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June 12, 2019
Putting eggs in cakes, not a basket.
By: Lakhbir Gill
Lakhbir Gill

Hi, my name is Lakhbir and I am a Data Analyst Degree Apprentice at Accenture. I think the best place to start is at the beginning of this whole journey.

A year ago, I was studying for my A Levels and stressing about how much I had left to do. Like most students I had written my personal statement and applied to various universities with the aim of doing a Computer Science Degree. Filling out UCAS applications and thinking about whether university was for me, I started to question if this was really the route I wanted to take or if I was just being guided by what my siblings had done…

I started looking into apprenticeships as I figured putting all my eggs in one basket would not be a great option, plus as an apprentice you get a degree with work experience, for free! Initially this decision didn’t sit too well with my parents as for them university was the only way forward, you get a degree then you get a job - the process that thousands of students pursue on a yearly basis - it was all they knew. However, with university offers coming back I thought, what’s the harm in applying?

I applied for various roles focusing on software engineering, as that was the path I initially thought was for me. Eventually I hit a wall, as most companies were just looking for a coder and I wanted more than that. I then looked at other avenues and found the Degree Apprenticeship Programme with Accenture. This programme instantly caught my attention as it allowed choice in the specialisation you would have, on top of the degree. Moreover, the range of experience and skills you could gain was a key selling point.

Living and growing up in London, I really wanted a change of scenery, so I decided to apply for the apprenticeship programme in Warwick. Having gone through interviews with other companies before, I felt comfortable going into this process. It started with a normal application with my CV, which led to a series of online tests (Situational Judgement, English and Maths) and then the telephone interview. Waiting for the call was probably the most nerve racking, doubts such as: have I prepared enough and what if they ask curve ball questions, kept running through my head. As my phone started ringing I felt reality set in - this was going to make or break my future. I picked myself up and just went with what felt right to me and at the end of the interview I realised I didn’t even need to look at any of my notes, I just went with my gut instinct. I made it to the final stage of the process and was invited to the Warwick office for the Assessment Centre. This was composed of a group exercise as well as HR and technical interviews. At the end of the day I went home thinking that I’ve done my best and was proud of how far I got regardless of the outcome. The Accenture application process was probably one of the best I had gone through out of all the places I applied for, there was no pre-judgement and all they really wanted to know was you, your passion and motivation.

Now, a year later, I couldn’t be happier with where I am. I’m working on a project for multiple companies in different industries. Moving from London was a bit scary at first as I was going from always living at home to being alone with no one I knew around me, but from day one everyone has been supportive, helpful and kind. Day-to-day, I work on a variety of tasks from programming and troubleshooting to working with infrastructure and Cloud services. I didn’t know much about Cloud providers or infrastructure, and only knew one programming language before joining, but I have gained a vast amount of knowledge and skills over the last year and I’m constantly learning more.

Outside of work I enjoy reading, watching TV shows and movies (Avengers Endgame was AMAZING!). I also love baking and will bring in loads of treats for the office, which usually go down well (like my unicorn cake below) .

Unicorn Cakes

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