February 06, 2020
Learning, adapting and taking every opportunity
By: 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.

Lakhbir Gill

Two years ago, I was studying for my A Levels and stressing about if I had put in enough work and what was 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. Whilst filling out applications I started 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 was considered the ‘norm’…

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 logical next step and not much was known about apprenticeships. I was told by many teachers to focus on university, complete the cycle; you get a degree then you get a job - the process that thousands of students pursue on a yearly basis. 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, 2 years later, I couldn’t be happier with where I am. I have worked on projects which have exposed me to work for multiple companies in different industries. As well as learning about cloud technologies and how to leverage them using code. 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 2 years and I’m constantly learning more.

After the apprenticeship I hope to have built my network and furthered my knowledge on the technology industry, including cloud certifications, security, programming and more. Although I want to maybe take a shot at Technology Consulting, this is something that may change as I learn more. However, learning, adapting and taking every opportunity as it comes will be and has always been my aim.

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