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May 21, 2018
Q&A with Rob: Life as an Accenture apprentice
By: Accenture UK
One of  our apprentices, Rob O'Connor, gives us the inside view of his experience on the Accenture programme. Could an apprenticeship be for you? Read more below...

Rob joined Accenture as an apprentice in 2015, and currently works as a software engineer. His primary skills are development with voice assistants, as well as web development and programming languages such as Java and JavaScript.

  1. Tell us a little about you and your current role at Accenture.

    Currently I’m working on a project using voice recognition software – I’m one of the software developers on the team and really enjoy the challenge of working with this new exciting technology.

  2. Why did you choose an apprenticeship over university?

    I can summarise this into three main points.

    1. I love being able to make a difference in people’s lives with the work that I do.

    2. I will have 4 years of relevant industry experience when I receive my full degree, putting me at a distinct advantage over a recent university graduate. I would argue that experience is more important than a degree, but with this apprenticeship I am getting both.

    3. I won’t owe a penny. Knowing that I will be finishing my degree totally debt free means I will have more money to do the things that I love, such as travelling the world.

  3. What made you choose to apply for an apprenticeship with Accenture in particular?

    I loved the idea of how many different clients and industries Accenture works across, for me this meant more opportunity and a chance to see what area suited me best.

  4. What do you enjoy most about your role at Accenture?

    I enjoy that I have learned skills that are currently not commonly found in the industry. I also enjoy the problem-solving side of software development.

  5. What advice would you give to someone considering an apprenticeship?

    If you are serious about becoming an expert in something and you are highly motivated, do an apprenticeship; the practical experience is priceless. I think apprenticeships are only going to become more popular as people start to realise that a good apprenticeship scheme will put you on the road to success. I also know that because of my apprenticeship and my attitude, more doors have been opened to me – one example of this is when I was interviewed live on Sky News about my experience.

  6. What are some tips you would give for the application process?

    Make sure you read some case studies if you want to get a better idea of what Accenture does.

    If you are truly passionate about technology, make sure you make it known in the interview. Talk about fantastic innovations in the tech industry and show passion. A willingness to learn will go a long way.

  7. Why would you recommend Accenture as a place for someone to start their career as an apprentice?

    Accenture offers so much in terms of support and learning resources, and will provide a fantastic foundation for you to build your career on.

  8. Tell us about Accenture’s working culture, and the kind of environment it provides you for your role?

    I currently work at Liquid Studio, where we do rapid prototyping and application development. In my office we have a creative work environment and there is a big focus around design and ideation. Creativity is encouraged and it enables us to build amazing products.

    There’s also a ping pong table and my team often have a game at lunchtime, so there’s a nice social side too.

  9. What kinds of projects have you worked on?

    Some involving the financial, automotive and healthcare industries. I’ve also worked on a government project, and have worked on projects that focus on Big Data.

  10. What is the most fun you’ve had on the apprenticeship?

    I really enjoy the events that my team have, anything from Christmas parties to after-work board game nights.

  11. What is the university experience like on the apprentice programme, both academically and socially?

    It can be challenging to balance coursework and day to day work, but all apprentices are allocated study days to complete university work. If we’re struggling with something, we’ll sometimes meet up to discuss the best way to tackle the coursework. And socially I have met very like-minded people which is great.

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