I wanted to do an apprenticeship to get experience. I say this all the time but, in my opinion, nothing beats experience! I could have gone to university (a top ten university) for three years, but the experience you get in industry is completely different because you’re learning best practices, you’re learning how things are actually done, and the fact that you get a degree on top is a real bonus.
I joined in September 2020 when we were all working from home and that was weird, but it was still exciting, simply because I’ve never worked before. The training to get started was good because although it was virtual, it was pretty much the same as it would have been in-person. The first week was training on security stuff, getting to know how Accenture works, and then, in the second week we had three different boot camps: AWS (Amazon Web Services) Bootcamp, GCP (Google Cloud Platform) Bootcamp and the DevOps Bootcamp. I was in the AWS Bootcamp and that enabled me to get a certification very early.
That certification really put me in good stead when looking for my first client role, that and the help and support I got when looking for one. Now, I’m working for a Financial Services client in a DevOps role where I’m maintaining infrastructure in a Cloud environment, which I’m thoroughly enjoying. Everyone on the team is really nice and I think I’ve been quite lucky because there is another apprentice (a third-year apprentice) also on the account who has been a fantastic mentor. When I was offered the role, I spoke to him about it and he provided some very constructive and positive feedback. And, working with someone who’s actually been through what I’m experiencing right now is so helpful. He’s certainly provided a lot of guidance, which I think has really helped me to progress and get up-to-speed to be able to work on client-critical things very early on.
As an apprentice, I also have a Uni day once a week (on a Monday) and that experience has been okay considering the current environment, but I’ve been studying all my life so I found the transition easy. The only difference I would say is that it’s less structured than school study and you have much more independence, so it’s up to you to manage the university workload. You’re able to ask for extra time out of work when you have exams, but I’ve not done this yet as I tend to study for extra hours and get all my work done a lot earlier.
In the future I’m looking forward to physically meeting everyone. I started with a group of apprentices but because we’re working and studying from home, I don’t feel that I ‘really’ know the other first years. For me, I do miss that sense of a physical community but there’s still plenty going on to get us involved virtually. Since starting, I’ve joined the Christian Society and we have bible study every Friday. I’ve also joined our Mental Health Allies, the African and Caribbean Network, the Asia Pacific Network, and some AWS groups. These give me a chance to extend my network and meet lots of very cool people at the same time. Outside of work I love anime (animation from Japan) and gaming (I recently built my first gaming PC over the recent Christmas holiday). I also enjoy going to the gym and just being active in general. I used to play football and I’m considering joining an amateur club and maybe the Accenture football team as well, so I can continue to enjoy playing and most of all stay fit.
Overall, I’d say that I could not have made a better career decision and Accenture’s definitely the best place I could be.
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