towards his End Point Assessment which, due to the current circumstances, has now been postponed until September. Regardless of this, Daniel is still having regular meetings with his programme tutor and is being heavily supported by his line manager, Louise. Louise has previously studied towards the same qualification and continues to provide additional support. Daniel has been able to commit to work tasks with less pressure during this time, whilst still being able to fit in time for revision.

“Dan is making very good progress within these difficult times and has adjusted well to both working and studying at home. The last few months have had quite an impact on study, with classroom sessions being replaced with online tuition, however, this does not seem to have affected Dan too much as he continues to make progress and prepares for exams”. – Alyson Chilvers, Daniel’s Tutor


Charlotte Thompson

MA Human Resource Management
University of Hertfordshire

With a 2-year-old at home and childcare support not available, Charlotte is faced with many distractions whilst working from home. Over the last few months, Charlotte has successfully completed an online exam, continued to work on and submit assignments and provide support to all staff members as part of the HR team.

With support from her line manager, Sarah, Charlotte has been able to book in additional study days at short notice which has led to deadlines being met. Despite the challenges Charlotte has been facing, she is on track to receive a distinction.

The students and staff at the University of Hertfordshire have had to transition to a virtual form of teaching and learning very quickly. This has not been without challenges for many of the students, who have had to adapt to changing circumstances with work and home life, whilst also considering their studies. Students on the MA Human Resource Management part-time course are often working full time, and some with family commitments too. The response and continued commitment from Charlotte and the rest of her cohort has been excellent” – Gary Pheiffer, Course Leader


Lorelei Cruz

Business Administration Apprenticeship
West Suffolk College

A few weeks before her End Point Assessment was due to take place, Lorelei was told it was likely that her apprenticeship completion date would have to be pushed back as a result of COVID-19. With revision underway and many practice presentations delivered, West Suffolk College gave the go-ahead for Lorelei’s assessments to be completed remotely. Lorelei was able to successfully complete mock exams and revision for her End Point Assessment whilst working from home.

The End Point Assessment was carried out via online software and Lorelei was recorded throughout the process. Following the completion of her knowledge test, presentation and portfolio-based interview, Lorelei was thrilled to find out she had passed her apprenticeship with a distinction.

You have worked so hard for this and your results were very much deserved. I am so happy for you.” – Caroline Yeldham, Lorelei’s Tutor