Tell us a little about you and your current role at Accenture.
I currently work with the Trading Platforms team in capital markets as a developer, so my day to day involves writing code to aid the platform, testing platform development and proof of concepts. Outside work I enjoy cycling, and I’m a keen public speaker and have competed in debating at national level.
Why did you choose an apprenticeship over university?
This might sound a bit sad… but I went about doing a cost benefit analysis at sixth form. I must say this was heavily influenced by me studying economics at the time. The numbers in the analysis to go to university just didn’t add up. So, I made an objective decision to pursue a degree apprenticeship as it offered me the best of both worlds of work and education.
What made you choose to apply for an apprenticeship with Accenture in particular?
It was my passion for technology and having been involved in technology start-ups – I wanted to know the hows and the whys behind it. I did a bit of research and saw that Accenture’s apprenticeship offers a wide variety of potential experience. The fact that we are also one of the leaders in the sector was a massive factor in the decision process too.
What are some tips you would give for the application process?
As I mentioned, do your research! Whichever organisation you’re applying for, find out what they specialise in, what is the working culture is like, etc. It shows when you’ve taken the time to learn about the employer and it’s always a positive. Lastly, have a genuine interest in the sector.
Tell us a little about Accenture’s working culture, and the kind of environment it provides you for your role?
Accenture as a company has a huge emphasis on work-life balance and this is clearly visible with everything there is to do around your job. I have also found Accenture to be an incredibly diverse and inclusive place. Every employee is really valued for who they are and their strengths.
What is the most fun you’ve had on the apprenticeship?
The social element is a lot of fun, but apart from that I would say the learning process. Building amazing skills every day. In September last year I didn’t know how to write a single line of code and now I’m working as a developer. I really enjoy discovering what makes the technology around us work.
What is the university experience like on the apprentice programme, both academically and socially?
We spend Monday each week at university, and we’re just like any other student, we attend the same lectures. Socially it’s a bit different, so on Mondays we tend to socialise with our full-time course mates but don’t really see much of them otherwise since the rest of our week is spent with Accenture.
How have you found the experience of balancing work, study and life?
I’ve been able to manage my time and stick to whatever I’ve allocated myself. But keeping on top of things is important, so I’d say give yourself a routine and stick to it as much as possible.
What kind of support do you receive as an apprentice, for example career counselling and mentorship? And how has this been beneficial to you?
There is a lot of support available. Everyone gets a career counsellor, mainly for professional development and to help you further your career at Accenture. But if you’re having issues you can share them and they’ll always be willing to help. Every apprentice is also given a buddy to help get you started in the organisation.
Are there any common myths about apprenticeships that you've found to be untrue?
I think of the biggest misconceptions is that all apprenticeships are foundation degrees, and it’s not for smart people. With an Accenture apprenticeship you work towards a full BSc with 360 credits over 3 years, so you’re doing the same amount of credits as a full-time university student. In that sense it is intense, but if you’re good with time and learn to manage it effectively you’ll do fine.
Where do you see your career going in the future? Where would you like it to go?
My current intentions are to find an area that I have a serious interest in and work my way up the career ladder in that area of technology. Whilst at the same time personally developing myself to become a well-versed professional.
What is your experience of Accenture’s commitment to inclusion and diversity
One of Accenture’s beliefs is the fact that there is strength in diversity and this is practiced throughout the organisation and is very visible. I think Accenture is a very open and progressive organisation in terms of its inclusion and diversity. It’s very clear when you look at the statistics. Accenture employs over 425,000 people in over 100 countries, that’s diversity taken to another level!