April 09, 2020
An apprenticeship that gives you options
By: Gabriella Cooper

I’m a first-year apprentice based in Edinburgh. I started here in September 2019. My path to Accenture was a bit different from the other apprentices here, because when I left school, I went on to study the BEng (Hons) in Computer Security and Forensics (incorporating HND Networking). It was whilst undertaking my second year, I discovered technology degree apprenticeships.

To be honest, I did not know that companies did technology degree apprenticeships, so I did a search on Google and this is when the Accenture opportunity came up. It described how by doing an apprenticeship you can study for a degree whilst working full time, which really appealed. Also, I liked that Accenture was a global company and, after reading a lot of very uplifting reviews and stories from other apprentices, I decided that this was for me.

My parents did not know much about apprenticeships but being aware I was lined up to continue my degree at university I asked for their advice. Once I explained it to them they were extremely supportive with my Mum telling me ‘Gabi you have to go for it, this is a great opportunity and if you don’t you may regret it and you should have no regrets in life’.

So here I am, a few months in working in the networking team - which is ideal as I graduated with an HND in Computer Networking, so it’s nice to put into practice what I learnt in college. I’m surrounded by people who are all so enthusiastic and passionate about networking and if I have any questions, they are more than willing to answer them. I would say that since starting it’s definitely the people that have made it enjoyable.

On a typical working day, I’m mostly in meetings in the morning and then after those meetings it’s working on tasks related to my project. I am still quite new and learning all the time, but the role is starting to become a bit more technical now, which I’m enjoying and, I’m looking forward to more tech work coming my way in the future. Also, the project I’m on is in the development stage but it should start to go live soon and that will be good to experience. On the technology side I’m doing voice networking which is focused around servers and switches and routers. Coding is still a part of the role but mostly it’s about how devices all work together and how a network is structured.

The work/study balance can be a bit tricky some weeks. Actually, the first six weeks of your degree is fine because you’re only starting to get into your classes but then, your assessments start coming in, so you need to get better at managing your time. University study is quite different from college as I only have uni one day a week and have three classes a semester which we do on the same day. There are other apprentices in my class from other companies, so you get to hear about how they are getting on too.

By doing a degree apprenticeship, I’m getting experience of real work and it means that I know what to expect after completing my degree. I feel this apprenticeship gives me a platform to explore loads of different options quite freely - if there’s something new that you’d like to do you can just ask and they will try and find something for you. For example, right now I’m really loving networking but in a year’s time I might want to go into programming and there’s flexibility to do that.

Outside of work I enjoy travelling and spending time with my little 12-year old Westie called Ruby

Why not find out more about our Degree Apprenticeship opportunities via our website.

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