February 11, 2021
Aiming high
By: Rebecca Brown

Hands-on experience

It was during my A levels when I had the realisation that I didn’t want to continue with full-time education and knew I was keen to get some real hands-on work experience rather than go down the Uni route. It was my A-level IT tutor who first introduced me to apprenticeships and he advised me to go down that route. With his encouragement I started to research apprenticeship schemes, came across the Accenture Degree Apprenticeship, applied, started at the Newcastle Advanced Technology Centre in August 2018 and I’m now in my final year.

Taking on more responsibility

When I started the apprenticeship scheme, my first project role was as a junior application developer with a large public sector client. I was coding using C# and Java but felt that a technical role was not really for me. I wanted more of a challenge and to be more proactive, so I spoke to my career counsellor about my concerns. He was very supportive and steered me in the right direction and subsequently I found another role within our scheduling team. I’ve been working in this team for just over a year now and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

My work in the scheduling team is essentially managing the supply and demand of resources (or people) across client accounts. To start with I was a regional scheduler logging the resources that were aligned to Newcastle, Edinburgh, Manchester, and Warwick. But at the end of last year I took on the responsibility of managing a bigger national account and I am now the dedicated account manager for one of our key clients. It feels really good to be given that responsibility! The role involves a lot of project and stakeholder management and I’m constantly communicating with demand owners to manage and meet their expectations. It’s really busy and I’m putting in a lot of overtime, but I don’t mind that, it’s my choice and I see it as an investment in my career and as I always say, aim high!

The importance of being proactive

Talking about career investment, I’ve done quite a bit of side-of-desk and charity work too while I’ve been at Accenture. I believe it’s important to do these and be seen as proactive. Not only do these side-of-desk projects help me when it comes to my performance achievement, they are also a way of getting my name out there and ensuring people know who I am for positive reasons. I’m currently working with our Tech 4 Good team (a dedicated charity team in Newcastle) where I set up and manage all their design thinking sessions. I’m also working for a charity called Team Kenya – I have produced an interactive map for them so they can easily see the different skills of people who have done charity work for them in the past to quickly approach them again when needed. I’m still developing a few extra points for this and I’ve also taken that forward as part of my university degree this year for the project management coursework side of things.

Outside of work I have a horse who takes up a lot of my time and this is my get-away from a busy day or week at work. Just going to the stables is a good way to de-stress and it’s not always glamorous and can be freezing cold, but it’s what I enjoy. For me it’s important that I have something completely different away from work that I can focus on.

If you’re ready for the world of work, you can find out more and apply for our Technology Degree Apprenticeships via our website.

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