I am a strong believer of the ideology “everything happens for a reason”, and I feel me not being able to decide what to do with my future whilst all my friends applied to university, was really an opportunity to be introduced to the excitement of apprenticeships.
Hi, my name is Bhushita Jolly, and I am a third-year apprentice at Accenture.
Unlike many of my apprentice colleagues, I never really considered an Apprenticeship as an option because my parents were always really keen for me to follow the conventional route of full-time education before a career. However, during my final year at sixth form when everyone was encouraged to apply for university, I was unsure of which degree I wanted to do. Many of my friends suggested I just apply for any degree so I would fit in with my friends, the school support system and my parents’ expectations, but I wasn’t comfortable with applying for something I wasn’t entirely sure about.
I decided to take the bold step of not applying for university.
Convincing my Indian family (you don’t get if you don’t ask)
Initially I thought it would be very difficult, and in fact impossible, to try to explain to my parents the reason why I didn’t want to apply for university, just like many other people. This was due to the expectations I’ve always lived with, however my parents were really understanding and reassured me that they would support me in any decision I made.
Gap year or life changing adventure year?
With this support, I decided to take a gap year. I had no plans for it and I really didn’t know what I would be doing. Lots of people asked me questions like “But what exactly will you do?”, “Are you ever going to go back into education? You know it will be impossible once you have a break”
All these questions and conversations with the different people in my life made me really think about what I wanted to do. And I truly did not have a clue.
One day, I was out with my mum and noticed something I never really paid attention to. I saw a local college, brightly lit up for an event, and my mum decided we should go in. As I walked, I felt a little awkward given the perception of colleges I had, and the fact that I had already passed all my A Levels with good grades, I felt I shouldn’t be there as there was no need. One of the staff members approached us and started explaining that the college was enrolling students in numerous courses and after understanding my situation, they were happy to explain that I would still able to join a course, and for free!
I sat down and started reading through the prospectus with my mum. Another staff member explained that I would be eligible to join the Level 3 IT course. I had never done IT or technology as a subject for my GCSEs or A levels, although I really wanted to, so hearing this shocked me. It was like a dream come true! I was passionate about IT and technology had unfortunately been convinced to forget about it during school and focus on the subjects I had chosen so I would do well in those.
My mum and I immediately spoke about enrolling in the IT course and I was so pleased to be accepted. This day made me believe, everything really does happen for a reason!
Did you know about degree apprenticeships?
As I started attending my IT course, I was really intrigued to find out that there are numerous career opportunities within this sector, from jobs, to apprenticeships, to conventional degrees. My tutor introduced me to the idea of a degree apprenticeship in a lecture, and I started to do further research into it.
I found Accenture’s degree apprenticeship opportunity particularly interesting after learning that it is a very people-led company that puts its employees at the heart of all its work and policies. The huge client base and fantastic work that Accenture was doing persuaded me to apply for the London Technology Degree Apprenticeship programme.
After the application process, interviews and assessment centre, I really did cry when I was offered a role!
I had already challenged many norms in life; being an Indian girl not following the conventional education route, and then attending college to do an IT course, followed by an apprenticeship. However, I can very proudly and confidently say that the decision to not apply to university was the best one I made, followed by securing the Technology Degree Apprenticeship at Accenture, which wouldn’t have been possible firstly without my parents’ support and secondly, the IT course at my local college.
The moral of my story is that everything happens for a reason, so all you can do is let things take their course and do what you feel is best for you – eventually it works out in the end.
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